Calgary Flames Daily: Looking to break over a decade-long curse

CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Matthew Tkachuk
CALGARY, AB - APRIL 19: Matthew Tkachuk /

The Calgary Flames play at the dreadful Honda Center tonight where they’ll be looking to break over a decade-long curse. Let’s check out some news.

The Calgary Flames will be playing the Anaheim Ducks tonight, trying to break a curse that’s been plaguing them since 2004. The Flames now have 24 consecutive regular-season losses against the Ducks – an NHL record.

Tonight, Jaromir Jagr still won’t be in the lineup. He hasn’t practiced all summer basically since he didn’t even know if he would be playing in the NHL again. And he missed training camp and preseason. So understandable that he still needs time to adjust. But the Flames lineup looks quite different tonight:

Johnny Gaudreau – Sam Bennett – Curtis Lazar

Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg – Sean Monahan – Micheal Ferland

Tanner Glass – Matt Stajan – Troy Brouwer

Related Story: The decade-long curse of the Honda Center

In the game against the Winnipeg Jets, midway through the game, the Flames coaching staff switched up the lines a little bit. They put Johnny Gaudreau with Sam Bennett and Curtis Lazar and they put Kris Versteeg with Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland instead. And that was very beneficial. The Flames went on to score five unanswered goals and Johnny Gaudreau had a four-point night.

Curtis Lazar easily had this best game in a Flames jersey yet, and I even put out a piece earlier this morning talking about why he deserves to be in the Flames lineup and I added all the reasons why. Based on advanced stats, Lazar had the best CF% with CF of 17 and CA of 6 (stats from Natural Stat Trick).

Johnny Gaudreau also played the best in that game when he was paired with Curtis Lazar. In 4:55 TOI of them two playing together, Johnny had CF of 11 and CA of just 2. Johnny that night in total, had 11:30 TOI and had CF of 15 and CA of 12. His CF% without Lazar was sub-30%.

I’m glad the Flames coaching staff are confident enough to separate Gaudreau and Monahan and spice things up a little bit. I’m glad this also means that when Jaromir Jagr joins the lineup, hopefully if Lazar keeps up his performance, he’ll also be in the lineup.

And hopefully with these new line combos, it’s enough to break the Honda Center curse. And good thing Mike Smith doesn’t care about the curse.

Via Calgary Herald:

"“I don’t think you can (explain it),” he continued, as the team sets out on its’ first California road trip of the 2017-18 campaign. “Every game is different but it’s not like you’re going in there and trying to lose. I think you’re going there and trying to win hockey games wherever that may be. But every game is different and every year is different. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t really care about a streak in the past because I haven’t been a part of that.“I couldn’t honestly care less about what’s happened before. I’m focused on going in and try to win a hockey game.”"

By the way, in Smith’s last four starts in the Honda Center, he’s 2-1-1 with a 1.69 GAA and .950 SV%. Everyone cross your fingers.

Some links surrounding the Flames

Flames enter Haunted Honda Center hoping to break curse (Calgary Herald).

Preview: Calgary Flames @ Anaheim Ducks 10/8/17 (3/82): Is Tonight The Night? (Matchsticks & Gasoline).


Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL

Ovechkin named NHL’s first star after seven-goal week (Sportsnet).

Matheson signs eight-year contract with Panthers (

Maple Leafs off to historic start (

Next: Curtis Lazar deserves to be in the lineup

That’s all in today’s Flames Daily! Let’s hope this is the last we have to hear about this stinking curse.