The Calgary Flames are off to a less-than-stellar start to the 2016-17 season. They have one win through their first six games and the next four games look tough: Chicago, St. Louis, Ottawa and Washington.
How does the Flames’ stumble out of the starting blocks compare with some historical opening skids?
1995-96: 3 POINTS
In the first full season since their first lockout, the Flames were really bad in their first 10 games. They went 0-7-3, though they made it to overtime four times (losing once and tying thrice). Their most painful loss was the one that came immediately before their first win: a 7-2 shellacking at the hands of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The Flames finished 34-37-11 and made the playoffs.
1997-98: 4 POINTS
It took the Flames seven tries to get their first win (in their fourth overtime game in a row) and 12 games to win twice. They opened 1-7-2 and finished 15 games below .500, missing the post-season by a country mile. This was the single worst season, points-wise, in franchise history.
2015-16: 5 POINTS
Ah, memories. The Flames were just awful in their own end and began 2-7-1. In an odd quirk, both of their wins came in overtime. They had just two one-goal losses during this span and most of their games were not close for their duration. They missed the playoffs.
1999-2000: 6 POINTS
These Flames went 2-6-2 to start. Aside from a 7-1 loss to St. Louis, none of their losses were utter thumpings. As with 2015-16, both of their wins came in overtime. They missed the playoffs.
1981-82: 6 POINTS
In their second season in Calgary, the Flames began the year with a tie with Vancouver and a win over St. Louis. Then they lost five straight, finally winning again with a 7-3 drubbing of the Hartford Whalers. Much like 1999-2000, this was a 2-6-2 start, but this one was arguably better because none of the losses were complete laughers and they at least clobbered the Whalers during that span. They ended up making the playoffs.