Flames not taking foot off gasoline after formally clinching playoff spot

Flames not taking foot off gasoline after formally clinching playoff spot

CALGARY — The Calgary Flames’ season began with the easy hope of getting again to the playoffs.

It has progressed to the purpose the place twice within the final month the Saddledome trustworthy have punctuated blowouts with chants of “We Want 10.”

Under the tutelage of Darryl Sutter the bar has actually been raised ’spherical these elements.

That occurs when a workforce is dynamic sufficient to show a 1-0 deficit 30 seconds in, right into a 9-1 slaughter.

Okay, the opposition was bottom-feeding Arizona.

Nonetheless, you possibly can’t blame a raucous gathering of Dome dwellers for being in a celebratory temper.  

In the identical week Johnny Gaudreau eclipsed the 100-point mark, his workforce lastly adopted go well with.

Given the place Gaudreau and his Flames had been a 12 months in the past, a reasonably wholesome debate could possibly be had round which century mark is extra stunning.

Heck, we may add a 3rd one in there quickly, as Matthew Tkachuk is now simply 4 factors away from triple-digits.

Either means, the resurrection of Gaudreau and Tkachuk has performed an enormous function in Saturday’s affirmation that the Flames have formally had their ticket punched to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

An Edmonton Oilers win earlier within the day over Vegas put an x beside the Flames within the standings the place they’re additionally seemingly days away from clinching the Pacific Division.

Yet, there they had been Saturday evening, lining up towards the NHL’s worst workforce with the very same lineup Sutter hopes to open the post-season with.

No relaxation until you’re injured, as Sutter has proclaimed.

“I don’t really care about the game, all I’ve got to say is, friggin’, with two weeks left in the season we made the playoffs,” stated Sutter, whose membership moved to 101 factors with seven video games left. 

“Give the players lots of credit. That’s all that matters. There isn’t anybody in this room that would have said that six months ago.”

Indeed, the tide has turned dramatically in Calgary, very like Saturday’s recreation wherein the Flames trailed 1-0 after one, solely to blow up with 4 objectives in 2:33 to open the second.

Given how beautiful the franchise’s turnaround has been after going via a training change and lacking the playoffs final season, one thing like a nine-goal celebration is hardly stunning anymore.

By evening’s finish Gaudreau, Tkachuk and linemate Elias Lindholm every had 4 factors apiece to get the occasion began.

“It’s a huge accomplishment for our team from where we were at last year and where we are this year,” stated Gaudreau, who now has 105 factors.

“I’m proud of the guys in the locker room. We’ve got to try to put ourselves in a good spot for the rest of the year and try to get home ice the rest of the playoffs and get ready for round one.”

This workforce is amongst Cup contenders now with the brawn, stability, goaltending, aim scoring and construction to make loads of groups across the league painfully conscious the Flames are nonetheless the most well liked workforce within the NHL for the reason that all-star recreation.

One of the questions now revolves round how Sutter will go about making an attempt to assist the membership preserve its profitable methods via seven extra video games of standard season play.

Three years in the past, when the Flames clinched the west convention common season crown at roughly the identical time, the workforce struggled to take care of their depth and dominance down the stretch.

Five video games into their first spherical sequence towards a surging Colorado membership that 12 months, the Flames had been unceremoniously bounced, leaving a mark all Flames veterans maintain vowing they’ve realized from.

We’ll see, because the stability of the schedule is crammed with a mishmash of playoff misses (Chicago, Vancouver, Winnipeg), in addition to groups additionally doing their greatest to place themselves for the spring showcase (Dallas, Nashville twice, and Minnesota).

“Just looking back at that 2018-19 year we had guys sitting and guys resting for the playoffs and we just kind of took our foot off the gas,” stated Gaudreau.

“We can’t do that this year. We have to keep getting better every single game and try not to relax and get comfortable just because you’re in the playoffs. That’s something that sat with me since that year and I think a lot of guys on our team this year were a part of that and we learned from that.”

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