Connect with us


Flames Fans Shouldn’t Boo — Every Loss Means Potential Shot At Bedard

The Calgary Flames may have better odds of making the playoffs than landing Connor Bedard, but it might be a silver lining to the losses down the stretch.



Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter has been saying it all season. 

His team doesn't have any game-breakers. 

So what's with all the booing? Every game the Calgary Flames lose over the next 19 just gives them a better chance at moving into a lottery spot for a shot at the game's next generational player, Connor Bedard. Problem solved. 

Inching up the standings is exhausting. The Flames players had it written all over their faces at the end of their latest loss — a fifth straight — on Saturday night. The 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Wild on Hockey Night in Canada was as deflating as they get. They trailed by one measly goal until the Wild added a pair in the third period. The third period just happens to be the Flames' worst. Still not a single third-period comeback victory. And that's not because they are frequently ahead in the final 20 minutes, either. 

One-goal games? Nope, not a strong suit. They've been in more of them than any other team. But with a 13-11-13 record, that's not something to be proud of. 

No, it's getting increasingly clear this is unlikely to be their year. After an NHL trade deadline during which GM Brad Treliving added minor pieces, most externally have admitted the likely outcome. Maybe a bunch on the inside, too. True, the Calgary Flames still have better odds of making the playoffs and maybe even winning the Stanley Cup than they do landing Bedard … but even the three per cent chance the 11th worst NHL team gets at the first-overall pick in this year's draft is something to get a little excited about. 

There hasn't been much of that on the hockey side of things this season. Jacob Markstrom's goaltending appears to be the best it's been since the Dallas Stars playoffs series. But that's only been a two-game sample. And since he's suddenly re-discovered his zen after becoming a dad this week, the rest of the team is on a scoring strike. 

Sutter talked about the fans booing the team off the ice over the final few minutes of Saturday's game. In his mind, though, they were booing that performance — which he pinned on his top players, who have looked like anything but top players lately. 

That means Jonathan Huberdeau, on pace for the worst offensive backslide in NHL history. It means Nazem Kadri, a high-priced free agent who owns the worst plus/minus on the team. Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm are well behind on the goal-scoring benchmarks they set last season. Markstrom's save percentage is miserable at .890. 

Plenty of blame to go around. And let the boos rain down if you like. 

Or take the view from the other side. Embrace the losses and hope to get lucky on the other side. The Flames only need Matthew Tkachuk and the Florida Panthers, and Alex Ovechkin's Washington Capitals to pass them to get in on the lottery action. 

Edmonton has shown anything is possible if you're in it. 

Get Calgary Hockey Now in your inbox

Sign up to get the best Calgary Flames news, opinion and analysis sent directly to your inbox every day.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.