Everyone is buzzing about the Calgary Flames and their NHL-leading 10-game win streak.
Except for their coach.
Darryl Sutter is dulling the excited chatter a bit.
“I don’t put a whole lot into 10 in a row unless they were 10 in a row in the playoffs,” Sutter said after a franchising-tying 10th-straight win, matching 10-in-a-row runs from February 21 to March 13, 2017, and from October 14to November 3, 1978 as the Atlanta Flames.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 22, 2022
He’s not wrong, though.
The measure of success isn’t tying a regular-season franchise record, or setting an 11-, 12-, or even 13-gamer that’ll rewrite the regular season record books.
Success is measured in May and June.
But that doesn’t make Calgary’s recent run any less fun.
And there’s a lot of fun to be had right now.
In addition to tying the franchise mark for most consecutive wins — which the Flames have outscored opponents by an impressive 42-15 gap –, Calgary also established a new NHL record, becoming the first team in NHL history to sweep a homestand of at least seven games.
They outscored opponents 33-10 on the slate and scored five or more in five straight contests.
The seven-game run also helped push the Flames within one of tying another franchise record, this time for most consecutive wins at home. They sit at 10, with the record within reach this Saturday. The mark to match is 11, set from November 5 to December 27, 2015.
Oh yeah. They’ve outscored opponents 46-12 during that run.
“The two things, the constants, that have been asked about us are about the streak and how many goals we’re scoring,” Sutter said. “Well, if you look at the streak and when we were scoring four or five goals, they were just coming in bunches. You’ve got to play low-scoring games. It’s very simple.
“For this outfit here, that’s the way it’s gonna work. Their mantra was ‘outscore the other team.’ Hasn’t worked for several years. You’re just going to try to outscore their team. You’ve got to be able to shut teams down and take advantage of it, and how you do that is is getting that identity at home. Very simple.”
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 21, 2022
It’s had opposing coaches pretty complimentary of Calgary of late.
It’s also built a bit of a cushion for the Flames, who lead the Vegas Golden Knights by four points for first in the Pacific Division with a pair of skates at hand, and a seven-point edge with a game at hand on the third-place Edmonton Oilers.
“A cushion is a pillow with feathers, right?” questioned Sutter. “Every game you lose, you take a few feathers out.”
That padding was bolstered by another franchise best.
Elias Lindholm pushed Calgary’s overall winning streak to 10 games, the home run to double-digits, and the full sweep of the seven-gamer at the Saddledome via some late-game heroics in an eventual 3-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
His goal came with 47 seconds remaining in regulation to break open a 1-1 tie with Winnipeg.
It gave Lindholm goals in eight straight skates — tying the two best runs in franchise history. Gary Roberts scored 10 goals during an eight-game goal streak from January 28 to February 16, 1993, and Kent Nilsson scored eight during an eight-game goal streak from November 12 to 29, 1983.
Lindholm has nine in his run.
“Ten in a row is nice,” said Lindholm, who also has three straight game-winners to tie another all-time team-best. “Ten in a row, that’s good. We were struggling a little bit there before we started the streak. It was just nice to see it go in. It was a tough game. It was tight, not a lot of chances, but we stuck with it.
“Ten in a row feels pretty good.”
But not as good as a few playoff wins strung together.