Who Calgary Flames fans should cheer for in the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Mar 5, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) fight in the third period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 5, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) fight in the third period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

With the Calgary Flames officially out, it’s time to secondarily root for another team to hoist the Stanley Cup.

It’s never ideal to cheer for another team. But, for Calgary Flames fans looking for another thrill this postseason, there are some solid teams remaining in the final four.

A lot of fans have two alliances. Their home team in this case the Flames and typically an eastern fan base. Some like to cheer for a favourite player, city or you just like the team because they have nice colours.

There are at least two organizations left that Flames fans might not cheer for: Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. However, for the purpose of fun, we’ll still make an argument for each.

We’ll begin with the most obvious bandwagon to jump on.

Colorado Avalanche

In 2014-2015, Flames fans might’ve been seen rocking some Avalanche gear. Former Calgary captain Jarome Iginla had signed with the other Rocky Mountain team on a three-year deal. Iggy had two respectable seasons with Colorado and even wore the ‘A’ on his jersey. Do Flames fans still thank them for taking care of our captain and cheer them on?

Well even if you’ve moved on from Iginla being on the team, there’s still a Calgary connection. Defenceman Cale Makar is from YYC. He played his childhood seasons in the northwest part of the city and eventually found his way down to Brooks, Alberta. With the Brooks Bandits, he cemented his future NHL status and was drafted by the Avs. The Makar family still resides in Calgary. If the Avalanche win the Stanley Cup, will Makar bring it home for his day to celebrate?

If neither of these resonates with you, just knowing Colorado could take out the Edmonton Oilers should be all the reason you need.

Tampa Bay Lightning

2004 is still extremely fresh in Flames fan’s minds. As it should. But the Lightning has been exceeding expectations the last few years. They won the Stanley Cup in Edmonton during the ‘bubble playoffs.’  Then proceeded to follow it up with another celebration. Whatever they’re doing, it’s working great.

Tampa Bay also has a Calgary connection in forward Brayden Point. The kid who played a few games with the Canmore Eagles of the AJHL had been outstanding in the playoffs in 2020 and 2021. He lead the Lightning with 14 playoff goals in 2020, which is a franchise record. Point has been injured this time around, but there’s a hope he plays in the Eastern Conference Finals and potentially the Stanley Cup.

The Lightning also boasts the league’s best playoff goaltender in Andrei Vasilevskiy. He has six (!) shutouts in series-clinching playoff games. Vasy is a perfect 10-0 in potential elimination games since 2020.

And hey, if they end up playing Edmonton…

Edmonton Oilers

This is going to be a tough sell. They’re the last Canadian team in the playoffs. And as Canadians, we hear all the time about the Stanley Cup drought. A few teams have been close, the Flames in 2004, Edmonton in 2006, the Ottawa Senators in 2007, the Vancouver Canucks in 2011, and the Montreal Canadiens in 2021.

Read more: Ranking the top 5 coaches in Flames history

With a dynamic player like Connor McDavid, the Oilers are Canada’s best chance of bringing the Cup home.

New York Rangers

Maybe the dark horse in regards to teams remaining. The New York Rangers came off a thrilling seven-game series with the Carolina Hurricanes led by goaltender Igor Shersterkin.

Shersterkin is also nominated for the Vezina trophy with Flames keeper Jacob Markstrom. He played in 53 games, and won 36 of them with six shutouts. He also posted a .935 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average. All were career highs.

New York also has a couple of Calgary connections. Defenceman Adam Fox was with the Flames organization. It didn’t end well between Fox and the Flames faithful. But a connection which did have a happy part is current Rangers hockey consultant Doug Risebrough.

The former Flames head coach, general manager, and captain won the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989. He also helped lead them to President Trophies.

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Whether you root for the Oilers, Avalanche, Rangers, or Lightning or decided to stay neutral and watch something else, enjoy the final month of hockey until September.