The Calgary Flames, perhaps mercifully for their fans, have just one game left in their 2022-23 season.
With Monday night’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, the Flames have officially found themselves on the outside looking in of the 2023 NHL postseason.
After finishing the 2021-22 season atop the Pacific Division, merely making the playoffs seemed like the bare minimum of success for Calgary this season.
Of course, the team had some high-profile departures in Johnny Gaudreau via free agency to Columbus and Matthew Tkachuk via trade to the Florida Panthers, but the return of Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar along with the contract signing of Nazem Kadri seemed to mitigate most of those absences, at least on paper.
In practice (and in games), the Flames never really found their mojo this season, and will be heading home for an extended offseason following Wednesday night’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
Calgary had a slim chance of keeping their playoff hopes alive with a win in any fashion last night, but now sit too far out of reach to nab the eighth and final playoff spot in the NHL’s Western Conference.
Here’s how Flames fans took the loss that officially knocked them out of playoff contention:
Welp. Bye Brad, bye Sutter, bye Lucic, among others. https://t.co/MsSz1AlJMJ
— Alexis 🏳️⚧️ (@alesolren) April 11, 2023
Worst overtime team I've ever seen, and I sure wish we had Mike Smith back out of retirement. I'd bet my house he's better than markstrom
— FTM. cryptojunkie (@MathewR20747423) April 11, 2023
You can’t win if you don’t outscore the opponent. Flames 17 losses in OT or the Shootout cost them making the playoffs. Even if the scored on 50% of those they bank 8 more points and they are in. Team needs some goal scorers
— Vic (@kelownaolde) April 11, 2023
— Annie (@ae_drinnan) April 11, 2023
Just the average life of a #Flames fan. 🙁 https://t.co/KyePIOvxQn
— Jalil-Ferary (@ChpWTD22) April 11, 2023
If there’s anything to look forward to for Flames fans at this point, it might be the NHL Draft Lottery coming up next month.
Although based on the current rules, the team’s actually too far out of the running to have a shot at the No. 1 overall pick and the chance to draft phenom prospect Connor Bedard, as teams are only eligible to move up 10 spots should they win the draft lottery. The Flames currently have the NHL’s 14th-worst record, meaning they’d draft fourth if they do see the lottery balls go their way come May 8.
Back to the drawing board, we guess?
The Flames close out their season tomorrow night, with an 8 pm ET puck drop at home against San Jose.
- You might also like:
- It's over: Flames eliminated from playoff contention in 2023