Script Flipped: Flames Need to Cook Up Some Home Wins Early
Last year, the Calgary Flames used an incredibly successful road trip to springboard into the season.
It ultimately led to a Pacific Division banner.
This season, after winning their first two games against the Western Conference finalists, the Flames are seeking a statement homestand.
Following up their 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche at the Saddledome and 4-3 victory over the Oilers in Edmonton, the Flames are set for eight straight in Calgary.
“It’s the opposite from last year,” Elias Lindholm told Flames TV on Monday.
“It’s good to be home. The weather’s been nice and it’s always nice to play in front of fans. Last year we had a good home record, so we want to be playing the same way here again and get some energy from the fans.”
With so many new faces joining core members of last year’s Calgary Flames club, a little roadie might have been good for bonding. Last year at exactly this point, the team grew as tight as it’s been in ages thanks to an eastern swing that saw them win all five games.
Stops in Detroit, Washington, New York, New Jersey and Pittsburgh all led to two-point departures. Only their game against the Capitals needed extra time.
Before them now are the Vegas Golden Knights, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Penguins, Oilers, Seattle Kraken, Nashville Predators and Devils.
Three games within the division. One against an expected eastern giant in the Hurricanes. The always pesky Predators. And both the Sabres and Devils should be teams on the upswing.
There are no easy points here. Even with one of the best goaltender tandems in the NHL. A hot Dan Vladar and stud Jacob Markstrom are sure to share some of the workload.
But if the Calgary Flames play consistently as they did in the first periods of their first two games, the quality of opponent hardly matters.
The mindset is still about making the Saddledome a dreaded road rink for others.
“We want to be a hard team to play against here,” said Lindholm. “Hopefully we can put up some good games and put ourselves in a good spot.”