Matthew Tkachuk continued his fantastic playoff run on Wednesday night, scoring the series-clinching goal over the Carolina Hurricanes to send the Florida Panthers to the Stanley Cup Final.
As excited as the entire Panthers fanbase was at that moment, another north of the border was down in the dumps, that being the Calgary Flames.
Flames fans would have never imagined just a year ago that Tkachuk would be wearing a different jersey, but that is exactly what happened after he was traded to the Panthers last offseason.
The deal looked bad enough during the regular season, one in which Tkachuk recorded a career-high 109 points while Jonathan Huberdeau really struggled in Calgary with just 55. Now, it looks even worse.
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Aside from his series-clinching goal on Wednesday night, Tkachuk was also able to score the overtime goals in Games 1 and 2 versus the Hurricanes. The 25-year-old is up to nine goals and 21 points in the playoffs and is currently being considered a frontrunner for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
For now, Tkachuk and his teammates are resting while waiting to see who they will play in the Cup Final, as the Western Conference Final between the Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars is ongoing.
This marks just the second time in franchise history that the Panthers will compete in the Cup Final, with the first coming back in 1996 versus the Colorado Avalanche, a series in which they were swept.
Given how long they have waited, Panthers fans are absolutely thrilled by what has transpired this season, in large part thanks to the addition of Tkachuk. As for Flames fans, they are stuck wondering what could have been. In fact, several went to Reddit to let out their frustrations.
“This feels like watching my ex live a wonderful new life with her new boyfriend,” user csteezy 21 said.
“I miss him playing with the Flames so much,” Queasy-Accountant696 wrote.
Huberdeau really and I MEAN REALLY better have a bounce back season of a lifetime
— Noah Adler (@realnoahadler99) May 25, 2023
I’m still very happy the Flames managed to get Huberdeau, Weegar, Schwindt and a 1st while having absolutely no leverage
— James Johnson 🔥 (@JamesJohnsonYYC) May 25, 2023
— BigFlamesGuy (@BigFlamesGuy) May 25, 2023
Congratulations to Matthew Tkachuk and the ̶C̶a̶l̶g̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶F̶l̶a̶m̶e̶s̶ Florida Panthers on getting to the Stanley Cup Finals! pic.twitter.com/3NiZf7qGFT
— Aman Kurji (@AmanKurji) May 25, 2023
I guess it will feel better when Tkachuk loses in the finals#Flames
— RaYrAy (@flamesfever) May 25, 2023
I’m in my “jump off a bridge era” #flames https://t.co/4D9YlFfvsB
— Tyler VD (@TyVanDusen7) May 25, 2023
— Zary=Superstar (@GrantHupe) May 25, 2023
Someone end me please #Flames 🥲 pic.twitter.com/d94J0d7qUK
— JustYourTypicalFlamesFan (@TypicalFan03) May 25, 2023
I am literally going to KMS pic.twitter.com/796jJDmWh4 https://t.co/wH5GyAXMz2
— AverageFan (@AverageFan_Z) May 25, 2023
— i dont rlly care if you cry (@ratmain123) May 25, 2023