Right now, the Calgary Flames look like a legitimate Cup contending team on paper. But we know how dangerous it could be to get our hopes up.
The Calgary Flames are now ready for contention. The team knows it, the fans know it, the management knows it.
On paper, this team looks stacked. Their top two lines both contribute primary scoring and are both effective powerplay units. Even the third line looks decent with Kris Versteeg on there, as long as Sam Bennett can step his game up a bit, which fans are hoping he can with playing along veteran Kris Versteeg, then the Flames have three extremely solid lines.
Now their top-four at the blue-line is easily in the top three in the league. Maybe even top two, right after the latest first time Cup contenders, the Nashville Predators. Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton were already the best defensive duo out of all Canadian teams and one of the best in the entire league. Now with the anchor that was Dennis Wideman being gone and the Flames adding Travis Hamonic to be T.J. Brodie‘s partner, this is a dangerous top-four.
The Flames also have Michael Stone as that fifth defenceman, really stacking up their entire blue-line. And if someone were to get injured (knock on wood), then we know from last season that Michael Stone can perform just fine as a top-four as well.
The Flames also solidified their crease. They added veteran Mike Smith, who may not seem like the best option right now. But with the defensive core he has in front of him and with him doing well with even-strength save-percentage over the last two seasons, the team has hopes for him.
Hope is a dangerous thing
We also have to face the facts – not everything on paper is what it seems. We’ve even see that with this team with fourth overall selection Sam Bennett. He’s definitely under-performed compared to expectations and hasn’t exactly lived up to “highest ever draft pick in Flames history” hype.
And we’ve also seen that happen with other teams. Let’s look at a Calgary Flames foe – the Edmonton Oilers. Having four first-round selections in a six year span wasn’t enough to get them to the playoffs. They didn’t make it until a year after winning four first selections – three in a row. Three years ago, the Oilers were extremely solid on paper. But they were continuously one of the last teams in the league.
We’ve seen it happen and we’ll continue to see it happen. While we should all be excited about the Flames upcoming season, as Flames fans, we know better than to get our hopes up. Come on now. We weren’t born yesterday.
Like I said, hope can be a dangerous thing.