Recently, Flames Have Struggled To Eliminate Opponents

So, the Calgary Flames can advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight.

Now, before everyone gets too excited – and if you’ve been following this group this year, it’s worthwhile to get a little excited – let me throw some cold water on things and keep them in perspective.

The Flames have been bad in games where they can eliminate teams from the playoffs in recent years.

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Let’s briefly touch upon the 2004 playoff run, where the Flames had the following record in games where they could advance:

  • Game 6 vs. Vancouver: Lost 5-4 in triple overtime, Canucks tied the series.
  • Game 7 vs. Vancouver: Won 3-2 in overtime to advance.
  • Game 6 vs. Detroit: Won 1-0 in overtime to advance.
  • Game 6 vs. San Jose: Won 3-1 to advance.
  • Game 6 vs. Tampa Bay: Lost 3-2 in double overtime, Lightning tied the series.
  • Game 7 vs. Tampa Bay: Lost 2-1, Lightning won series.

In 2004, the Flames went 3-3 in games where they could end a series.

Since then? Well, it’s not pretty.

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  • 2006: Game 6 versus Anaheim (lost 2-1)
  • 2006: Game 7 versus Anaheim (lost 3-0)
  • 2008: Game 7 versus San Jose (lost 5-3)

That’s right: 0-3. And that ignores their playoff appearances in 2007 and 2009, where they were never in a position to eliminate another team.

So expect tonight to be a challenge: the Canucks will not roll over without a fight, and the fourth game of a series is almost always the toughest one to win.

For the curious, Calgary’s roster from the last game where they could’ve eliminated another team – from 2008.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.43.28 PM

  • maimster

    Fun to look back at that roster – I’m embarrassed to admit I forgot Owen Nolan was on that team (or played for us). Getting old…

    Only six guys left in the league, now that Reggie has retired – Iggy, Tanguay, Phaneuf, Nystrom, Moss, Prust. Or is Sarich still playing? Man, I am getting old!

      • RedMan

        wasn’t Cory the victim of a car on bike accident that hurt his back badly in BC? or was that another ex-flames defenseman?

        edit: yes – Cory was hit on his bike, was near fatal. will not play hockey professionally again it looks

  • prendrefeu

    Yeah… but…ummm… this team is not the past teams.
    This kind of argument is similar to saying the Ducks haven’t won in Ottawa, in the playoffs, since 2007.

    Did you know that the Toronto Maple Leafs are undefeated at home in the playoffs against 28 teams since the 2004/5 lockout? That’s an amazing rate of success.


    The Flames have been bad in games where they can eliminate teams from the playoffs in recent years.

    This game happened recently, and this team eliminated the top ranked advanced stats team from the playoffs quite handily. The game wasn’t even close by the eye test, forget whatever the stats told you and look at the scoreboard.

  • everton fc

    I’m trying to figure out how their history (recently? really?) from 6 to 8 years ago has anything to do with what might happen tonight… Different players, different coaches, different management… I prefer to look back to the LA game at the end of the season, where they clinched their playoff spot. To me, that’s a more telling sign of being able to win when they need to.

    As far as the ancient history goes, losing in game 6 against Tampa (when they should have won) took all the wind out of their sails, and game 7 was a big disappointment (as a fan). They rolled over and showed their belly on that one.

  • piscera.infada

    @ Ryan Pike

    This article is irrelevant and completely misses the mark.

    “The Flames have been bad in games where they can eliminate teams from the playoffs in recent years.”

    ???…..The Flames have not been in any playoff games in recent years.

    This is a completely different team than the one that played in 2009. Giordano… the one player still around was injured at the time.

    Different coach, different playing style.

    You can come up with something better than this Pike.

  • everton fc

    Different team. Different coach.

    Might be best to see how many series Hartley has blown. I’d imagine few.

    Again, Hartley conditioned this team physically, strategically and mentally for seven-game series all season. They are reaping the fruits of this strategy.

  • piscera.infada

    While I’m excited for a Flames win, I’m somewhat hesitant to get too ahead of myself. They always say that winning the elimination game is the biggest test for a young team–it’s part and parcel of that whole “learning to win” thing.

    I’m confident the Flames can do it, but I hope it’s quick and they get it done tonight–and I have tickets to game six.

  • Unfortunately, this article seems a little irrelevant considering that there are exactly zero players on that active roster playing for us now, meaning for all intents and purposes the Flames are a completely different team.

    And like Pendrefeu said, we’ve already won the most important elimination game of the year, quite handily (for the most part), might I add.

  • RedMan

    Ugh, writers trying to string together something to say because they’re out of ideas. “Recently”, in your view, in 7 years ago. Completely different roster, different players. “Recently” the Leafs won a cup.

  • RedMan

    Sorry, but this is an entirely irrelevant point/article. It’s like saying the Nucks have come back from more 3-1 series deficits than any other team. It means NOTHING.

  • Poop

    I think this article has some value in the sense that since 1990, Calgary has been particularly bad in elimination games. Just look at the playoff history.

    That being said, that has no effect on the current team. The Flames organization could easily have 3-4 cups if they could eliminate teams.


  • beloch

    The last time the Flames were up 3-1 in a playoff series was 1993-1994. It was the Canucks they had on the ropes, and they came back to defeat the Flames 4-3 in the series.

    The current Flames team has none of the same players or staff, so this is pretty meaningless. However, it’s worth remembering that even a 3-1 lead can slip away.

    More importantly, the Ducks swept their series. If the Flames want a decent chance against Anaheim, they need to put this series away and steal a few days of rest.

  • Danomitee

    I see your point Pike but not a single player on this team played on any of those “recent history” teams. Hell, the Flames have only been out of the first round twice in the last 26~ years, but that has no effect on this roster.