A look at the Calgary Flames’ performances through season segments

Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
Folks, we’re 46 ways into the Calgary Flames’ 2023-24 season and we’ve seen some pretty good hockey and some sometimes bad hockey. (Most of the bad hockey was in October.) As we await the final three games before the All-Star Break, we thought we’d take a look at the various segments of the Flames schedule and how they’ve performed in each of them.

Segments, at a glance

Oct. 11-Nov. 227-9-32.722.5513.1%85.7%
Nov. 24-Dec. 237-6-22.442.4810.2%80.0%
Dec. 27-Jan. 277-5-0*2.312.8120.0%87.5%
Feb. 6-Mar. 7
Mar. 8-Apr. X
*-3 games left on this segment

Before the Gauntlet

7 home games, 12 away games; two sets of back-to-backs
Opponents: Buffalo, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Montreal, Nashville (twice), NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Seattle (twice), Toronto, Vancouver, Washington, Winnipeg
The Flames began their season with a 19-game run (Oct. 11-Nov. 22) that was really two runs: their opening 2-7-1 prior to Nov. 1, and then their 5-2-2 run after the arrival of Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil (which served to settle their forward lines).
Overall, the Flames went 7-9-3 in this span. Elias Lindholm led the team in points with 13 points in 19 appearances. Nobody scored more than five goals – Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman both hit that mark. Pospisil led the team in plus/minus at plus-6.
You could say this was the Flames’ “figuring it out” portion of their schedule. They were flat-out not very good early on – equal parts unlucky and shaky defensively – but once Zary and Pospisil arrived, things seemed to settle out rather quickly.

The Gauntlet

8 home games, 7 away games; two sets of back-to-backs
Opponents: Anaheim, Carolina, Colorado (twice), Dallas (twice), Florida, Los Angeles, Minnesota (twice), New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, Vegas (twice)
This was the stretch of the schedule that was considered the Flames’ “make or break.” Or, at the very least, there would be a strong indication of if the Flames were going to be a bottom-feeder or a team that had a chance at the post-season.
They went 7-6-2 between Nov. 24 and Dec. 23, in a run of tough games between American Thanksgiving and the Christmas break. Blake Coleman was a point-per-game player, and led the Flames in goals (7), assists (8), points (15) and plus/minus (plus-6). (He shared the goal lead with Yegor Sharangovich and the plus/minus lead with Noah Hanifin.)
The Flames weren’t world-beaters during this run, but proved that they could go toe-to-toe with even the league’s best clubs. (They would often lose to the NHL’s best clubs, but they gave them a fight.)

March to All-Star Break

9 home games, 6 away games; one set of back-to-backs
Opponents: Arizona (twice), Chicago (twice), Columbus, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville, Ottawa, Philadelphia (twice), St. Louis, Seattle, Toronto, Vegas
Since Christmas, the Flames have been in the midst of a schedule that hasn’t been as much of a meat-grinder as the Gauntlet was in terms of quality of opposition, but the travel has been worse.
With three games left in their 15-game run, they’re 7-5-0. Coleman leads the team in goals (8), points (15) and plus/minus (plus-14). Jonathan Huberdeau leads with 8 assists. Yegor Sharangovich and Nazem Kadri are tied with Coleman in this segment in goals.
On paper, based on the teams they were facing, this seemed like a segment where the Flames could claw into a playoff spot. They haven’t been quite that good, as a few close games have slipped away from them, but they’ve been good enough to stay in the thick of the race.
With three games left, they’re four points behind Nashville for the final wildcard playoff spot.

All-Star to Trade Deadline

7 home games, 6 away games; zero back-to-backs
Opponents: Boston (twice), Detroit, Edmonton, Los Angeles, New Jersey, NY Islanders, NY Rangers, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Winnipeg
From the All-Star Break until the trade deadline (Feb. 6-Mar. 7), the Flames play 13 games.

Trade Deadline to the Finish

10 home games, 10 away games; three sets of back-to-backs
Opponents: Anaheim (twice), Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles (twice), Montreal, St. Louis, San Jose (twice), Vancouver (twice), Vegas, Washington, Winnipeg
From the trade deadline until the end of the regular season (Mar. 9-Apr. 18), the Flames play 20 games.

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