Through 63 games, the Calgary Flames are among the top teams in the National Hockey League, and they’re starting to get serious buzz league-wide as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Over at Daily Faceoff, our colleague Matt Larkin recently penned a piece looking at the common ingredients for Stanley Cup championship teams over the past 10 seasons.
His conclusion: Calgary’s local sports team has all the ingredients of a Cup contender.
Here’s how Larkin framed the exercise:
Out of pure curiosity, I broke down the past 10 Stanley Cup champions in various categories in search of meaningful correlations. What common traits do the best teams share? Can those characteristics predict the next Stanley Cup champ?
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We’ll let you go over to Daily Faceoff to delve into all the nuts and bolts of his exercise – it’s quite detailed and thoughtfully laid out – but here are the bullet points: Stanley Cup-winning teams tend to be heavy, have at least one top-10 scorer, have a top-10 goalie, be strong at puck possession, have a strong penalty kill, have players who have won Cups previously, and they usually make at least one addition at the trade deadline.
While the defending two-time Cup champions in Tampa Bay fare well under Larkin’s exercise, they don’t check every box on his list.
They’re not the team that meets every single criterion on the list though. That’s the Calgary Flames. Check out these specs:
– Fourth-heaviest team in the NHL at an average of 202 pounds
– Two top-10 scorers in Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk
– A top-10 goaltender in Jacob Markstrom
– Second in the NHL in CF%
– Fourth in the NHL in penalty killing (85.4%)
– Multiple players with Cup rings (Coleman, Tyler Toffoli, Milan Lucic etc.)
– Made at least one trade-deadline deal (Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Carpenter etc.)
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So if you’re still on the fence about the playoff potential of the Flames, or merely want to have ammunition when you argue with your Leafs fan friends and relatives about which Canadian team has the best chance to hoist the Cup, feel free to pull out Larkin’s list and proclaim the Flames as the team with all the common ingredients of recent Cup winners.

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