At the time of the 2022-23 All-Star Break, the Calgary Flames have played 50 games, meaning there are only 32 games left on the schedule. Although the team’s record is 24-17-9, they remain tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the last wild card spot in the Western Conference. However, they sit on the outside looking in based on winning percentage.
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As it stands, there have been a handful of great games to rewatch this season. Whether they were comeback wins or outstanding performances, Flames fans still have a lot of great moments to look back on more than halfway through the 2022-23 season.
Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers – Oct. 15, 2022
In the spring of 2022, the Flames hosted the Edmonton Oilers in the second round of the playoffs. As the favorites to win the Battle of Alberta and advance to the Conference Final, the team didn’t make it out of Game 5 when Connor McDavid scored the series winner in overtime.
Everyone knew that revenge would be on the agenda when the next season started, and the team and fans didn’t have long to wait as these two teams met on the opening weekend. Moreover, the Flames jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the Oilers’ home building and held the game’s best players, McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, to just three points in a 4-3 win.
On top of Michael Stone’s three-point performance and a goal from Mikael Backlund, one of the highlights of the contest was when Nazem Kadri scored his first goal with the Flames. Ultimately, the win helped the team open the season with a 5-1 record.
Calgary Flames vs. Los Angeles Kings – Nov. 14, 2022
Realistically there could have been a handful of games to slide into this list; however, the Flames’ performance against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 14, 2022, was one to remember. Even though the team came close to blowing a 6-3 lead in the third period, they bent but didn’t break.
As one of the top teams scoring goals in the first period, the Flames came out hungry for some lamplighters, with Jonathan Huberdeau getting his team on the board early. Then after falling behind 2-1, they scored four straight goals to take a commanding lead a few minutes into the middle frame. Eventually, the Kings made it a game with a late goal; however, Jacob Markstrom slammed the door at the end with a spectacular save in the dying seconds.
Any time two division rival teams meet up, the intensity usually kicks up a few notches. As two teams battling for playoff positions in a tightly contested Western Conference, every point is valuable, so the Flames went out and stole two away from the Kings. Furthermore, this game was memorable because it was an evenly-matched contest despite the low save percentages.
Calgary Flames vs. Florida Panthers – Nov. 19, 2022
The Flames and Florida Panthers altered the hockey landscape with a megadeal in the summer of 2022 when they swapped a handful of superstar players. After Matthew Tkachuk told the team he would pursue free agency when his contract was up, general manager Brad Treliving orchestrated a deal with the Panthers for Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weegar.
Six weeks into the 2022-23 season, the Flames visited Florida, and the two teams had a chance to see old faces in new places. Despite all the hype surrounding the trade, it was clear that there was no clear-cut winner at this point. Although Tkachuk fit right into the Panthers’ system and became their leading scorer, Huberdeau struggled under a new head coach. Furthermore, many predicted that both teams would be playoff-bound and potential division champions. Therefore, this game was valuable to each club in the standings.
The game didn’t disappoint, as the Flames jumped to an early lead before the Panthers tied it midway through the second period. Then, after collecting two one-goal leads, the home team battled back to force overtime and a shootout that went five rounds before Rasmus Andersson ended it. Overall, Tkachuk outperformed Huberdeau in his return to south Florida with a goal and an assist.
Calgary Flames vs. Dallas Stars – Jan. 14, 2023
There will be a portion of the Flames’ fan base who would rather forget this game since the team blew a 6-1 lead at one point, but they went toe-to-toe with one of the Western Conference’s best teams and walked away with the two points. Moreover, this game came towards the end of a lackluster road trip, with the team losing games to the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues in overtime.
This contest with the Stars, who have been at the top of the Central Division, was going to be a massive test for a borderline playoff team scraping for every point they could gather. Of course, there is also recent history between the two teams since the Flames eliminated the Stars in the first round of the playoffs last year. Despite Jake Oettinger’s brilliant performance, Johnny Gaudreau scored a Game 7 overtime goal to end their season.
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Interestingly, the Stars did not play Oettinger in this game, allowing the Flames to score right off the opening faceoff when Andrew Mangiapane lit the lamp 25 seconds into the game. Eventually, they took a 2-1 lead into the second period, where Elias Lindholm, Kadri, Andersson, and Chris Tanev gave them a comfortable 6-1 lead. Even though Daniel Vladar played brilliantly through the first 37 minutes, the team let him down in the final period, and the Stars clawed back into the game. Thankfully, the Flames held them off the scoreboard for the rest of the night and escaped Dallas with the win.
Calgary Flames vs. Columbus Blue Jackets – Jan. 23, 2023
In the summer of 2022, superstar forward Gaudreau, the team’s fifth all-time leading scorer, departed in free agency and signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although the two teams met in Columbus on Dec. 9, 2022, nothing overly exciting happened in the game, with the Blue Jackets securing a 3-1 win.
However, fans in southern Alberta had Jan. 23 circled on their calendars as the day “Johnny Hockey” would return, and they could express their dissatisfaction with his choice to leave. Ultimately, the hockey community awaited this game because the majority knew this would be a hostile environment.
It was no surprise that whenever Gaudreau touched the puck, the boos rained down, and whenever he had a mishap, the building erupted in cheers like a goal had been scored. Interestingly, he was involved in a lot of the offense, collecting two assists and producing some great scoring chances. However, the night’s highlight occurred in the first period when Gaudreau was awarded a penalty shot and missed.
In the end, the Flames and their fans got the last laugh when Gaudreau coughed up the puck in overtime leading to a two-on-one, and Dillion Dube potted the overtime winner.
Although this list features five rewatchable games that are all wins, a handful of Flames games were great, despite the loss at the end. In December, they battled one of the best teams, the Toronto Maple Leafs, to a 5-4 loss in overtime after holding a 4-3 lead in the third period. Additionally, there was a game against the Oilers after Christmas where they doubled up the visitors in shots, 47-22, but lost 2-1 after McDavid collected another game-winner.
Of course, no one will forget the back-to-back games in San Jose before the holiday break, where the Flames doubled up the Sharks 12-5, sweeping the doubleheader. In those contests, Lindholm and Toffoli challenged team records for the fastest goals, and Milan Lucic scored his first goal of the season.
Despite not being in a playoff spot at the All-Star Break, the team has found ways to beat successful teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, and Seattle Kraken. Ultimately, there are still 32 games left to play, and if the team continues to pull out some crazy wins, this list will expand, and we could end up replacing some of our selections. Overall, hockey fans love a good game. Whether it is a 1-0 chess match or a 6-5 slugfest, they want entertainment by watching a good one, one they won’t mind watching on repeat.