Calgary Flames Tuesday Roundtable: Predicting Where They’ll Finish This Season

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 4: Johnny Gaudreau
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 4: Johnny Gaudreau /
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CALGARY, AB – APRIL 19: Anaheim Ducks against the Calgary Flames during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 19: Anaheim Ducks against the Calgary Flames during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Question #1 – With the additions to the team, where in the Pacific Division do you think the Calgary Flames finish this upcoming season?

Jonathan Boulanger – 2nd. As much as it pains me to say this, I believe the Oilers will finish first in the Pacific. However, the Flames are on par with them and it is going to be a heck of a dogfight for top spot. The Battle of Alberta is going to be something special this year.

Tomas Oppolzer – I fully expect the Flames to be in a dead heat with Edmonton for the Pacific division crown. San Jose is getting older and aren’t the same team that went to the Stanley Cup final two years ago and Anaheim will be missing some key players to start the season. This coupled with Calgary’s bolstered blueline and without the need to adjust to a new coach again should really help them have a great regular season.

Benjamin Prokopy – Top 3 in the Pacific. In contention for first. I like the Flames chances in the Pacific division this year. However, that may be because I think the Pacific may be the weakest division in the NHL.

Last year, it took 46 wins to make the playoff cut in the Pacific. Now, let’s assume that is the magic number this year.  Assuming Bennett is with the team come training camp, and the team doesn’t suffer from weak start disease, then 46 wins should be easy. Anaheim made no significant changes in the offseason, except for the addition of Ryan Miller as John Gibson‘s backup. As such, I think we’ll see the same from them as last year.

(This might be a previous playoff run goal…but its still a good one)

That’s as much noise as I think the state of California will make, though. Los Angeles may fare better with a healthy Jonathan Quick, but that will be only quick thing about them. I am not convinced they got any speedier. And I’m not sure who will score goals for them.  The same is true for San Jose: great goaltending with Martin Jones and an OK top 4 D. But who is putting the puck in the net?  Also like LA, speed will be an issue. As for Arizona and Vancouver…they will continue to be Arizona and Vancouver. ‘Nuff said.

Really, that leaves Edmonton as the only team other than Anaheim capable of the 46 wins. That should be simple enough, assuming a healthy Connor McDavid and a defense corps that continues to overachieve (as I felt they did last year).

Ian Gustafson – I think the Flames will finish in second or third in the Pacific Division. I hate to say it but I think the Oilers will most likely be first in the division. If the Flames can start the season off really well then they will finish in second ahead of the Ducks. If the chemistry on every line is good, the flames will finish first.

Ramina Shlah – I think they’ll definitely finish in the top three in the Pacific division. They may even finish as one of the top teams in the Western Conference, but while they do look awesome on paper, we can’t always depend on that. I’m hoping they’ll live up to their “Cup Contention” hype.

Dan Raicevich – I agree with my colleagues above, the Flames will compete for the top spot in the Pacific this season. They are an underrated team as viewed by most. They continue to improve and have arguably one of the best general managers in the league. I think the worst case scenario for them is they finish third place and start on the road in Edmonton or Anaheim in the opening round. I seriously do think they could win the Pacific Division this year and here is why.

The defensive group is much better than in years prior, and is neck and neck with Nashville for the best in hockey. They have enough firepower up front in order to score goals. Now granted they do not have Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, but Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and the supporting cast have much more to give in the transitional year they had last season. Mike Smith is a consistent starting goaltender and is an upgrade over Brian Elliott. If Eddie Lack can find his game he had in Vancouver, the Flames will be in great shape to try to capture their first division crown in over a decade.