Despite no playoffs, there’s still a lot for the Calgary Flames to play for in Game 82

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames will host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night at the Saddledome. And after that? Well, that’s it for the 2023-24 season for the locals. But despite the season ending with no playoff appearance for the Flames, they still have a lot of things to play for.

Blake Coleman and Nazem Kadri chase 30 goals

A couple Flames can join teammate Yegor Sharangovich in the 30 goal club on Thursday night. Both Blake Coleman and Nazem Kadri enter the game with 29 goals on the year.
Coleman scored his 29th on Mar. 29 against the Kings but has been out day-to-day with an injury since Apr. 9 – head coach Ryan Huska said prior to the trip to Vancouver that the hope was Coleman would play in the finale. Kadri has been on a tear lately. He scored his 24th in the same game Coleman scored his 29th, and a two-goal outing against Arizona two games ago got him to 29.
Kadri has surpassed 30 goals twice in his career – back-to-back 32-goal seasons in 2016-17 and 2017-18 with the Maple Leafs – but Coleman has never done so in the NHL.

MacKenzie Weegar chases 20 goals

MacKenzie Weegar enters Thursday’s game with 19 goals on the season.
Let’s let Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson tee it up: “In the two decades since the NHL started tracking some of the less sexy stats, no player has ever finished a season with 20 goals and 200 blocked shots.” If Weegar can score against San Jose, he’ll become the first official member of the 20 goals and 200 blocks club.
Additionally, if Weegar does it at even strength, he’ll set a Flames single-season record for even strength goals by a blueliner. Weegar’s never scored 20 in his career before. Heck, his single-season high prior to this year was eight.

Rasmus Andersson chases 200 points

Rasmus Andersson enters Game 82 with 199 career points. If he hits the scoresheet, he hits the double-century mark.

Connor Zary chases bonuses

Finally, rookie Connor Zary is the only Flames player that could attain some performance bonuses for the 2023-24 season. According to our pals at CapFriendly, Zary has $212,500 in potential performance bonuses available this season, and these would be achieved by attaining what are termed “Category A” bonuses. The maximum any player can attain on any single type of Category A bonuses is $212,500 – if a player has the maximum of $850,000 included out in their contract, it’s usually achieved by them converting on four different types of Category As, at $212,500 apiece.
Here’s what Category As boil down to the following types of statistics and achievements:
  • Top six among forwards in aggregate or per-game ice time (42+ games played)
  • 20 or more goals
  • 35 or more assists
  • 60 or more points
  • 0.73 or more points per game (42+ games played)
  • Top three among forwards in plus/minus (42+ games played)
  • Being named to All-Rookie Team
  • Being selected to play in the All-Star Game
  • Being named All-Star Game MVP
Now, without spoiling anything, while the All-Rookie Team remains on the table for Zary, the only thing that can be decided by Thursday’s game is whether Zary finishes top three among Flames forwards in plus/minus.
Heading in, Zary is +11, third among Flames forwards (behind Blake Coleman and Martin Pospisil) and ahead of Andrew Mangiapane at +6.  He seems well-positioned to finish in the top three, but hockey’s weird sometimes and we’ll have to see how Thursday’s game unfolds.
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