This season wasn’t as dominating as the previous one that saw the Flames amass 50 wins and finish atop the Western Conference. However, they were still one of the better teams in the West, and were sitting in a playoff spot at the pause.
It’s been a turbulent season, to say the least. There were plenty of adverse moments to go around, but this season also had some of the best games with the best moments in recent Flames history.
Which one was the best, though?
The Flames won 36 games through their 70 games. We went through and seeded them all, putting the top 16 games in a bracket. It’s up to you do decide which one was the best!
Please vote on Twitter, and over the course of the next week we’ll determine which Flames game was the best this season.
1: Game #15, OCT 31, NSH vs. CGY
This game was one of the most entertaining games of the year. The Flames were down 4-1 to the Predators heading into the third period, but goals from Rasmus Andersson, Elias Lindholm , and Alan Quine tied things up with under five minutes to go. Then, Austin Watson put the Predators up by a goal with under two minutes to play. It wasn’t even the best goal he’d score that night, but Matthew Tkachuk evened the game again with a beautiful tally with just 39 seconds left on the clock. And then, in overtime, with under two seconds left to play, Tkachuk would do something truly magical with the undoubted goal of the year.
Words don’t do it justice.
2: Game #47, Jan. 11, CGY vs. EDM
This was the start of a long, long, long off-ice battle. In the red corner: Matthew Tkachuk. In the blue corner: Zack Kassian. Tkachuk threw several massive checks at Kassian throughout the game, and got under his skin in the best possible way. Kassian went after Tkachuk like a madman, throwing punches at an opponent who didn’t consent to a fight, and was given 14 penalty minutes as a result. The Flames scored the game winning goal on that ensuing powerplay, and jumped into first place in the Pacific Division as a result. After the game, Tkachuk famously told Kassian to stay off the tracks, and Rasmus Andersson chimed in calling the Oilers a group of pretenders.
The BOA was officially back, and boy is it fun.
3: Game #52, Jan. 29, EDM vs. CGY
Another Battle of Alberta game, with the Oilers out for blood and revenge after getting embarrassed by Zack Kassian the last time around. Their efforts would be for not, as the Oilers would never lead in the game. The Flames were led by two goals from Andrew Mangiapane, Sean Monahan fought Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and after Monahan had scored in round two, it was up to Leon Draisaitl to keep the Oilers in it. This is what happened.
David Rittich: a hockey icon.
4: Game #4, OcT. 10, Dal vs. Cgy
The Flames had infamously not won a shootout game in almost two full years. This game broke that streak, and started another much better one. Johnny Gaudreau sealed the game 3-2 for the Flames in the shootout with a silky move that undressed Ben Bishop and earned the Flames a valuable second point.
5: Game #68, Mar. 4, CGY vs. CBJ
The Flames are known for being a team who you can never count out of a game. They have the second most wins in the NHL in games where they trailed after one period. They have the second most wins in the NHL in games where they trailed after two periods. They are the comeback kings, and this win against the Columbus Blue Jackets is one of their best comebacks of the season. The Jackets were up two goals in the first period, and looked to cruise to victory as the game entered the final half of the third frame. The Flames, however, had different ideas. They scored two goals in the third from Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk, and capped off the win with just 11 seconds remaining in overtime with a tally from T.J. Brodie.
Good teams find ways to win.
6: Game #61, Feb. 17, CGY vs. ANA
He’s quickly becoming a fan favourite, and for good reason too. Andrew Mangiapane had a coming out party this season, and this was his best game of them all. Don’t let his size fool you; Mangiapane is dynamic, tough, and nobody works harder than him on the ice. This game saw him score his 11th, 12th, and 13th goals of the season, marking his first NHL hat trick in a huge 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks on home ice. Mangiapane added an assist to cap a four point night.
We all ate bread that night.
7: Game #28, NOV. 27, BUF vs. Cgy
We don’t need to recap what happened with the Flames’ former coach, but Geoff Ward deserves a ton of credit for righting the ship this season. He jumped into a head coach role for the first time in his NHL career, and did a tremendous job. This game a thrilling overtime winner against the Buffalo Sabers, was his first win in the NHL as a head coach. It’s a moment he’ll never forget, and one that truly set the Flames back on the right path. Elias Lindholm scored the overtime winner.
We stan Geoff Ward.
8: Game #34, Dec. 12, CGY vs. TOR
Winning is fun. Winning against the Maple Leafs is even more fun. The Flames took it to the Leafs at home in this contest, earning a 4-2 win which marked their seventh win in a row. The Leafs were up 2-1 heading into the third period, but the Flames roared back with three goals in the final frame, two from Johnny Gaudreau, to seal the win. David Rittich stopped 32 of 34 shots and kept the Flames in it on multiple dangerous opportunities for the Leafs.
Big Save Dave came to play.
9: Game #40, Dec. 27, EDM vs. CGY
It was the very first edition of the Battle of Alberta this season. That story line has dominated headlines all year it seems, but the first meeting between the two rivals was at the end of the third month of the season. It wasn’t a close game. The Flames were the better team start to finish, and crushed the Oilers 5-1 at Roger’s Place. Andrew Mangiapane led the way with three points, David Rittich stopped 28 of 29 shots, and Mikko Koskinen got pulled midway through the second.
First BOA goes to the Flames. And yes, this is Mangiapane outmuscling Darnell Nurse for a puck and creating a goal.
10: Game #2, Oct. 5, CGY vs. VaN
This game saw the Flames defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on home ice. It was the team’s first win of the season, and was a big shutout for David Rittich over a key division rival. The top line was in fine form, combining to score this beauty of a goal which added insurance early in the second period.
Great win all around.
11. Game #64, Feb. 25, BOS vs. Cgy
The Flames weren’t close to being the best team in the NHL like they were last season, but they proved they could hold their own against any opponent in this game. On the road against the NHL leading Boston Bruins, the Flames showed up in a big way, earning a 5-2 blowout victory. The Flames were led by Mikael Backlund and Sean Monahan who both scored two goals, and David Rittich stoppped 26 of 28 shots in the win. This Backlund goal was reviewed, but it was both legal and beautiful.
Now that’s what you call making a statement.
12: Game #44, Jan. 5, MIN vs. CGY
How the Flames started to win shootouts we will never know, but this could have been the best shootout game of the year. It was a high scoring affair, with each team scoring four goals each through 65 minutes of play. They traded goals back and forth too, with Minnesota opening the scoring, and the Flames tying things up four separate times through regulation time. Then came the longest shootout in recent memory. It took seven rounds for a winner to be decided. 14 different players attempted to score. Through the first 13, only two actually did. Then came Dillon Dube, and he did this.
13: Game #32, Dec. 9, COL vs. CGY
Let’s not discuss what happened in the playoffs last season. Instead, let’s talk about this incredible win from the Flames over the Avalanche, in overtime no less, that featured nine total goals, and one of the best feelings in the world: revenge.
14: Game #59, Feb. 13, ANA vs. CGY
After failing to win at the Honda Center for what feels like forever, the Flames finally broke the curse two seasons ago. Still, when it comes to the Ducks, there’s an inherent hatred there, probably because the Flames got absolutely dominated by them for the better part of a decade. This game was a statement. And when Mikael Backlund is on his game doing things like this, the Flames win more often than not. This game came on the heels of a crushing 5-3 defeat to the Los Angeles Kings the night before, and saw the Flames rack up six goals en route to a shutout victory against the Ducks.
A 44 save shutout for Cam Talbot? Yes please.
15: Game #12, OCT. 24, CGY vs. FLA
It’s not often you see 10 goals scored in a game, and another two goals scored in the shootout. This game had it all. Florida’s big guns came to play, with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau combining for six points. Calgary was up to the task with four players scoring multiple points, and David Rittich stopping both Florida shootout attempts, including Barkov’s try to keep the Panthers alive.
Big. Save. Dave.
16: Game #69, Mar. 6, CGY vs. ARI
It was their last win of the season (so far?), and could have been their most important. With the Arizona Coyotes chomping at their heels, this game was a huge decider for the Pacific Division playoff spots. The Flames fell early to the Coyotes after Taylor Hall sniped a goal just over a minute into the game, but stormed back with three consecutive goals, including this nice tally from Johnny Gaudreau. The Coyotes made it interesting in the second period drawing within one, but the Flames shut it down in the third and hung on for a big victory. Cam Talbot stood tall in goal stopping 32 of 34 shots, and Matthew Tkachuk had three helpers in the game.
Distance from the field.
There are lots of games to choose from, so please vote for your favourites in our bracket polls! We’ll update the bracket below as we go.