The five worst starts in Flames history

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.

  • Newbietwo

    It’s clear to me we have had to many bad starts to seasons period.. if your going to build a team build it right take the time and forget about the short cuts

  • beloch

    It’s interesting to note that the Flames are 9th in the league for ES CF%, and 15th for all situations. They’re also the fifth most penalized team right now, with the fifth worst PK%. To be fair, playing the Oilers and Canucks has probably fluffed the Flames fancy stats up a little. However, even if the team has serious problems with its systems, at least some things are working.

    If the Flames can reign in their penalties and play with some of the discipline they had under Hartley, things are going to start tilting in the right direction. If Gulutzan’s focus on special teams eventually brings the PK around, things are going to tilt. When Elliott gets his mojo back, things are going to tilt. When Gulutzan’s systems start to sink in and we get past the new coach issues, things are going to tilt. If Gulutzan learns from these losses and adjusts his systems and player deployment, things are going to tilt.

    Bottom line, there’s still plenty of room for optimism. The team has a tough stretch of games coming up and we should expect some losses. However, don’t be surprised if they win some too.

    • FISTO Siltanen

      Oilers had a very strong CF% to start Dallas Eakings last season in 2014-15. People were amazed they were losing the scores were so high. And the Flames that year…they had a pitiful CF%. All season long commentators kept reminding everyone that the law of averages would work out. That the Flames weren’t that good and were getting nothing but lucky breaks. And the Oilers were really good but the breaks weren’t breaking their way.

      We know how that story turned out.

      Good luck against Chicago.

  • Druds

    Hey I thought you guys had the best defence in Canada?

    remember when you stole Hamilton from the Oilers and how great you guys were now?

    Now Giordano’s 6.7 million is like a stone around your necks…

    karma is a bitch!

  • Armchair genius

    Just lucky Talbot played awful, allowing the Flames a few fancy stats! This team looks like the Oilers of the past, good on paper, terrible on the ice. Btw, Kris Russell is +7 and has 5 points. Say what you want about his time in Calgary, but with a decent squad of forwards in front of him he looks pretty damn good, even against the bigger and heavier Blues! I feel sorry for Geordano as he will probably never live up to that big extension that kicked in, too late, too old, and too damn slow! This defensive crew in Calgary was supposedly one of the best in the league, but pulled down by substandard goaltending, what is substandard this year??? I think this tire fire is going to burn for a long drawn out season, the Flames will be lucky to have double digits in the win column by Christmas!

    • Greatsave

      Let’s see… Kris Russell in 2016-17, 105.5 5v5 minutes, 61.98 CA60, 45.8% CF, 4.55 GF60, 72.7% GF, with a PDO of 109.0. Yup, you’re getting the best of Russell alright.

    • Achilles

      I would take a tire fire of a season over a decade of the putrid, listless, embarrassing, and unashamedly tanking hockey the Oilers have put on display.

      But really, congratulations on the stellar six games they have strung together. Five more years and maybe the Oilers will even break even.

      • shaner

        Or heaven forbid…… another 5 cups…god I wouldn’t mind the flames being crap for 10 years to get a generational talent that leads us to the promise land, we’ve already been mediocre or junky 5of the last 6

  • Greg

    PDO is in the pooper, things will balance out. If a team got 3 points in 6 games in February, we’d barely notice, but everything gets so blown out of proportion in October. It’s not like the Canucks are really going to contend for the Presidents trophy after all 😛

  • Eggs Bennett

    Flames started 4-7-2 in 2005-06. Kipper was 4-6-2 with 0.898 SV% and 3.09 GAA in 11 games. They won 8 straight en route to the NW title that year. Kipper finished with a 0.923 Sv% and 2.07 GAA and the Vezina.

    Too early to count this Flames team out, especially with the way they played last night.