To say it’s been a frustrating year for the Calgary Flames is an understatement.
Sitting ninth in the Western Conference wildcard standings, with a record of 31-25-15 and 77 points, the Flames are outside the playoffs looking in.
It’s somewhere the club didn’t imagine it would be after a quick re-tooling offseason, adding the likes of Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Mackenzie Weegar to offset the losses of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau.
The Flames are the NHL leaders in games decided by a single goal with 41, and they’ve also lost the most games by a single goal (26). It hasn’t been much better in overtime and shootout either, with the club leading the league with 15 losses after the end of regulation.
If Calgary had won those games, their points total would be 92, tying them with the Vegas Golden Knights and LA Kings for the top team in the Pacific Division.
“It just comes down to one play, and we’ve got to start making that play,” Weegar said of the team’s latest OT struggle, a 6-5 loss to the Dallas Stars on March 19. “I thought we had some good chances in overtime to win, but we came up short.”
While there wasn’t much hope in Calgary’s 8-2 loss to the LA Kings on Monday night, Sportsnet’s broadcast featured a graphic highlighting just how unlucky the Flames have been this season, heading into last night’s contest.
Been a fun year. Not frustrating at all. pic.twitter.com/UrowpbjdYK
— Trevor Martins 🇵🇹🇵🇹🇭🇷🇭🇷🇨🇦🇨🇦 (@trevormartins11) March 21, 2023
Aside from their single-goal faults, the Flames have hit the post 77 times, the most in the NHL, while they’ve yet to come back from a deficit in the third period to win the game. They’ve also set an NHL record for the most losses after outshooting a team by 10+ shots, with 21.
With an average NHL post close to two inches in diameter, the Flames are roughly 12.8 feet outside a playoff spot. That’s about the size of an average elephant.
Although the Flames lost Gaudreau and Tkachuk, general manager Brad Treliving re-stocked the group quickly and likely felt he’d put the team in a solid position to match their 2021-22 success. But, alas, it’s not worked out.
Calgary has 11 games remaining in their regular season schedule and is clinging on to slim playoff hopes, with MoneyPuck giving the club a 23.9% chance of making the postseason.