This year’s Flames aren’t entirely lacking in playoff experience

Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
2 years ago
It’s often been said that previous playoff experience is really valuable when heading into the chaos machine that are the Stanley Cup playoffs. But players can’t get experience through any other means than surviving the post-season experience. For teams, though, the opportunity exists to supplement an existing team’s experience by bringing in veteran players who’ve been through the battles.
Looking at the playoff experience on the current Calgary Flames roster, that seems to be what Brad Treliving and his hockey ops team have done.

Stanley Cup playoff experience, at a glance

A note: We only count a player having experienced a series won or lost if they played in more than half of the games in that series.
PlayerSeries WonSeries LostFinal Appearances
Trevor Lewis1152012, 2014
Milan Lucic1192011, 2013
Tyler Toffoli952014, 2021
Blake Coleman812020, 2021
Calle Jarnkrok562017
Ryan Carpenter322018
Nikita Zadorov23n/a
Jacob Markstrom11n/a
Chris Tanev13n/a
Mikael Backlund14n/a
Johnny Gaudreau14n/a
Dillon Dube01n/a
Michael Stone01n/a
Matthew Tkachuk02n/a
Elias Lindholm02n/a
Andrew Mangiapane02n/a
Rasmus Andersson02n/a
Noah Hanifin02n/a
Erik Gudbranson03n/a
Daniel Vladar, Oliver Kylington, Brett Ritchie and Adam Ruzicka have no significant NHL playoff experience, though Vladar and Ritchie have appeared in playoff games.

Some notes on experience

First and foremost, take a look at the top of the list and then look at PuckPedia to see which players were the most recent additions by the Flames. Go on, we’ll wait. Yeah, it seems that the Flames were really specific with the types of players they brought in for the post-season. Before these adds, the Flames had just two Final appearances on their entire roster. Now they have 10 – the club also added and then lost Brad Richardson, but his experience for Ryan Carpenter’s is basically a wash. The blueline group is still lean compared to the forward group, but the two external additions from Summer 2020 were Nikita Zadorov and Erik Gudbranson, who have a combined eight playoff rounds between them. If the idea is youth, speed and talent on the top lines and pairings, supplemented by experience on the bottom half of the lineup… that kind of makes some sense.
In addition to having a breadth of playoff experience, these Flames have a few players who have played in really weird playoff rounds:
  • Milan Lucic was part of the infamous Boston comeback from down 3-1 to Toronto in 2013 – y’know, the series that broke Steve Dangle’s brain.
  • Lucic was also part of the Bruins team that was up 3-0 to Philadelphia in 2010, only to lose in seven games when the Flyers won three in a row.
  • Tyler Toffoli and Trevor Lewis were teammates on the Kings team that was down 3-0 to San Jose in 2014, only to roar back and win four games to win that series in seven games.
All-in-all, adding these experienced pieces could give the younger Flames some idea of how to deal with challenging circumstances, since between epic wins, epic losses and trips to the Stanley Cup Final, there won’t be very many occurrences that somebody in the locker room won’t have seen before.


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