The Calgary Flames were the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot, having punched their ticket to the dance back on March 17. They’re also very close to clinching first place in the Pacific Division and the Western Conference. This would mark the Flames first divisional title since 2005-06, and their first Western Conference title since 1988-89.
With all that success, it’s reasonable to assume that the Flames bandwagon could start filling up for the playoffs, both with fans of other teams and casual Calgarians.
If you’re one of these people, I’d like to welcome you aboard and give you ten things you should know as you join the bandwagon.
Ten Things to Know
- #12: Now I’m sure even the most casual of hockey fan knows that Jarome Iginla was and to an extent still is the face of the Calgary Flames franchise. The Flames retired his number #12 earlier this season, which was the third number ever retired by the organization. Iginla joined Lanny McDonald (#9) and Mike Vernon (#30)
- The Past: The Flames have only won the Stanley Cup once during their franchise history, back in the 1988-89 season. That team was led by the aforementioned McDonald and Vernon. They’re also the only team in franchise history to have more wins in a season than this year’s team.
- The Dome: It may be old, but man can the place still rock! There’s no doubting that the place will be packed with 19,289 screaming fans as the C of Red Playoff Edition returns! If you’re not wearing red, you’re not welcome! The Flames have made the Dome a hard place to play this year as they have the third most home wins at the time of writing.
- The City: Obviously the Flames are the only Calgary team in the Big Four sports leagues in North America and are always the centre of attention, but that gets ramped up to a whole new level in the playoffs. Don’t be surprised when you see people in downtown trading in their suits for Flames jerseys on gamedays during the workweek.
- The Red Mile: It’s THE PLACE TO BE before, during, and after every Flames game if you’re not attending. The city recently delayed construction in the area to ensure Flames fans can gather at full strength this spring. Expect things to only increase in intensity if the Flames make a run.
- The Jerseys: The Calgary Flames will be donning their tremendously beautiful retro jerseys at home for the duration of the playoffs. No more needs to be said.
- The Big 5: Calgary has been led all season long by their big guys, not that they don’t also have depth scoring. The Flames are currently the only team with 5 guys with more than 70 points. Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, and Mark Giordano lead the way.
- The Young Guns: After initiating a full-scale rebuild during 2012-13, the Flames are finally fully seeing the payoff as they have 10 guys under 26 years old in their lineup. Especially watch out for Matthew built-for-playoff-hockey Tkachuk even though he’s apparently not respected according to some guy on a bad team.
- Big Save Dave + Mike: Contrary to popular opinion, the Flames goaltending really hasn’t been all that bad this year. Sure it’s had its ugly moments but they do have the 9th least goals allowed in the league. Smith has cleaned up his game for the most part, and Rittich has been pretty consistent all year long. Calgary won’t need a superstar in net for the playoffs, just consistent netminding as their skater depth can handle the rest. Did we mention Big Save Dave is awesome?
- The Coach Fits the Bill: After a disappointing 2017-18 season the Flames hired Bill Peters to be their new head coach. He turned out to be a perfect fit for the team and is now heading to his first playoffs as an NHL head coach. He’s also tough as hell, taking a puck off the chin earlier in the year.
- Edmonton Sucks
Is there anything else you think new fans should know? Leave them in one of our various comments sections! And as always, Go Flames Go!