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.
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.
- 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.