On Friday night, the Calgary Flames have an opportunity to do something they’ve only done four times since they won the Stanley Cup in 1989. They can win a playoff round.
Game 6 against the Dallas Stars is the 18th attempt the Flames will have to win the fourth and deciding game of a series. Historically, these games haven’t gone amazingly well for the club.
Brad Treliving era (1-1)
Since Brad Treliving became general manager in 2014, the Flames have been in a position to advance in a series once. They were successful, but they required two kicks at the can, going 1-1 in potential elimination games.
In 2015 against Vancouver, the Flames went into Game 5 with a chance to advance. They were out-shot 43-21 by a desperate Canucks team and lost a nail-biter by a 2-1 score. A couple days later, the Flames got down to a 3-0 deficit in the first period – starting goaltender Jonas Hiller was chased – but the Flames rallied back to tie the game 3-3, then pushed ahead and won 7-4.
Darryl Sutter era (3-6)
When Darryl Sutter was general manger (between 2003 and 2010), the Flames had six series where they could have advanced – or in one case, they could’ve had a parade. The Flames were successful in half of those series, going 3-6 in potential elimination games.
Obviously, most of these opportunities were in 2004. They needed two attempts to get past Vancouver in the first round, losing 5-4 in triple overtime in Game 6 and then winning a nail-biter in Game 7 in overtime by a 3-2 score. The next two rounds saw the Flames being more efficient, beating Detroit in their first attempt (a 1-0 overtime win in Game 6) and San Jose in their first attempt (a 3-1 win in Game 6) to advance to the Stanley Cup Final. (Martin Gelinas had the series-deciding goals in each of the first three rounds.) The Flames ran out of steam, though, losing to Tampa Bay 3-2 in double overtime in Game 6 and then losing another tight game by a 2-1 score in the deciding Game 7.
In 2006, the Flames made two attempts to eliminate Anaheim in the first round but neither were successful. They were out-shot 32-22 in Game 6, with the Ducks scoring late in the second period to get a 2-0 lead and then clogging the neutral zone for the rest of the game. In Game 7, they lost a tight 2-1 game via a Ducks power play goal with six minutes remaining in regulation.
In 2008, the Flames forced a Game 7 against San Jose but seemed to run out of gas. They had 2-1 lead early in the second period, but then they gave up four goals before the end of the period and couldn’t climb back into it. They were out-shot 41-22 in the deciding game.
Doug Risebrough era (0-6)
The Flames regularly made the playoffs under Doug Risebrough’s watch. But they simply couldn’t close out a series, going 0-6 in potential elimination games in three different series.
In 1991, the most recent Battle of Alberta in the playoffs, the Flames forced a Game 7 via Theo Fleury’s dramatic overtime winner in Game 6. Unfortunately, that game was followed by an equally dramatic Edmonton 5-4 win in overtime in Game 7.
In 1994, the Flames had three chances to eliminate the Canucks. Three times, they lost in overtime – off goals from Geoff Courtnall (Game 5), Trevor Linden (Game 6) and Pavel Bure (Game 7, double overtime) – to end up eliminated themselves.
In 1995, the Flames had two chances to eliminate the Sharks. They lost 5-3 in Game 6, then were eliminated via a 5-4 double overtime loss in Game 7 after a goal from Ray Whitney.
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