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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

The next Flames win will make a bit of history

It’s been an impressive year for the Calgary Flames. They enter the third-to-last weekend of the regular season in first place in both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. And their next victory will make a bit of franchise history.

The Flames enter Saturday’s action with a 46-21-7 record and 99 points through 74 games. With eight games left, they’re very likely to set some franchise history in wins and points.

Points

The Flames franchise has hit 100 points four times in its history: 1987-88, 1988-89, 1990-91 and 2005-06. It’s been 13 seasons since the Flames have crept to that mark and with their next win or extra time loss, they’ll reach that level for the fifth time.

More impressive is how quickly the Flames could reach 100 points:

  • They needed 69 games to reach 100 points in 1988-89
  • They needed 76 games to reach 100 points in 1987-88
  • They needed 79 games to reach 100 points in 2005-06
  • They needed 80 games to reach 100 points in 1990-91

(All but 2005-06 were in 80-game seasons.)

If the Flames get a point (or two) against Vancouver, they’ll become the second-fastest team in franchise history to reach 100 points in a season.

Wins

Points are nice, but the most important statistical category in hockey is wins. And the 2018-19 Flames have won a lot of hockey games. They’ve already captured 46 wins, something they’ve done only six other times in franchise history.

But for some reason, things thin out quite a bit after 46 wins. Flames teams have won 47 or more games just twice: 1987-88 and 1988-89.

Again, this year’s team is impressive in its ability to accumulate wins quickly:

  • They needed 72 games to win 47 in 1988-89
  • They needed 77 games to win 47 in 1987-88

As long as they don’t go cold for a few games, they’ll be the second-fastest team to 47 wins in franchise history.

Locking down a prime playoff spot

The easiest path to a championship is winning a division or finishing at the top of a conference. The Flames are chasing down both of those things right now.

In part due to the prominence of the Edmonton Oilers during much of the 1980s, the Flames have only captured regular season division crowns six times – in 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1993-94, 1994-95 and 2005-06. It’s been so long since they won their division that the division they won no longer exists. Three times they also won their conference’s regular season point race: 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90.

Long story short? Seasons like this are exceedingly rare.

    • Bawcos

      Point totals go up no doubt, but the wins are impressive. This team will soon have more wins than any other Flames teams save the Cup champs of ’89. Keep in mind the Flames this year have not won a single shoot out. Loser points/ 3on3 OT wins aside, this is an impressive season.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    “The Flames franchise has hit 100 points four times in its history…”

    Remember the beginning of last season?

    Gully: “Let’s be a 100 point team.”

    • The Red Knight

      We had the 100 point team just not the coach till this year, how many loser points does Flames have ? Not many, how many goals did they score in those previous 100 point seasons?

  • Honkydonk

    I care only about the fact that we have a team that cares about effort. They actually want to play as a team and tries to win every hockey game.

    That’s what excites me as we finally have that with foundation of some sorts behind it with the likes of Dube and Valimaki and others yet to fully establish themselves also.

    It’s much easier to manage a team from some sort of position of strength when you are negotiating trades, and free agent signings when you have all of the above.

    • Albertabeef

      Considering the teams we had to play against back then and a weak a$$ NHL this year. Ya I totally agree. Not to take anything away from what we’ve done this year. It was just a tougher league back then. Back then only 2-3 teams sucked instead of 18 this year. Like seriously 8 teams are still fighting for the last wild card spot? Yuk! The hapless Oilers and Nucks are still in the race? Parody in the our ever expanding league means all teams suck, except for a lucky few?

  • Juxta

    For everyone complaining about the loser points, did you just skip over the discussion of wins? Still one of the best records ever with or without loser point impacts

    • canadian1967

      Yes, The Flames are having a good season. Here are some recent teams to have similar win/point totals.
      2015/16 Florida 47 wins 103 points
      2013/14 Colorado 52 wins 112 pts (after picking 1st at the draft)
      2016/17 Montreal 47 wins 103 pts
      82 pts in 15/16, the 71pts in 17/18

      Yes, I believe we ARE good, and set up to be good for a while, but…

      • Albertabeef

        Um I do not like that comparison. Those three teams ALL suck! One brilliant year and then blah. There is a strong possibility all three are missing the playoffs this year. I’d rather compare to Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago(though they are having a bad year), Boston, or even TB. Teams that have been dominant for 10+ years.

    • Albertabeef

      Enjoying doesn’t mean you have to like loser points. Some people hate the fact you get rewarded for being a loser. Stupid media types like to call a 12-12-8 team 500? They just omit these losses like they never happened. I freaking hate it!!!!

  • Sticktap

    Some of you commenters really know how to kick the fun out of a great season. Lighten up already. Everything in the league is different than the mid 80’s. Why diminish the job the team has done? GFG

  • Day1-Cfan

    Watched this team from the start and this season has been one of the most gratifying. They have kept my interest the whole year.
    I can not wait for the playoffs to get started, watch the Red mile go crazy with all kinds of interesting fans getting into the spirit! What a blast coming up.
    Win or lose great time to be a Flames fan. Also this could be the way the spring will be for Flame supporters for the next few years with the talent we have.
    Kick the Canucks butt tonight. GFG!

  • Albertabeef

    That Smythe Division hasn’t been around in a long time. Saying things like “It’s been so long since they won their division that the division they won no longer exists” is redundant in Bettmans ever expanding NHL. Formats keep changing and too many teams means there’s less chance of winning a specifically named division.

  • Korcan

    True, the 80s teams had no loser point; they also had no salary cap, which meant there were some BAD teams back then. Imo the parity in today’s salary cap era brings balance to the loser point as there were more “easy wins” back then. 100 point seasons should be respected regardless of the decade in which they were earned. GFG!

    • Albertabeef

      1989 Calgary finished the season 43 points ahead of Vancouver. THAT Nuck team pushed us all the way to the brink before we knocked them out. We lost 3 games to the Nucks and then we only lost 3 more the rest of the playoffs.

      In 88-89 there we two teams over 100 points. There was 22 points separating 3rd to 15th place in the league. This season 4th place to 24th is separated by 22 points. That means there are way more crappy teams today. More “easier wins”. You don’t have to grind out 8 games per division rival anymore. League talent is washed out by too many teams. Must be time to expand again. Pointing out these things does not make anyone disrespectful to what out boys have accomplished. Some people just like to do a more realistic comparison.

  • LannyMac

    I can be the most negative MFer on this site on any given evening. I hate to admit it but I was in my early to mid teens in the mid to late 80’s. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to see quality teams like that again. Sure 05/06 was a good season, argue it all you want but Kipper was unbelievable that season best ever for this franchise. 03/04 was bittersweet but unsustainable with the lack of talent. This is different this is, next to the eventual cup winners, Tampa very high end talent, young, and sustainable. Thank you Brad, Bill, and for the most part hard working players for making it enjoyable to be a flames fan again.