Becoming accustomed to the Calgary Flames blowing out opponents is a novel, weird and altogether refreshing sensation.
Darryl Sutter’s team put together yet another impressive 60 minutes in a difficult place to win, Minnesota. To beat the Wild in back-to-back games by a combined 12-4 total shows just how far Calgary has progressed.
While nobody in Calgary wants to jinx it, the Flames are a bonafide Stanley Cup contender. Saying that feels even more bizarre, as the Flames haven’t been cup contenders in an extremely long time. Yes, Calgary won the Pacific Division in 2018-2019, but we all know what followed in the first round of the playoffs, a resounding 4-1 series defeat to the Colorado Avalanche.
Those very same Avalanche are far and way the pick of the Western Conference to lift the Holy Grail come the end of the current campaign. Will the Flames have something to say about their claim on Lord Stanley?
If the last month is anything to go by — and it certainly is — the unequivocal answer is yes. Calgary is like an uncontrollable wild fire, a formidable force to be reckoned with. There isn’t a single palpable weakness on the current Flames roster. From front to back the Flames are solid, arguably as solid as they’ve ever been.
Calgary has won 12 of 13 games and have tied a franchise record of 11 successive victories on home ice. It’s not just about the results, but how Calgary is dominating most games. Scoring at will and defending robustly and with dogged determination, the Flames are playing a souped up, steroid-induced Sutter brand of hockey.
Quite frankly, Calgary fans should be in dreamland. And, to a certain extent, we are. However, and this is a colossal however: everyone in the Stampede City is wondering if or when the bubble is going burst. Will we be forced to leave Cloud9 and has Sutter’s team peaked too early?
Considering the Flames sordid past, those are fair questions we won’t know the answer to for a few months, hopefully even longer.
Until then, Calgary fans can sit back and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is shaping up to be. If the Flames beat the lowly, albeit resurgent, Habs on Thursday night, they’ll shatter yet another record and claim their franchise-best 12th successive home win.
A number of the wins from the current home streak, thanks to Covid-19 restrictions, have come in a half-empty Scotiabank Saddledome. In all honesty, the Saddledome, even at capacity, hasn’t found full voice and rarely does until the postseason.
The Flames deserve yet another feather in their cap for turning the Saddledome into a fortress. Just imagine what the atmosphere in the jam-packed building will be like come playoff time, when the Flames are riding high after winning the Pacific Division.
Let’s hope that’s just the beginning of what could turn out to be a fairytale season for, on current standing, the league’s most impressive team.