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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Historically, the Flames have struggled to finish opponents off

On Thursday night in Edmonton, the Calgary Flames have an opportunity to do something they haven’t done since 2015 – and have done just once since 2004: eliminate a team in a post-season series. The Flames are participating in the post-season for the 30th time in franchise history and looking back, they haven’t exactly had a killer instinct in potential elimination games.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Flames’ highlights (and lowlights) when they have an opportunity to advance. In their first attempt at eliminating a team in a series, the Flames are a collective 8-15.

Got it done on the first try

On eight occasions, the Flames had a chance to advance and did so in the first game possible.

  • 1981 preliminary round: led series 2-0, beat Chicago in three games
  • 1986 division semis: led series 2-0, beat Winnipeg in three games
  • 1988 division semis: led series 3-1, beat Los Angeles in five games
  • 1989 division finals: led series 3-0, beat Los Angeles in four games
  • 1989 conference finals: led series 3-1, beat Chicago in five games
  • 1989 Stanley Cup Final: led series 3-2, beat Montreal in six games
  • 2004 conference semis: led series 3-2, beat Detroit in six games
  • 2004 conference finals: led series 3-2, beat San Jose in six games

It’s probably not a coincidence that six of the eight series were in playoff years that saw the Flames go to the Stanley Cup Final (and 1981 saw them go to the league’s final four): when you can finish your opponents off, life tends to get easier for your team.

Got it done, but took awhile

On eight occasions, the Flames had a chance to move along in the playoffs but needed multiple kicks at the can after whiffing on their first attempt.

  • 1981 quarterfinals: led series 3-1, lost to Philadelphia in Games 5 and 6 before winning in seven games
  • 1983 preliminary: led series 2-0, lost to Vancouver in Game 3 before winning in four games
  • 1984 preliminary: led series 2-0, lost to Vancouver in Game 3 before winning in four games
  • 1986 division finals: led series 3-2, lost to Edmonton in Game 6 before winning in seven games
  • 1989 division semis: led series 3-2, lost to Vancouver in Game 6 before winning in seven games
  • 2004 conference quarterfinals: led series 3-2, lost to Vancouver in Game 6 before winning in seven games
  • 2015 conference quarterfinals: led series 3-1, lost to Vancouver in Game 5 before winning in six games

We know, lots of Vancouver being pesky represented here.

Didn’t advance

On seven occasions, the Flames failed to move along despite having the chance to do so. All five series went to seven games, four of them because the Flames lost in Game 6 when they had a chance to end the series.

  • 1984 division finals: series tied 3-3, lost to Edmonton in seven games
  • 1991 division semis: series tied 3-3, lost to Edmonton in seven games
  • 1994 conference quarterfinals: led series 3-1, lost to Vancouver in Games 5, 6 and 7
  • 1995 conference quarterfinals: led series 3-2, lost to San Jose in Games 6 and 7
  • 2004 Stanley Cup Final: led series 3-2, lost to Tampa Bay in Games 6 and 7
  • 2006 conference quarterfinals: led series 3-2, lost to Anaheim in Games 6 and 7
  • 2008 conference quarterfinals: series tied 3-3, lost to San Jose in seven games