The Calgary Flames are off to a red hot start under head coach Darryl Sutter. Sutter has got the top players on the team buying into his system after he took over midway through last season. One of those players that are succeeding under Sutter is Andrew Mangiapane.
Mangiapane has been a solid player for the Flames ever since being drafted in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. However, Mangiapane is playing with a chip on his shoulder as, during his draft-eligible year, he was not taken despite putting up 51 points in 68 games with the Barrie Colts. From there he has established himself as a model of consistency for the Flames. After only putting up 13 points in the 2018-19 season, Mangiapane became a full-time member of the Flames.
During the 2019-20 season, which got short because of COVID-19 Mangiapane recorded 32 points (17 goals and 15 assists) including 10 points in the final 10 games. The following season, which was a 56-games shortened season, Mangiapane again recorded 32 points (18 goals and 14 assists). He established a career-high in goals with 15. Just imagine what his numbers would be if he played a full 82 games.
Well, imagine no more as Mangiapane is off to the best start of his career with the Flames. Mangiapane is currently tied for ninth in goals with seven and fourth on the team in scoring with nine points. The Flames are just one point behind the Edmonton Oilers for the top spot in the Pacific Division. But what is bringing out the best in Mangiapane right now?
Ep 12: Biting, Montreal, COVID, and Penguins Sale Updateby Full Press Coverage on December 1, 2021 at 5:52 pm
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Well, motivation for one thing. Along with playing for a new contract and remaining high in the lineup. Once the season was over, Mangiapane was on a plane and heading over to Riga, Latvia for the IIHF World Championships. Canada was 0-3 in the tournament before Mangiapane arrived. After his COVID-19 protocol was over, Mangiapane entered the lineup. From there Mangiapane quickly began the Golden hero for Canada. Playing in the final seven games of the tournament, Andrew Mangiapane recorded 11 points (seven goals and four assists) as Canada won the gold medal and he was named tournament MVP. Mangiapane had extra motivation to start the year knowing players were heading to play in the Olympics this year.
However, Mangiapane did not rest on his laurels, he got better. And it showed at the start of the season for the Flames. Scoring seven goals in six games. At one point he was second in the league in scoring. Doing this all despite not playing top minutes. Though he has cooled some with the goal-scoring, he continues to have his nose around the net. During the game against the Rangers on Saturday night, Mangiapane had 11 shot attempts recording one assist.
However, Mangiapane’s name is now on a long list for Canada’s Olympic team. Not only that but he will now have consideration to be an All-Star this year as well. The Flames are talented no doubt, but when a player is able to carry over success from playing in an International tournament that only makes the team better. Not to mention, Darryl Sutter is putting him in situations to succeed. That cannot be understated enough.
Right now the Flames are winning games, so the debate over whether he needs more ice time or not is irrelevant. One thing is for sure, Mangiapane has a nose for the net and that cannot be taught. In addition, Andrew Mangiapane regardless of what type of contract he gets next will always play with an attitude and motivation because of his past. This will not only make the Flames team better but make himself better.