Let’s look at the Flames-Canucks series from the Calgary side.
The C of Red will see this series as quite simply a golden opportunity to take a good season and make it great. In a year of teams making remarkable rebounds, Calgary improved from last season to this one by a remarkable 20 points. That is 10 wins more for those of you scoring at home. How the Flames did it was equally impressive.
Calgary picked up an astonishing 25% of their points this season when trailing after two periods of play. That is 10 wins and 4 overtime losses when entering the third period behind, only Anaheim and Detroit did better and you can easily argue that those teams were deeper.
Which gets us to the team, the expectation entering this season was that Calgary would bring in new GM Brad Treliving and begin the rebuild in earnest. Calgary has made some moves this year to secure some draft future by moving veteran Curtis Glencross to Washington and Sven Baertchi to Vancouver for picks, but Calgary’s youth movement has picked up immediately. Johnny Gaudreau has been fun to watch while Sean Monahan continues his goal scoring ways. These two players were in the top three in team scoring and are ever so dangerous when out on the ice. They are game breakers and they are young, which for the rest of the Pacific Division should scare you for years to come.
The Flames are well coached, like Vancouver is. Bob Hartley has pulled the very most from this team, the question is; can he pull more?
The answers will come in seven games or less, and you can be sure of one thing. If Vancouver underestimates the Calgary Flames, they will be in deep trouble.
The Flames are for real.