Toffoli is already a Flames fan favourite in Calgary

Feb 16 2022, 9:20 pm

Calgary Flames fans welcomed newcomer Tyler Toffoli with chants. 

Teammates ushered him in with chirps. 

All in all, a debut to remember for all involved — on the home side at least.

“I mean it was obviously pretty cool,” Toffoli began, who scored a highlight-reel midway through the third period of a 6-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets to put an exclamation point on both the Calgary Flames win and the volume of his now-hometown crowd.

“But at the same time a little embarrassing for myself. (Ramsus Andersson) was all over me in the room.

“It was amazing, but I hope they don’t do it again.”

They might have to if the right-winger scores another one like his first marker with the Flames. 

Toffoli took a lob pass from Johnny Gaudreau before busting in on a partial breakaway, on one skate, before sliding a backhand home behind Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins. 

The double-leg kick prompted the Flames faithful to give the newcomer a standing ovation before belting out the chants of “Ty-ler Toffol-i” with a series of claps in between.¬†

A memorable moment for the 29-year-old who was scooped up by Calgary from the Montreal Canadiens some 36 hours prior in exchange for forward Tyler Pitlick, forward prospect Emil Heineman, a first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, and a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Even his teammates caught a chill or two after the jaw-dropper turned into a roof-raiser.

“As a player, you just get the goosebumps, even though it’s not your name,” said goalie Dan Vladar, who backstopped Calgary in the win. “He’s a great player. I saw him at morning skate. He scored a couple times on me, I was like wow, this guy’s got a good shot. It’s gonna help him a lot for sure that he scored right away first game.”

The quick take to Toffoli didn’t surprise head coach Darryl Sutter.¬†

He wouldn’t expect anything less of Calgary’s fired-up fans.¬†

“Well, they know he’s a good player,” Sutter mused. “Remember I said that about our fans. The real fans. They know the game. They don’t have to do anything social media-wise or anything like that. They’re onto it. They get it.”

Aaron VickersAaron Vickers

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