The fate of Flemish’s unparalleled injury is not a matter of drying up, it’s just hockey

LOS ANGELES – This, for the record, is not adversarial.

This is not just a stroke of bad luck.

It’s just hockey.

After being relatively unharmed most of the season due to injury, the Calgary Flames could face their nearest divisional rivals very well on LA Monday without four regulars in their lineup.

This is a departure from the ideal of a Flemish club that has had very little experience in injury compared to the rest of the league.

None of the NHL teams have come as close to luck as Flems in staying healthy this season.

Numbers, quite frank, stunned.

For most teams, having just four players would be a luxury.

The Kings, for example, are coming up late with seven players, including Norris Trophy winner Drew Dwight and captain Dustin Brown.

The four modified flames include two fourth-liners (Sean Monahan and Brett Ritchie), a third liner (Cale Jarncrock) and a fourth defender, Oliver Killington.

No one could excuse their absence as they traveled to the four-game roadie opener through California and Seattle.

No one is advising the team to play a significant role in the third consecutive draw in the absence of any of them on Saturday.

Yes, this is where team depth and solution are tested.

But the only reason to talk about such deep injuries in Calgary is because they are so rare.

According to SportsNet statisticsThe Flames have lost just 54 man games this season due to injuries, largely based on the illnesses of Tyler Pitlik and Richie.

In that sense, the second-ranked team in that category (Dallas) has lost more than twice as many games (111).

The Kings have lost 372 games to settle for ninth place in the league, yet they have managed to rise within three points for Flems despite playing three extra games.

The league’s most unfortunate squad, Montreal, has lost 641 men’s games, with Pacific Division rivals Arizona and Vegas in fourth and fifth place, losing 460 and 440, respectively.

It has lost eight times more man games than Flems.

Add this to the list of incredible, league-leading stats for the Flems: the team’s top five scorers have appeared in 68 games so far and nine of the top ten have yet to miss a game due to injury.

In that section they are the envy of the league.

One or more of their injured players are likely to return to tonight’s game, as Killington has been listed as a daily occurrence since his first crash on board on Thursday. Jarncrock missed Saturday’s rate due to an illness and Richie’s condition was not resolved as his leg was awkwardly pinned under a defender late Saturday, prompting him to need help stopping skating.

The Flame did not skate on Sunday, so no updates were found.

Perhaps Daryl Sutter’s increased emphasis on fitness last summer played a small part in the team’s good health.

Either way, the company has been blessed year after year, with the exception of Shawn Monahan, whose season ended for the second year in a row due to hip surgery earlier this week.

In terms of the team’s fortunes, Sutter has the luxury of having both consistency and flexibility in his top three lines and three defensive pairings – something some other coaches have felt towards the end of a season.

A big part of the team’s reformed defense success this season is that you can count on one hand how many games the Flemish defenders have missed due to injury – the lowest ever in the league.

Michael Stone has proven to be a reliable replacement for Killington, who missed three matches due to injury.

Pittsburgh is the only team that comes close to 28, then two teams (Rangers and Penguins) in the 30’s.

Eighteen teams, including Winnipeg (91), Edmonton (97), Vegas (127), Colorado (135), Kings (177) and Vancouver (185), have lost 80 defensive man games.

It goes a long way in explaining the success of a Flemish team that had a chance to win the Pacific Division.

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