Flames' Tkachuk: 'It's time for us to do something'
Calgary Flames irritant Matthew Tkachuk really wants to prove it this season.
"I know you make your personal and your team legacy in playoffs," the 23-year-old winger said in an interview with NHL Network. "So that's what I'm hoping to do this year is make a very long run in the playoffs and do something special with our team. Because I would love to do that with that group of guys there."
The Flames have made the playoffs three times in Tkachuk's first five NHL seasons, but each appearance has ended in a first-round exit.
Tkachuk has five points in 15 career playoff games and leads all Calgary skaters with 32 penalty minutes over the team's three most recent postseason appearances. He's averaged the fifth-most ice time (16:42) among Flames forwards across those three playoff stints.
"I consider myself to be a solid player that hasn't done a lot so far in the league yet," he said. "So hoping for a year where I can prove that this year."
The Flames struggled during the pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign, finishing fifth in the realigned North Division with a 26-27-3 record and missing the postseason. The team fired head coach Geoff Ward in March, bringing back Darryl Sutter for a second stint behind Calgary's bench.
Tkachuk, meanwhile, racked up 43 points in 56 games, a 63-point pace over 82 contests. He's surpassed that clip twice in his career, notching 77 points in 80 games in 2018-19 and 61 points in 69 games in 2019-20.
"It has nothing to do with me - it's got everything to do with team success," he said. He added: "(My teammates) are very special to me, and I enjoy working with them each and every day. It's time for us to do something this year."
If Tkachuk and the Flames are to get over the hump this season, they'll have to do so without longtime captain Mark Giordano after the Seattle Kraken selected the defenseman in the July expansion draft.