Calgary Flames

Flames Sunday Census: Expectations on the Calgary Flames for 2022–23

The Calgary Flames’ preseason is finally over and now every single onward game counts. The Flames have formed their roster, as the games now mean something. With the recent cuts made to the Flames roster, both the team and their fans have expectations for their performance. However, what are those expectations? We asked, you answered.

New look Flames

On paper, the Flames look ready to contend for a Stanely Cup. Calgary has the best centre depth that they have had in a very long time, incredible defence, and very strong goaltending. But this roster also went though a lot of changes during the year. It was practically a massive overhaul as two thirds of their top line moved on somewhere else, and although some strong additions were made, there is also a lot of adjustments to be made. Practically everything has changed.

Will chemistry take a while to develop? Will the team start hot right at the beginning of the year and never look back? Or will the team that looks good on paper crash and burn? Let’s take a look at what our readers thought.

Total dominance

Not a lot of voters selected this option. And although the team looks very good, there are also other great teams in the league, and chemistry does take time to develop. Ideally, the Flames start strong and they never look back. And sure, there is a chance that happens, but even the best teams in the league struggle at times.

Just look at the Stanley Cup Champions in the Colorado Avalanche and how they started last season. They started slow, but ended up being the best team in the league. Dominance from start to finish would be ideal, but it is probably not realistic. No need to panic if things don’t start well.

Good with growing pains

This is probably the most realistic option, and the voters seem to agree. I would expect there to be a period of time at the beginning of the year where the teams is trying to build chemistry. Especially because new players like Huberdeau, Kadri, and Weegar will be logging some big minutes for the club.

Additionally, the team seems to have a bit of a hole in their forward group a la wingers. They would like to add a top-nine winger to their team too. Until the chemistry is formed and the wingers group is strengthened, I believe this is the outcome we will see with the Flames.

Underwhelming for the seasonn

With big expectations comes big pressure. Do the Flames end up being mediocre and succumbing to the massive pressure in a Canadian market? I can’t see this happening, and neither can most of our readers. At the end of the day, the team has talent, and the big name players have been strong producers for a decent period of time. There is no reason to think that they can’t at least keep up their play.

A trainwreck waiting to happen

There must have been some Oilers fan who got a hold of this tweet and voted for this option. Sure, nothing is impossible, but this is very close to being impossible. Many things would have to go wrong and the stars would have to align for the Flames to end up missing the playoffs.

It’s just not a realistic option and for a team that has very clearly decided to go all in, the Flames organization will just simply don’t allow this to happen.

Everything matters from now on

Once October 13 comes along, the Flames will begin their battle to contend for a Stanley Cup. We all have expectations—as do they—but it is up to the team to decide what team they want to be. Sutter’s emphasis on the checking identity is clear, but the new players have to adopt to the system too. The roster is made, now it’s time for the team to do what their fans have been waiting for. Buckle up Flames fans, this season is going to be very entertaining.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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