It’s time for another edition of Calgary Flames Throwback Thursday! Today? Let’s talk about a happier time – when the Flames won the cup in 1989.
The Calgary Flames season may be over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about a happier time. I mean, it was 28 years ago. But you catch my drift. Last time, we talked about Steve Smith scoring on his own net to help the Flames win in the playoffs. Today, let’s talk about when the Flames won the cup. Actually, that’s why we’re doing this specific Throwback Thursday today, it was exactly 28 years ago today that the Flames won the cup.
So let’s start off with what happened.
The Calgary Flames that season were the Presidents Trophy Winners (led the league in points). During the playoffs that season, the Flames beat the Vancouver Canucks in the first round in seven games, then went on to sweep the Los Angeles Kings, then went on to beat the Chicago Blackhawks in five games to get to the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in franchise history.
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They met the Montreal Canadiens in the 1989 Stanley Cup Finals for the second time (they met in the 1986 final when the Habs took that one to win the Stanley Cup).
At that time, the arena in Montreal was called the Montreal Forum. The Canadiens have never lost the Stanley Cup on home ice before. The last time a Stanley Cup deciding game was lost at the Forum was in 1928 when it was the New York Rangers against the Montreal Maroons. But the Canadiens have never lost a Stanley Cup on home ice.
This series would need six games between the two teams. The Flames won game #1 on home ice by a score of 3-2. The Habs took the next one by a score of 4-2. Then we head down to the Forum where Montreal took game #3 by a score of 4-3 in double OT. Man, I wasn’t alive at this point, but I’m sure everyone watching must have been exhausted.
The Flames took the next game 4-2. Then we go back to the ‘Dome where the Flames took that game 3-2 on home ice. Now the Flames are leading the series 3-2 and we head back to the Forum – where no visiting team has ever won the Stanley Cup.
The Flames opened up the scoring late in the first period with a goal by Colin Patterson. The Habs would tie it up early in the second period with a goal by Claude Lemieux. No need to fret though, because Hockey Hall of Famer and glorious mustache owner, Lanny McDonald, scores about three minutes later. This would end up being Lanny McDonald’s last ever goal since he would end up retiring that off-season. How sweet.
Let’s now fast forward to the third period. Doug Gilmour would score a powerplay goal to give the Flames a 3-1 lead (this would end up being the game-winner aka the cup winner). Al MacInnis had his second assist of the game and like you saw earlier above in that tweet, led the playoffs in points and assists that season. So, you already know how this story goes, but this means the Calgary Flames would win the cup for the first time (and to date, their most recent one) in franchise history!
They also did it at the Forum – something that’s never been done before. Yay Flames!
Actually fun fact, but to date, this is the most recent all-Canadian final. Yikes Canada. Let’s get our act together, hey?
What was Calgary like?
Now, like I mentioned, I wasn’t alive in 1989 to get to witness this. But my dad was and I asked him about if he remembers where he was and luckily, he does. I mean, how could you forget? But anyways, this is what he had to say about that game.
"“We were driving around in my friend’s Corvette with the roof down yelling “Go Flames Go!”. We drove for three hours just around the city yelling about the Flames. Where we would go is we would drive down the Red Mile, then turn on 11th street, go all the way around back to first street and go back again. We just kept doing that all night honking with everyone, everyone’s partying on the streets. It was so much fun. The city was so much fun.”"
Thanks for helping us get a little bit better of a feel of what it’s like to win the Cup, dad. Hopefully the team can give us another reason to drive down the Red Mile in a Corvette soon.