The Flames are ending 2015 on a high note, with a record-breaking 11 straight wins at home after Sunday night’s 5-3 win against the Oilers.
There hasn’t been a sorry crowd at the Saddledome for a Flames home game since October 30, when the team lost a dismal 6-2 to the Montreal Canadiens. Throughout November and December, the team, led by coach Bob Hartley, managed to pull off a win every time they played on home ice.
In the same time frame however, they lost nine out of 12 away games.
“We love playing at home. We’re pretty comfortable playing here and we have a good atmosphere and a lot of fun playing here,” said Johnny Gaudreau who scored twice last night.
The previous team record was 10 straight home wins set back in November and December 2006. Looking at the big leagues, the Flames are almost halfway toward the NHL record set by the Detroit Red Wings in 2010-11 with 23 home wins. But it hasn’t always been easy for the local boys, who started the season out on rough ice.
“At the start of the year we struggled on home ice. That’s not like us. This is a place we need to win hockey games,” Matt Stajan said after Sunday’s game. “When we came for that big homestand, I think we played Dallas… we had a meeting. It wasn’t just about winning games at home. We’ve got to start stringing a bunch of wins together. Home ice is going to be key and we were able to do that. It’s a comfortable place for us. It has been, even in the playoffs last year. I think we’re going to rely on this to be a place for us to hopefully give us some wiggle room here down the stretch to gain some points and get into the playoff picture.”
With two more home games left this year, fans will be looking at the Flames to keep their record moving. The team plays Anaheim at 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Pacific Division leading Los Angeles on Thursday to close out the calendar year.