While Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett staked their claim as the cornerstones of the future Flames this post-season, it was big, physical winger Michael Ferland who may have had the biggest coming-out party of the playoffs for Calgary in the playoffs.
Ferland, with his in your face brand of play and thunderous body checks, became a household name and a top target for Canucks fans early in the first-round series after repeated run-ins with Vancouver's Derek Dorsett and Kevin Bieksa early in the matchup. And if Canucks fans didn't like Ferland, maybe they'll at the very least respect him after learning that Ferland suffered a torn oblique muscle and played through it.
The injury occurred in Game 4 of the six-game first-round series. The exact moment it happened, however, is unknown. What we do know, though, is that in Game 4, Ferland finished his night with eight hits, two shots, one shot block and 15:05 on ice. Quite the night for a 23-year-old skating around with an injury that earlier this season sidelined David Clarkson 4-6 weeks.
Battling through the injury, Ferland was able to notch two goals and three points in the sixth and final game of the series against the Canucks, all the while delivering seven hits and playing more than 15 minutes.
Thankfully for Ferland, his injury won't require surgery, but it does explain why, in Game 1 of the Flames' second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks, he skated only 5:24 before leaving the contest. Ferland didn't come back into the series until Game 4, but managed a tally in the game in less than 12 minutes on ice.
In nine post-season games, Ferland matched his regular season point total with three goals and five points and was given more than two more minutes on ice per outing.
Above all else, Ferland, a restricted free agent this summer, likely landed himself a new contract with the Flames and, in all likelihood, a few more dollars than he would have garnered had he not had the great post-season he did.