As we begin to enter the quiet of summer, we can’t help but look ahead to next season. So we’ll be doing a month-by-month preview of the upcoming season.
We’ll skip past training camp and preseason straight to the regular season.
10/04 at Edmonton, 10/07 vs Winnipeg, 10/09 at Anaheim, 10/11 at Los Angeles, 10/13 vs Ottawa, 10/14 at Vancouver, 10/19 vs Carolina, 10/21 vs Minnesota, 10/24 at Nashville, 10/25 at St. Louis, 10/27 vs Dallas, 10/29 vs Washington
Home/Away Split: 12 Games, 6 Home, 6 Away
Divisional Split: 4 - Pacific, 5 - Central, 1 - Atlantic, 2 - Metropolitan
Games vs 2016-17 Playoff Teams: 7
Back to Backs: 2
vs Oilers in 2016-17: 0-3-1
Notable Oilers Summer Moves: Traded Jordan Eberle to NYI for Ryan Strome, Extended Kris Russell and Connor McDavid, Signed Jussi Jokinen
The Flames didn’t beat the Oilers once last season and the Oiler fans have let Flames fans hear about it all summer. All the power to them, but a win on opening night in Edmonton would be great to shut them up.
Game 2: Flames vs Winnipeg Jets (40-35-7, 5th in Central, Missed Playoffs)
vs Jets in 2016-17: 2-1-0
Notable Jets Summer Moves: Signed Steve Mason
The Jets stayed fairly quiet this summer other than adding Steve Mason to their goaltending fold. Goaltending was the main reason the Jets struggled last year, but hopefully it struggles on this night and the Flames get a win in their home opener.
Game 3: Flames @ Anaheim Ducks (46-23-13, 1st in Pacific, Lost in 3rd Round to Nashville)
vs Ducks in 2016-17: 1-4-0
Notable Ducks Summer Moves: Extended Patrick Eaves, Signed Ryan Miller
Without a doubt the best part of the Ducks summer was finding a way to keep their great defensive core together. The Flames will get an early chance to end their losing streak in Anaheim but at the very least it’s better that a loss happens now than later in the season. I hate the Ducks so a win would be very nice.
Game 4: Flames @ Los Angeles Kings (39-35-8, 5th in Pacific, Missed Playoffs)
vs Kings in 2016-17: 3-2-0
Notable Kings Summer Moves: Fired Darryl Sutter (HC) and Dean Lombardi (GM), Hired John Stevens (HC) and Rob Blake (GM), Extended Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, Signed Mike Cammalleri
The Kings are a curious team in the sense that they could choose to go for a rebuild but are saddled by big long term contracts so they have to keep building for the present. Thus they signed Cammalleri who returns to LA where his career began in 2002-03. Hopefully LA is stuck in the mushy middle again this year.
Game 5: Flames vs Ottawa Senators (44-28-10, 2nd in Atlantic, Lost in 3rd Round to Pittsburgh)
vs Senators in 2016-17: 2-0-0
Notable Senators Summer Moves: Extended Mike Condon, Signed Nate Thompson
The Senators shocked a lot of people with their run to the Eastern Conference Final last season which ended in overtime of Game 7. They barely made any changes to their team so they could make that push again. The Flames will have to break through Ottawa’s strong defensive shell to win this game.
Game 6: Flames @ Vancouver Canucks (30-43-9, 7th in Pacific, Missed Playoffs)
vs Canucks in 2016-17: 2-1-2
Notable Canucks Summer Moves: Fired Willie Desjardins (HC), Hired Travis Green (HC), Extended Erik Gudbranson, Signed Michael Del Zotto, Sam Gagner, and Patrick Wiercioch
Vancouver is an odd team in that they finally seem to be embracing the rebuild but then go out and sign players to help them in the present. On paper it should be a win, but the Flames often struggle in Vancouver and it is on the second half of a back-to-back.
Game 7: Flames vs Carolina Hurricanes (36-31-15, 7th in Metro, Missed Playoffs)
vs Hurricanes in 2016-17: 1-1-0
Notable Hurricanes Summer Moves: Acquired Scott Darling, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Marcus Kruger, Traded Eddie Lack, Signed Justin Williams
The Hurricanes are a lot better than people give them credit for and could be a playoff team this season. The Hurricanes finished 8 points shy of the playoffs last year while playing in hockey’s toughest division. They have a young core and made some smart moves in the offseason, and could be very good next year.
Game 8: Flames vs Minnesota Wild (49-25-8, 2nd in Central, Lost in 1st Round to St. Louis)
vs Wild in 2016-17: 3-0-0
Notable Wild Summer Moves: Traded Marco Scandella and Jason Pominville to Buffalo for Tyler Ennis and Marcus Foligno, Signed Kyle Quincey
For the most part the Wild didn’t make many changes this offseason which is kind of puzzling. The Wild do have a really strong team but haven’t been able to make the jump in the playoffs. They have the cap space to add but chose not to. Minnesota was the only Western team besides Colorado that the Flames swept last season.
Game 9: Flames @ Nashville Predators (41-29-12, 4th in Central, Lost in Cup Final to Pittsburgh)
vs Predators in 2016-17: 1-2-0
Notable Predators Summer Moves: Acquired Alexei Emelin, Signed Scott Hartnell and Nick Bonino
Why change what isn’t broken? The Predators went on an inspirational run to the Cup Final in the playoffs and showed that regular season records don’t matter come playoff time. In three games last year these two teams combined for 22 goals so it should be an entertaining game.
Game 10: Flames @ St. Louis Blues (46-29-7, 3rd in Central, Lost in 2nd Round to Nashville)
vs Blues in 2016-17: 2-1-0
Notable Blues Summer Moves: Acquired Brayden Schenn, Signed Chris Thorburn and Beau Bennett
Calgary reversed their recent trends against the Blues last season by winning the season series against St.Louis for the first time since 2010-11. The Flames won twice in St. Louis last season, the first of which was a 4-1 win on October 25. It was their first win in St. Louis since April 1, 2011. Hopefully Calgary can do the same this year.
Game 11: Flames vs Dallas Stars (34-37-11, 6th in Central, Missed Playoffs)
vs Stars in 2016-17: 2-1-0
Notable Stars Summer Moves: Fired Lindy Ruff (HC), Hired Ken Hitchcock (HC), Acquired Ben Bishop and Marc Methot, Signed Martin Hanzal, Tyler Pitlick, and Alex Radulov
In my opinion the Stars had the best offseason in the entire NHL, bolstering a group that was already strong but dragged down by subpar goaltending. Dallas will be a formidable group next season and this early season matchup could be a good measuring stick for the Flames. This game also signals the beginning of a season-long seven game homestand.
Game 12: Flames vs Washington Capitals (55-19-8, 1st in Metro, Lost in 2nd Round to Pittsburgh)
vs Capitals in 2016-17: 0-2-0
Notable Capitals Summer Moves: N/A
This summer was mainly subtracting for the Washington Capitals as they lost players such as Kevin Shattenkirk, Karl Alzner, Justin Williams, and had to trade Marcus Johansson for cap space. The Capitals will still be a strong team next season but they’ve lost a decent amount of their core, so it’ll be interesting to see how they adapt.
That’s it for the month of October for the Flames. Outside of the seven playoff teams Calgary will be playing, LA, Dallas, and Carolina will present challenges to the Flames and even the Jets could be better. I’d say the only “easy” game could be against Vancouver but even then, the Flames are playing their second game in two nights.
Calgary went a combined 19-18-3 against these opponents last year.
The importance of a strong start can’t be overstated for the Flames after they’ve gotten out to 3-8-1 and 4-5-1 starts in the last two seasons respectively.
How many wins do you think the Flames will get in their first 12 games?
How many wins will the Flames get in their first twelve games?
This poll is closed
3 or Less
10 or More