It was on this day back in 2019 that the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks by a 5-3 score and clinched their first Western Conference title since 1990.
— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) March 31, 2020
That 5-3 victory over the Sharks at this point last season meant that the Flames won their first division title in 13 seasons (2005-06) and clinched the Western Conference title for the first time since 1989-90. Overall, it was the team’s seventh division title in franchise history and fourth conference regular-season title. With the win, the Flames had locked in their position in the standings and all that was left to do was play out the string.
After the victory, Mark Giordano had this to say about his team and the position they put themselves in:
“It feels a lot better when you win your way into these positions. We’ve had a good year, a good regular season, but we know the work lies ahead in the playoffs. But we won’t take this for granted. It’s an accomplishment by our team to finish first in the West and obviously not an easy thing to do. We’ll enjoy it, but we’ll get geared up here now for the playoffs.”
The Calgary Flames were officially the best team in the West and on April 1st, we further broke down the victory:
Back on Dec. 8, the Flames took over the top spot in the Western Conference. It was a delight that they made it there at all, and that late in the season at that; a fun little blip as we got to look forward to the start of the Flames’ window opening. But then they kept pace with the top teams in the Central. And in January, took it back over. And aside from a day here and there, just never really gave it up.
This was both the most inevitable and unexpected conclusion to the regular season. They’re really the best in the West. Over the course of a 79-game season, they’re really that good.
What we wouldn’t give to go back to the feeling we all had after beating the Sharks to lock down the top spot in the West. At the same time, this win and conference title feels like it happened a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? So much has changed since that night and it’s almost unbelievable that this news happened only 12 months ago. Be safe, everyone.