The Calgary Flames schedule was released over a month ago back on June 22. Today, we break down their schedule in terms of their strength of schedule, difficult back to backs, and if their schedule is favorable to them making a run in the playoffs.
The Calgary Flames schedule will of course feature 82 games, that’s a given. But what has changed from last season to this is that the Vegas Golden Knights will be on the schedule a solid four times this year. With an expansion team coming into the Flames division, those should be favorable matchup for the Calgary Flames. But first, we will look at what could be the two toughest stretch for the Flames this year.
Game 1 in October is as meaningful as Game 82 in April..let’s not forget
The other stretch that could be difficult for the Calgary Flames this upcoming year is their first month of the season. You could say the first six games are going to be tough, but the entire month will not be easy. There is only one…yes one game against a team who will likely finish in the bottom of the standings this year. The Flames play Vancouver on the 14th of October. This would likely be the easiest game for the team in October. Seven of their thirteen games in October are against playoff teams from last year.
It is extremely critical for the Calgary Flames to start off well in October, because a poor start could derail any playoff hopes for a team looking to contend this year. Two seasons ago, the Flames started off a despicable 3-9-1. This led to missing the playoffs despite clawing back into playoff contention later in the year. The team cannot start off horribly like they did two seasons ago if they want to think about hoisting Lord Stanley in June.
WHY OCTOBER COULD BE TOUGH
Teams like Carolina, Winnipeg, Dallas and Los Angeles will prove to be tough games for the Flames. These are of course winnable games, but they will not be easy matchups for the Flames. Factor in the Battle of Alberta to open the year, as well as a trip to Anaheim on October 9th, the Flames will be in for a tough start to the year. They face two back-to-back matchups this month. Their first will be on the 13th and 14th against both Ottawa and in Vancouver. Their second back-to-back is on the road in both St. Louis and Nashville on the 24th and the 25th. This could prove to be a tough two games as back-to-back games are never easy.
October will not be an easy month for the Calgary Flames. It is important to treat Game 1 like it is Game 82. Matching up against your bitter rival could help that intensity be there, no doubt.
Pile Up The Points While You Can
A belated gift from Valentines Day could be the way the Flames end the month of February. While they finish a six game road trip on the 15th in Nashville, the road gets a touch easier from there. From February 17th to the 28th, the Flames will play teams who all missed the playoffs from a year ago. One of those matchups will be their first trip to T-Mobile Arena on The Strip in Las Vegas. While this stretch of six games features two back-to-back matchups, the Flames should not fear what their schedule holds. The Flames face Colorado twice, Arizona and Florida once, as well as a date in Dallas. These games have been favorable matchups for the Flames in years past.
This appears to be the best stretch of hockey for the Calgary Flames this year, and if the Flames can snake in a six or seven game winning streak, it will likely be during this time in February.
Try to Take More Games into Overtime
The Calgary Flames only lost four games in overtime or a shootout last year. Calgary won 45 games in the regular season, yet finished in the first Wild Card spot last year. For example, those pesky Anaheim Ducks won only one more game than the Flames did last year. But, they gained nine more points than the Flames did by losing 13 games in Overtime. That is how the Ducks were able to secure home ice advantage in the opening two rounds.
While you never want to support losing, by any means. But putting an emphasis on trying to get a tough matchup to overtime could help the Flames land a few extra points in the long haul. It would be significant for the Flames if they are able to match or exceed their win total from a year ago. It would be even more significant for them to increase the number of losses in overtime from four as well. Every point matters, right?
Overall…A Balanced Schedule
The Flames don’t have an “easy” schedule by any means (they’ll be travelling 47,931 miles throughout their schedule, the second highest of all the teams!). Nor do they have the hardest schedule either. They feature some favorable stretches, as well as some difficult patches too. The Flames will go on two six game road trips, as well as a four game road trip during the season. They feature a tough schedule in 2017, as 23 of their first 37 games will be against playoff teams from a year ago. Now having said that, the Flames should fare well against these squads. This team matches up well against teams such as Nashville, Dallas, Minnesota and Vancouver.
The Flames face Vancouver four times in this stretch. They face Nashville and Minnesota each twice. They also face Dallas twice during this period, too. It is important for the Flames to start the season well, as that could sink their playoff hopes. To think that if they can rack in 14-16 points in October, it could give them some leeway down the stretch if they were to falter slightly.
The Flames have a very fair schedule, with difficult games and some not so difficult on there too. They can find a way to use their schedule to their advantage, this team should be able to top their win total of 45 from a year ago.
You can find the Calgary Flames schedule here:
Take a peek at it, and see which games you can attend. Whether it is at the Scotiabank Saddledome or in another city, this is a team you do not want to miss out on this upcoming year.