The Calgary Flames had a great regular season, finishing first in the Pacific Division — and with an impressive 50 wins.
As good as the regular season was, however, the Flames will ultimately be judged by how they fair in the playoffs.
Up first for the Flames is the Dallas Stars.
Forward Johnny Gaudreau says even though the Stars limped into the playoffs he knows they’re still a very good team.
“They’ve got some pretty skilled players and the first few lines can transition pretty quickly and score off the rush,” Gaudreau said.
“If we can just limit our turnovers and be smart with the puck I think we’ll be alright.”
FLAMES MORE PREPARED
Based on the regular season, the Flames would have to be considered the favourites going into this series. But as we all know, the playoffs are a whole new animal and what happened in the regular season doesn’t matter anymore.
The last time the Flames were favourites was in 2019, when they took on the Colorado Avalanche. The Avs dominated that series and took the Flames out in the first round.
Elias LIndholm remembers that series well and believes this team will be more prepared for the post season.
“Yeah, obviously we had the one year when we had a good season but it ended pretty quick in the playoffs,” Lindhom said.
“I think we have a similar seasons now and this time we’re better prepared and ready for what’s coming.”
NOT A LOT OF PLAYOFF SUCCESS
The Flames haven’t had a lot of playoff success over the years. Since 1990, they’ve only gotten out of the first round twice.
So what makes this team different? Well, for starters they are a lot tougher and more capable of wearing out an opponent.
They’ve also added Stanley Cup winners like Blake Coleman, Tyler Toffoli and Trevor Lewis. Milan Lucic also has a Stanley Cup ring and head coach Darryl Sutter guided the Los Angeles Kings to two Cup titles.
Sutter says his message to the players is pretty simple.
“You gotta win a game,” he said.
“I mean you can’t win four in one. You gotta win one. That’s pretty much the message.”
FANS IN THE BUILDING
For the first time since 2019, fans will be in the building for the playoffs. Chris Tanev says that’s going to be exciting.
“I think there’s a buzz around the city and I expect it to be the loudest it’s been all year for sure.”
Added Goaltender Jackob Markstrom.
“You know it’s going to be the same as the other games I player this year but it’s going to be obviously a buzz in the building and in the town.”
Game 1 goes Tuesday with the puck drop between the Flames and Stars at just after 8 p.m.
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