Calgary Flames six-game road trip: Under the numbers

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 15: Sean Monahan /

The Calgary Flames return home in high spirits after winning four of six on their extended trip, beating some of the most proficient home sides in the league. 

You can bet the Flames’ locker room at the Scotiabank Saddledome is buzzing with vibrant vibes after holding on for dear life against Nashville last night.

Other than one glaring error, David Rittich stood on his head to get the Flames across the line. The road warriors finished the trip with a 4-2 mark, improving their record in unfriendly environs to 17-7-5, second best in the league.

A deep dive into the stats shows some revealing trends from the Flames’ extended sojourn.

Overall trends

Most impressive was the Flames’ never-say-die attitude. Forced to consistently dig themselves out of a hole, Glen Gulutzan’s side conceded the first goal in all but one of the six encounters.

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Calgary scored the opener against New Jersey but otherwise faced an uphill battle.

Their ability to flip the momentum, particularly in inhospitable surroundings, stands out as one of trip’s main highlights.

The Flames out hit all six teams on the trip, showcasing their eagerness to boss the physical aspect of each game.

Special teams

Last night’s contest against Nashville buoyed Calgary’s overall special teams numbers. Two big powerplay goals against the Predators improved substantially their success rate on the trip. In the six games, the Flames went 4/20 with the man advantage, a 20 percent success rate. That’s almost three percent higher than their season average.

Calgary successfully killed off 21/26 penalties, a one percent improvement on their season average. They killed off all five penalties against the Predators, once again bolstering the numbers.

Top individual performances

Johnny Gaudreau is on an eight-game point streak, the diminutive Flames winger scoring three and adding six helpers on the road trip. Linemate Sean Monahan enjoyed a prodigious road trip, too, notching two goals and five assists.

Dougie Hamilton scored two big goals while Matthew Tkachuk was the sole reason Calgary won in Brooklyn. Tkachuk scored three and added two assists but was most influential against the Islanders and Predators, where he had multi-point games.

How did the Flames fare in the third?

This category was a bit of a mixed bag for the Flames, who trailed once, led twice and were level in the three remaining outings going into the last stanza.

The only game they trailed, against the Islanders, the Flames turned it around to win the contest, thanks to Tkachuk’s third period heroics.

The Flames were decidedly shaky when leading after two. They held on to the win in New Jersey and coughed up the lead to the Rangers, losing 4-3 at Madison Square Garden.

Calgary were on a level playing field going into the third with the Blackhawks, Predators and Bruins. As I’m sure you’ll recall, the Flames only loss of the three came in Beantown against a prolific Bruins side. Otherwise, Calgary nosed ahead in Chicago and Nashville in the final frame and held on to victory.

Next: Rittich comes up big in Smith's absence

In terms of goals for and against, the Flames scored 18, the same amount as they conceded. Currently the only team in the Western Conference in a playoff spot with an overall negative goal differential, the Flames’ focus is now squarely on improving their thoroughly disappointing home record.

Stats aside, Calgary enjoyed a superb stint on the road which was earmarked by Rittich standing in expertly for Mike Smith in Boston and Nashville.