Things to watch for in Flames vs Seattle Kraken

CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 29: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames in action against the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on January 29, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Flames defeated the Canucks 1-0 in overtime. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 29: Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames in action against the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on January 29, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Flames defeated the Canucks 1-0 in overtime. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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The Calgary Flames look for their ninth straight win on home ice and successively as they host Mark Giordano’s Seattle Kraken for the first time. 

Calgary has an 11-2-0 record since Jan. 18, the league’s best record in the last month. It’s not only their formidable record but the nature of dominance that has the league taking notice.

The Flames have won all of their last five home games by three goals or more for a combined 30-8 margin. Calgary has 56 goals in the first period, the third most in the NHL. When Darryl Sutter’s team starts fast, they rarely take their foot off the gas.

The Flames’ dominance out of the gates is a key variable in their recent success. When leading after the first period, Calgary is 20-4-1, a winning percentage of 80. When leading after two, Calgary has a near unblemished 20-0-1 record.

Usually when the Flames lead after two, they have a big buffer, allowing the team to play safe and loose. Sutter’s team has a knack for squashing the opposition’s hopes of a comeback.

Against Anaheim on Wednesday was yet another shimmering example of Calgary’s propensity to land the knockout blow. The Ducks scored early in the third to cut the deficit to two, giving the away team a glimmer of hope.

But the Flames counterpunched with lethal force, scoring the next two and creating bundles of chances to increase the lead further. The Flames have 28 wins on the season, 19 of which by three or more goals. That’s the most lopsided wins in the NHL.

The looming question is whether the Flames will improve their success rate in close games. Calgary has only won 46 percent of one-goal games so far this season. Unless they can continually whitewash teams, an improbable outcome, they’ll need to improve their ability to win close games.

Flames faithful will be excited to see former captain Giordano return to the Saddledome tonight. Though hopefully it doesn’t distract the teams from the task at hand, which is incredibly unlikely considering how well Sutter has prepared the Flames in the last month.