The Calgary Flames had the most points in the Western Conference last season but flamed out in the playoffs. This year, the Flames weren’t even a lock to make it. Let’s take a closer look at their season along with NHL Odds and Stanley Cup Odds.
Calgary Flames 2020 NHL Season Analysis
Calgary sat third in the Pacific Division with 79 points when the season was suspended, which would have been good for a playoff spot but not by much. For example, Vancouver was the top team on the outside of the Top 8 and had 78 points.
The Flames lost their final game before the break, 5-3 at home vs. Vegas on March 8. Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who had won three straight. Dillon Dube and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for Calgary. David Rittich had 27 saves to fall to 0-6-1 in his last seven home starts. The All-Star Rittich slipped to 0-2-1 across his past three outings, and 2-4-1 over the past seven.
After being involved in a collision in his own zone early in the first period, Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin left the ice with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. He was likely to miss some time. Hanifin has five goals and 22 points in 70 contests this season. The break came at a lousy time for defenseman Travis Hamonic as he was set to return from a long injury absence. He has three goals and 12 points in 50 contests this season and last played on Feb. 8.
The pause to the season may have cost left wing Andrew Mangiapane a 20-goal season. Mangiapane has 17 goals and 32 points in 68 games this season, which is a huge jump from 13 points in 44 contests in 2018-19. The 23-year-old was taken 166th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
“Whether you’re drafted or not, you always still need to put in the work afterwards. That’s the beginning of the whole process,” Mangiapane said. “So if you’re a late draft or not drafted at all, never give up. Just keep working hard, and keep fighting to get to where you want to be.”
Top defenseman Mark Giordano thinks that if the playoffs do happen, they’ll be one of the best ever.
“If we can ever get back to playing, I think this is going to be one of the best playoffs ever because every team is going to have all their guys healthy and ready to go,” Giordano said. “You’re truly going to be playing the best version of every team, I think.” It certainly would be a one-of-a-kind playoffs if it does happen. There are potential concerns because while players will be rested and healthy for the playoffs if they do happen this year, they’ll also be very rusty.
Matthew Tkachuk had joined Paul Reinhart, Al MacInnis, joe Nieuwendyk, Robert Reichel, Jarome Iginla, Sean Monahan, and Johnny Gaudreau as 1 of 8 Calgary Flames (1980-81 – present) with two seasons of 60+ points before age 23. Tkachuk has 15th career games with three-plus points and six this season. Tkachuk trails only Auston Matthews (22) and Patrik Laine (17) for the most such outings among players selected from his 2016 draft class.
Mikael Backlund had been playing some of his best hockey for the Flames since the start of November. Backlund has 21 points in his last 15 games. That is the sixth-most points in the NHL since February 6. Backlund is now tied with Eric Vail for the fifth most game-winning-goals in Flames franchise history. Backlund trails Joe Mullen (33), Sean Monahan (40), Theo Fleury (53), and Jarome Iginla (83).
Calgary’s 19 one-goal victories this season are tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the most in the NHL.
Calgary Flames odds to win Stanley Cup
Calgary is +3300 Odds to win the second Stanley Cup in franchise history.