For the eighth time in franchise history, the Calgary Flames are the toast of their division. The Flames officially clinched first place in the Pacific Division on Thursday night by virtue of a victory over the Dallas Stars.
The Flames have previously finished first in their division on seven occasions: 1987-88 (Smythe), 1988-89 (Smythe), 1989-90 (Smythe), 1993-94 (Pacific), 1994-95 (Pacific), 2005-06 (Northwest) and 2018-19 (Pacific).
The Flames won the Stanley Cup after winning their division in 1988-89, but the other six times capturing a regular season pennant didn’t lead to playoff success:
- In 1988, the Flames were swept by Edmonton in the second round.
- In 1990, the Flames lost to Los Angeles in the first round.
- In 1994, the Flames lost to Vancouver in the first round.
- In 1995, the Flames lost to San Jose in the first round.
- In 2006, the Flames lost to Anaheim in the first round.
- In 2019, the Flames lost to Colorado in the first round.
All in all, in seven previous seasons that saw the Flames win their division’s regular season crown, they won a combined five playoff rounds… and four of those were in 1989.
Time will tell if the 2022 regular season pennant is followed by more post-season success.