The Pacific Division continues to be Flems’ strong trio for the Crown

SAN JOSE – After minutes of career-high tie with 99 points this season, Johnny Goudreau plays it straight.

“It’s great but it’s just a number,” he jerked, before pressing to answer whether 100 was even a number.

“Nah, it would be a little different,” he added with a smirk.

“It simply came to our notice then. Until the worst 12 games of my career come, it would be good to do it for once.

There is inspiration to see how far he can go beyond the century mark, as every goal and assist seems to be directly related to Flemish victory.

He is very important to his team.

Thursday was no different, as Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm once again wore their caps to play superheroes in a team that usually goes their way.

Suffice it to say, as the most successful trio in the league, things are going very well for the first place Flames these days.

But the work was not done, because the coaches and players constantly reminded anyone who asked.

“There’s still a lot of inspiration at the end of the day – much more inspiration than we had before,” said Takachuk, who tied the 34-year-old’s career.M Aim for another three-point part of the night.

“Edmonton is right on our tail here and we want ice at home, and we want it as long as we can. We made the mistake of not playing our best in the playoffs in the past and we don’t want to make that mistake again. “

The 2018-19 season is mentioned when conference-winning Flames struggled to stay inspired in the final dozen games, facing untimely death against a growing avalanche squad in just five games.

Towards the end of that season, Gaudreau’s scoring pace slowed and he may have to take his place as a Hart Trophy finalist. (He finished fourth).

This year the NHL’s fourth-leading scorer is pushing hard to finish more in the polls, focusing on adding points to the victory column.

Meanwhile, the coach continues to impress this group in every possible way that has yet to do anything.

A two-point effort by Gaudreau and a two-goal night by Lindholm all started with Tkachuk’s unsupported goal in seven minutes to lead the team to a third win in the last four nights in California.

It was a 4-2 win by backup Dan Vladar, who made 31 stops in the team’s first win in four attempts against the Sharks.

It was the first game of nine outings in which Jacob Markstrom was rested.

They completed the task with half of their regular blueline, as satirists Nikita Jadorov and Eric Goodbronson were replaced by Juso Vallimaki and Michael Stone.

Connor McKee made his season debut by jumping into the second pairing with Chris Tanev.

“I thought Connor served us really well,” Sutter said.

“Something to do with the other boys.”

No matter, like the big boys stole the show. Again.

“Awesome,” Sutter said, when Gaudreau matched the mark of his career.

“He still has 10 or 11 matches (so to speak). As long as they are big points. Game winner. “

Lindhome’s two goals gave him a 38-team lead of the season, including his eighth game win.

Everyone says the trio have 23 game-determining snipes to lead the league – more than half of the team’s 43 wins.

Lindhome’s Khali-Netter marked the 18th time this year that all three had the same goal – another league-high.

All three have tackled three more strokes at the same top when it comes to their league-leading plus-minus, as Gaudreau is a ridiculous plus-54.

“They play in a lot of important situations,” said Sutter, who kept them on ice for the last minute, as he did in the 3-2 win over Anaheim the night before.

“There are a lot of boys who score goals and get points, but they are not big. They are not situational goals. As a line, their goals for and against are significant.

“If he was a 100-point game and if he was a minus player, we wouldn’t be in the play-off spot. And our goal is to be a play-off team. “

The goal looks good, as the win puts the Flems six points ahead in Edmonton with 11 games to go.

Will we see more nights like this where a good portion of the team’s depth players are turned out of the lineup, um, to start healing for the spring?

“Four people who didn’t play tonight were sick or injured,” said Sutter, whose club also includes Adam Ruzika and Cale Jarncrock outside the lineup.

“After the deadline, I’m humbled to answer your question about the sick or injured boys. After the deadline, it’s not a question I like to answer – what is happening is telling someone else what’s going on.”

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