Flames Have 2 Chances to Match 10-Game Win Streak in 2022-23

In 2021-22, the Calgary Flames won 10 games in a row from Jan. 29 to Feb. 21. The streak tied a franchise record set in 1978 and matched in 2017. When the season came to a close, those wins helped propel the Flames to a Pacific Division title and reach 50 wins for just the third time in franchise history.

Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Flames look even better than they did last year, thanks to the additions of Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, and Nazem Kadri. If they want to retain their spot at the top of the division and chase down franchise records for wins and points, they need to continue to pile up the victories. There are a few spots on the schedule to go on some lengthy winning streaks. However, there are two parts to the upcoming schedule; if the chips fall in the right place, the Flames could win another 10 in a row.

The 2021-22 Flames’ Win Streak

Starting on Jan. 29, the Flames hosted the Vancouver Canucks and collected a 1-0 win in overtime. They then headed south to sweep back-to-back games against the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes before returning to the Saddledome for seven straight games. In just 12 days, they collected seven more wins, pushing the streak to 10 games.

Jacob Markstrom Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom was instrumental in the Flames’ 10-game win streak in 2021-22. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Vegas Golden Knights were shutout 6-0, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders dropping 5-2 contests. The Columbus Blue Jackets came to town and lost 6-2, with the same outcome for the Anaheim Ducks. After scoring over five goals a game during the stretch, the Flames eeked out a 2-1 win over the Seattle Kraken and a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets to end their mini homestead with a perfect record. The streak ended against the team it started with, the Canucks, in a 7-1 thumping on Feb. 24.

There are a few observations when we dig deeper into the streak. First, the Flames only beat two playoff-bound teams, the Stars (their first-round opponents) and the Maple Leafs. The Coyotes had the second-worst record in the league with just 57 points, while the Kraken finished with 60. The Ducks and Blue Jackets ended with losing records, while the Islanders and Golden Knights finished out of the playoff picture but had winning records. The Canucks, who bookended the streak, finished with 92 points, missing a wildcard berth by just five points. The Flames got the better of their British Columbia rivals by winning three of the four games on the season, only losing the game that halted the streak.

The Flames’ Potential 2022-23 Win Streak(s)

When someone looks at the Flames’ schedule for 2022-23, there are a handful of dates that people want to circle for various reasons. Whether the games are reunions with former players, or provincial showdowns, fans love anticipating the best games. For now, instead of looking for those, we will look at the right ones for the team to chase down the franchise record of ten wins in a row.

Related: Flames Have a History of 10-Game Winning Streaks.

There are two sections where, if the Flames play their best hockey, they could rattle off two extended winning streaks, putting space between themselves and other teams in the division and conference. The first stretch of games starts on Dec. 5 and ends on Dec. 23. Opponents like the Minnesota Wild, Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blues, and Los Angeles Kings are playoff teams from 2021-22. Others during this 11-game stretch include the Coyotes, Blue Jackets, Canucks, Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and two games against the San Jose Sharks.

Those teams have altered their rosters in one way or another, which means they will provide a different level of competition than the last time they met. The Flames also changed their makeup; some would argue for the better, which means they would be even tougher to play against. A handful of the teams in this stretch will not be playoff contenders, and the rest of them will be fighting for top spots in their division to avoid being a wild card team. If the Flames are serious about contending, this is the part of the schedule they put the league on notice and beat up on the weaker teams while pushing the contenders to their limits.

Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers
Newly acquired Jonathan Huberdeau has an opportunity to be a part of Flames’ history in his first season. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Something to think about regarding this part of the schedule is when the team arrives in Columbus (Dec. 9) to face off against former franchise star Johnny Gaudreau. Beating the guy who left a sour taste in the fans’ mouths would serve as extra motivation in the room to win and win big. This stretch mainly occurs on the road with three games in the east, followed by a four-game trip through California. Then, on Dec. 27, the Flames will battle the Edmonton Oilers at the Saddledome. If the team returns from their trip south on an extended win streak, momentum will be on their side as the final chapter of the Battle of Alberta comes to a close for 2022-23.

Should the Flames not secure ten wins in a row to close out 2022, they will have another opportunity at the end of the regular season. Nineteen of their final 20 games will be against Western Conference opponents with a solid mix of Pacific and Central Division teams. Depending on how things shake out, it could be feasting time for the Flames as the season winds down.

Starting on Mar. 4 against the Wild, the only team from the east the Flames will play is the Ottawa Senators on Mar. 12. Sandwiched around that game are numerous contests against the Wild (2), Stars (2), Ducks (3), Coyotes, Golden Knights (2), Kings (2), Sharks (2), Canucks (2), Chicago Blackhawks, Jets, and Nashville Predators. Only three teams made the playoffs last season, with a few taking a step back, like the Blackhawks. This season-ending stretch could be a crucial time for the Flames, who may be fighting for a playoff spot or first in the conference. No matter the time of year, every opponent poses a serious threat; however, based on trends for certain franchises, the Flames may end their regular season against some teams already out of the hunt.

Endless Possibilities for the Flames to Win Games

Predicting how successful a team will be when a schedule is released is challenging. Every team will experience peaks and valleys over 82 games since injuries and slumps are common occurrences. However, elite teams find ways to overcome adversity and get wins when they need them. Last season no one expected the Flames to tie a franchise record with ten consecutive wins, but they did it.

Related: 5 Reasons the Flames Will Win the Stanley Cup in 2022-23

After an offseason with highs and lows, many believe this year’s team is better than last season’s. On paper, the Flames are one of the most skilled teams in the league, who take advantage of opportunities and mistakes to win, even when they are considered underdogs.

To the players and fans, it won’t matter what they do in November or February; they will only care about how the team does in the spring when the playoffs start. If the opportunities are there, this team could go on several winning streaks and chase down franchise records on their quest for a second Stanley Cup championship.

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