Flames coach Peters to join Gaudreau at NHL All-Star Game; Giordano still a possibility

No matter what happens in the so-called ‘Last Man In’ fan vote, the Flames have doubled their contingent at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game.

The league confirmed Saturday that Flames head coach Bill Peters will be behind the bench for Team Pacific.

Peters earned that nod by leading his crew to the top points percentage in the division prior to the midway point on the league-wide calendar.

Asked about the possibility after Friday’s practice in Philadelphia, Peters stressed that an all-star invite would be something a whole lot of people could be proud of.

“It would be exciting, obviously,” he said. “It would be a real good feather in the cap for the organization. That’s what it is — it’s an organizational achievement if the coach gets named as coach of one of the all-star teams, because it’s done on winning percentage.”

Flames superstar winger Johnny Gaudreau scored a selection to the NHL All-Star Game for a fifth straight season, while captain Mark Giordano is a candidate for the ‘Last Man In’ online fan vote.

Peters is no doubt deserving of an all-expense-paid trip to San Jose for the Jan. 25-26 shindig.

Hired this summer after a four-season stint with the Carolina Hurricanes, he has skipped the Flames to a 25-13-4 record so far. His team collected 54 standings points in the first half, the second-best total in franchise history.

With Peters at the helm, the Flames are lighting the lamp more often and also surrendering fewer high-danger scoring chances.

One of his greatest strengths seems to be a knack for identifying the right candidates — and right time — for in-game line adjustments, something that has factored in a league-leading seven victories when trailing after two periods.

Peters is just the second coach in Flames’ history to earn an all-star assignment. Terry Crisp had that honour in 1990 after a Stanley Cup triumph the previous spring.

wgilbertson@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/WesGilbertson

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