We’re coming up on the end of the regular season, and the possibility of a Calgary Flames playoff appearance has generated some questions about how much post-season NHL experience is on the roster.
So let’s take a look. You can split the group into three categories – a bunch, some, and none.
A BUNCH OF EXPERIENCE
Jiri Hudler leads the Flames with 66 playoff games (and he has a Stanley Cup ring from his time with the Detroit Red Wings). The silver medalist is Mason Raymond, with 55 playoff games, and a finals appearance with the Vancouver Canucks. Dennis Wideman has 44 games under his belt. Jonas Hiller has 26 playoff contests, all with Anaheim, while Brandon Bollig has 24 games (and a Stanley Cup ring from a couple seasons ago with Chicago).
As you can see, the experience is very clustered.
Deryk Engelland and Kris Russell both have 13 playoff games. David Jones has 10 games. Both Raphael Diaz and David Schlemko have 9 games, though Diaz’s primarily came during last season’s Rangers run last year where he made it to the finals. Finally, Matt Stajan has 3 games and Joe Colborne has 2 games.
Mark Giordano has 4 games, but he’s injured and won’t play.
The remaining roster players (and Ladislav Smid) have no NHL playoff experience: Karri Ramo, T.J. Brodie, Mikael Backlund, Lance Bouma, Paul Byron, Michael Ferland, Johnny Gaudreau, Josh Jooris, Sean Monahan, Emile Poirier and Drew Shore.
Now, let’s not pretend that NHL experience is all that matters. Granted, it’s important, but several players have other big-game experience in their backgrounds:
- Karri Ramo played in the KHL championship series (the Gagarin Cup) in 2012
- Jonas Hiller has played in two Olympics for Switzerland, as has Raphael Diaz
- Johnny Gaudreau has won an NCAA championship, and a World Junior gold medal, and played in the World Championship
- Kris Russell played in two Memorial Cups and two World Junior tournaments
- David Schlemko, Mikael Backlund and Lance Bouma also played in a Memorial Cup, while Michael Ferland played in two
- Matt Stajan played in a World Junior tournament, as did Drew Shore
So there’s a lot of big-game experience in that room. Not as much as they’d probably hope to have, but there’s a decent base for them to work off of.