One of the biggest rallying cries for how the Flames have improved over the season, at least in terms of their work ethic, has been the sheer amount of one-goal games they’ve taken part in this past season. In fact, the Flames played in 49 games decided by a goal, tying the NHL record.
But how did all these one-goal games come about? And what does the record really mean?
The Flames won 25 one-goal games. Splitting them up into third period scenarios, you get this:
- Twice, the Flames led by two after 40 and prevented a full comeback (but let them get close).
- Twice, the Flames led by one after 40 and shut down opponents in the third.
- Twice, the Flames led by one after 40 and scored enough to maintain the lead.
- Seven times, the Flames led by one after 40, blew the lead, but won in OT/shootout
- Four times, the Flames were tied after 40 and won the game outright in the third.
- Four times, the Flames were tied after 40 and won the game in OT/shootout.
- Most impressively, four times the Flames trailed by two after 40, but won the game (granted, three times that was in a shootout).
- Three times, the Flames led by one after 40 and blew the lead.
- Two more times, they blew the lead but lost in OT/shootout and at least got a point.
- Six times, the Flames entered the third tied and lost the game.
- Three more times, they lost in OT/shootout after being tied through 40 minutes.
- Three times, the Flames entered the third down by one and couldn’t close the gap.
- One other time, they did close the gap but lost in the shootout.
- Four times, the Flames trailed by two and made it a one-goal game.
- One other time, they trailed by two, forced OT but lost.
- Once, they trailed by three goals after 40 and nearly came back to tie it.
A few take-aways.
- The term “blew the lead” appears too much here (12 times). One-goal leads were rarely safe for this group, which obviously needs to change. Multi-goal leads were rarer, but much safer.
- The team had mixed results when tied heading to the third: eight wins, nine losses (three in OT). Good teams win in the third.
- But hey, the team’s “never say die” attitude is evident here: 10 comebacks from two-goal deficits, with half of them resulting in the team getting points (and the other five being a 27th-place team making it close).
In summation, the “49 one-goal games” record both praises and condemns the Calgary Flames. They had a lot of comebacks, but they also weren’t fantastic with third-period leads.