219Glen Gulutzan
Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn / USA Today Sports

Can the Flames hit the 100 point mark in 2017-18?

We’re in the final days of August and hockey news is at a premium, but a few interesting morsels came out of Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson’s lengthy Q&A session with Calgary Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan published earlier this week. (If you haven’t checked it out, there’s a lot to unpack.)

One interesting notion that got me a bit intrigued was Gulutzan emphasizing the importance of managing expectations for the team. After a season that saw them finish with 94 points and a wildcard playoff berth, Gulutzan has the bar set just a little bit higher: a 100-point season.

A 100-point season is a nice round number, a strong benchmark of success, and really tough to actually achieve. In 45 seasons of existence, the Flames franchise has only had four 100-point years: 1987-88, 1988-89, 1990-91 and 2005-06. (The Flames were quite good in the late ’80s.)

That said, the Flames have been close in two of their last three years. In 2014-15, the “Find A Way Flames” season where everything went right, they had 97 points but fell on their faces the following season. As mentioned before, the Flames had 94 points last season and would need to eke out three more wins (or turn a few regulation losses into overtime losses) to hit three digits.

There are a couple areas that seem ripe for improvement.

The Flames finished the season off on a tear, going 19-6-1 over February and March before finally slowing down when the calendar turned over to April. The team’s crazy finish got them into the playoffs. But it was a requirement, because the team was bad in October and November – posting a combined 11-13-2 record, hardly the stuff of playoff dreams. While it’s unlikely that the Flames have another insane eight weeks of lights-out spring hockey in them, improving their first few weeks of the season will go a long way towards both giving them a buffer in the standings for the latter part of the season and pushing them towards the 100-point mark. The team will need to play .610 hockey to hit 100 points, but avoiding the crazy ebbs and flows of the season will make reaching that mark a lot easier.

The Flames generally did a good job squeezing points out of the majority of their opponents during the season, but they went winless against three teams: Edmonton, the NY Rangers and Washington. One of those stings more than the others, and it’s also a sign of the greatest opportunity for improvement for the club: their record against their own division.

The Flames went 18-13-1 against the Eastern Conference, the second best record among the Pacific teams. They went 14-7-0 against the Central Division, which was tops in the Pacific. Within their own division, they eked out a .500 record (13-13-3) and were middle of the pack. They don’t have massive room for improvement against the Pacific, but they do have the benefit of facing Arizona, Vancouver and Vegas (expected in many hockey circles to be among the league’s worst teams) a combined dozen times, and five cracks at Edmonton will also help – they earned just a single point against them last season.

Can the Flames make it to 100 points? It’s doable, but they’ll need a better start to the season and an improved record against the Pacific (and to avoid any other area of their game seriously regressing in the meantime).

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  • Carl the tooth

    Northerlights(Brian ) you paid for that tranny in Mexico . I feel any one was hurt it was you and your paidfor Adam’s apple message ! No wonder you like mcdouche . I told your wife about it too . Lol

  • Baalzamon

    I knew Oilers’ fans were insecure (for good reason) but I had no idea it was this bad. Maybe you guys should seek help instead of spending all your time seeking validation from us. We can’t fill that void in your heart.

    Signed: a friend

    • #97TRAIN

      You talk about insecure? There are 3 or 4 guys. Tooth ,puckhead,theo and all they do is talk about degrading sexual things on here and you think that’s ok. They could choose to stay out of the gutter but they jump right in.

    • I am Batman

      It’s just funny to us how flame fans come out guns blazing and all when the core of your team already lost 4 consecutive times to the core of our team. Flames fans even go as far as saying the Flames are better when they did not beat the Oilers in any category, leave alone games won.
      Sure. It’s a new season but all bashing and chirping aside flames fans don’t have legs to stand on criticizing the Oilers present.
      They can critique the decade of darkness but I’m sure the flames had dark seasons too and they only have one cup.
      As for the future, that isn’t here yet; and we can argue all day about prospects and depth, but when a team has the best player on earth, not a lot can go wrong….

      • TheoForever

        Yeah, only remembers 1 year back or 30 years, and nothing in between. Your bubble is about to burst, Oiler regression in a month, will need popcorn. By then you will gone.

        • I am Batman

          Lol “theoforever “…. how long ago was Fleury a Flame? It was not exactly yesterday, was it?
          Remind me again of all the glory years the shames had in this past decade that you are so fixated about (understandable since you are 12), how many cups? How many amazing deeds? Not too many?
          Yeah, yeah, regression…. cheers to all the goals ancient Smith is gonna let in, and here’s to mcdavid getting 10 of his points against the Shames only.
          Enjoy the summer, the best thing about it for you is that the flames haven’t lost one game this year yet. Come October 4, the losing shall begin…..

          • Off the wall

            I’m all for a little fun and banter, it makes the BOA a little more exciting.

            However, when we start getting off track, (personal attacks, childish name calling, sexual innuendos) it goes beyond the banter stage. It sends the wrong message and contributes nothing.

            Drawing an imaginary ” line in the sand” would display proper respect and would go a long way in fostering hockey talk vs mundane and trivial topics.

            Let’s be better FN. This is our site, no need to get dragged into unnecessary material.

            Rant over, fight nice!

    • Mr. J

      You know Bring the fire 2.0 is rattled by the comments when he resorts to calling people pu$$ies LOL Theo and bring that fire think this public forum website is designated for Friends and family only or something lol go for a walk or a hike. Just relax a little, this is the BOA. How could ever get so
      Rattled by a few facts thrown your way? I don’t see anyone on ON crying there eyes out over the flames fans on ON. Now let the season begin so the flames can start that march towards 100 points lol it’s only happened once in the last 28 years 😬