If you talk to the Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk, he’s clear that helping his team finally have some success depends on his own stepping forward. In fact, he doesn’t believe that a single step forward is quite enough.
He believes he’s going to have to take a couple of steps forward if his team is finally going to break out of the poor play that the team has engaged had since their last Stanley Cup victory. That was over 30 seasons ago, in 1989.
Tkachuk explains why he believes he needs to take a step forward for the Flames to be cup contenders. But he also believes this might be the year his team will be able to accomplish those goals. When he talks about his own growth as a player, he’s pretty clear about what his personal goals are. And, if he’s able to reach those personal goals, he believes that will actually help carry the team forward as well.
Tkachuk Blends His Own Success with the Team’s Success
In the video below, you can listen to Flames’ forward Tkachuk discuss his thoughts about his own growth as he heads into the shortened NHL season.
One Step Forward Simply Isn’t Enough
As Tkachuk notes, he looks at it for himself and he believes that, “I have to take not only a step forward but many more.” As he notes – only two steps, or five steps, or even 10 steps forward this year. Only then can he become the player he wants to become. As he speaks, he’s pretty clear that, for him, it’s time to stand up to make a difference.
What type of a player does he want to become? His answer is, “I don’t just want to be known as a certain type of player.” Instead, he wants “to be player that makes a difference every single night.”
And if you listen to him speak, you’ll understand that he’s very clear about the context in which this unique 2020-21 season is going to be played. As he notes, “it’s a shortened season” and he believes his skill set needs to take a move forward in general. However, he notes that it’s all about “just helping my team win.”
Tkachuk Is Entering the Season with a Positive Mindset, But …
Tkachuk noted that he “came into this year with I’m very positive mindset.” Part of the reason is that he believes the Flames “have a very solid team.” He’s also aware of the Flames record over the past few seasons. It hasn’t to his mind been good enough.
Specifically, he noted that “our team hasn’t had a lot of success.” He added, “I guess we can all go all the way back to the last time that they want to Stanley Cup here.” He was also specific that “we haven’t had a ton of playoff success except for a couple of seasons.”
What Does All this Mean for Tkachuk?
What does that mean for him? He believes “it’s time for people to look at us as a serious contender throughout the league,” which starts by producing as a team. His goal is to help the Flames “be looked at as one of those teams that is a contender each and every season.”
My sense of the bottom line of the interview is that he thinks this might be the season the Flames make a run at the Cup. He thinks the team has to start proving this is the season. To his mind, there’ve been too many seasons where the team has lacked success.
For Tkachuk, Two Motivations
Two things motivate Tkachuk this season: (1) he feels the pressure this season and (2) he knows how the lack of success can end with a sour taste that sticks with a team forever.
As Tkachuk says, it’s time to change that sense of “forever” this season. Is he right? Can the Flames make the Stanley Cup?
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