Calgary Flames

A short history of the Calgary Flames being on the wrong side of blown playoff calls

The Calgary Flames’ 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs run is over. The team lost by a score of 5–4 to the Edmonton Oilers in overtime, ending their promising season and crushing the hearts of many fans across the globe.

The sting of the Game 5 loss will stay for a while. Not just because it was against the Edmonton Oilers, or due to the fact that they had leads in Game 2 and 5 and coughed them up, but because yet again the Flames were on the wrong side of a controversial official call.

Now look here, the Flames did not play their best during this series, and the overturned goal on Blake Coleman was not the reason they lost the series, but a call like that changes the entire complexion of the game—potentially, even the series.

The saddest part is that this isn’t the first time the Flames have been subject to a bad call in the postseason. So why not pile on the sadness and take a look back at the pain.

2022: What is a distinct kicking motion?

Let’s start with the most recent: 

The call was overturned due to Blake Coleman having a distinct kicking motion. The panel covered the entire spectrum here. He was being pushed into the net, the puck was already going in, he was trying to stay up and guide it in. I can see all sides here, but it’s so evidently clear that this was not “distinct”. 

Take these two examples of calls that ended up counting: 

I don’t see how in a playoff situation, with the game on the line, that Coleman’s goal was determined to be distinct while these others were not. 

2017: What is a high stick goal?

This was one of our personal favourite stabs in the back from the head office at The Win Column. When the Flames were swept by the Anaheim Ducks, Game 3 had a massive turning point. The Flames were up 4-1 in the game, and ended up coughing up the lead and eventually losing in overtime. One of the goals that influenced the comeback was a tip in by Nate Thompson.

At the time it looked a bit questionable, but after our engineering team here at The Win Column took a look it was clear that his stick was above the crossbar and the goal shouldn’t have counted. 

Of course in real time it’s hard to compute this, but with the level of review and camera angles available it’s shocking this remained.

Now would the Flames have been able to come back from 2–0 down in the series? Unlikely. But they surely wouldn’t have been swept.

2015: Shades of ’04

Before we get to the real cream of the crop, Sam Bennett went through Flames fans’ worst nightmare in 2015. In Game 3 of their series against the Ducks, in which they were also down 2–0 in the series, the Flames were down a goal in the third period. Sam Bennett came out from behind the net and got a puck on the far pad of Frederik Andersen. 

No harm.

Of course until the replay went and the puck appeared to have crossed the line. Of course thanks to our friendly geometry concept, the parallax angle, the goal actually didn’t go in?

It’s still debatable. The Flames of course would go on to win the game in overtime, but this still brought up old painful memories.

2004: It. Was. In.

Look, everyone is already in a ton of pain, there is no need to prolong it. 

The biggest and most painful blown call is seared into everyone’s memory.

Better luck next time

It’s almost comical how many times the Flames have had these calls go against them in the postseason. There hasn’t been a ton of playoff success, but you always wonder what could have been.

The latest iteration of the Battle of Alberta was just more of a reminder that the Flames have to put themselves in a position to not have a call like that determine their playoff lives.

That being said, it’s a tough and controversial call to make in a series-clinching game.

Back to top button