The Calgary Flames are rolling to start the 2022–23 season. Fresh off two wins against two elite teams in the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers, things are starting to click for the Flames—a team that underwent significant offseason changes.
So far, they’re a perfect 2–0–0 with every single new skater already having registered their first point as Flames players, and both goalies earning a win.
Tonight, the Flames kick off a season-long homestand of eight games against a mix of teams. Here’s everything you need to know about the homestand.
Tuesday October 18 – Vegas Golden Knights
The first meeting between the two teams this season, the Flames open their homestand against the Golden Knights tonight. Vegas is still a premier offensive team in the NHL despite losing (read: giving away) Max Pacioretty in the offseason, and has a solid defence corps to go with it.
Last season, the Golden Knights were one of just seven teams the Flames had a losing record against, managing a 1–2–0 record. They also tied for 3.00 goals per game each. The Golden Knights currently sit in first place in the Pacific Division, so the winner of tonight’s game will claim top spot, for now.
This is one of the tougher games on the homestand, and should be a close matchup.
Thursday October 20 – Buffalo Sabres
The second game of the homestand is against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres definitely made strides last season with the breakout of their new top line featuring Alex Tuch and Tage Thompson, but so far the Sabres are 1–1–0 on the season and those two players are skating on different lines.
The big story for the Sabres so far has been the play of Craig Anderson, who is now the oldest player in the NHL and doesn’t look like it at all.
Last season, the Flames earned three of a possible four points against the Sabres, going 1–0–1 against them. The Flames were clearly the better team, averaging 2.50 goals per game and the Sabres just 0.50. This is a very winnable game and the Flames should easily come away with two points.
Saturday October 22 – Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes remain one of the best teams in the NHL, with a top tier offence, defence, and goaltending tandem. They have been a tough out for several years, and this year is no different. At 3–0–0 on the season, the Hurricanes are tied for top spot in the NHL, though their three wins have come against three bottom feeding teams in the Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks, and Seattle Kraken.
Last season, the Flames were very poor against the Hurricanes, going 0–1–1 and getting outscored 8–4. This is likely the toughest game on the homestand.
Tuesday October 25 – Pittsburgh Penguins
Currently at 2–0–1 on the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins are absolutely rolling and earned top spot in our Power Rankings this week. They have been absolutely dominant this season and rolled over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday over the weekend. They’ve still got depth everywhere they need it and will be a tough matchup for the Flames.
Last season, the Flames were a perfect 2–0–0 against the Penguins, beating them 4–0 on the road and 2–1 in a shootout at home. Another tough matchup, but it’ll be close and the Flames have a good chance of winning.
Saturday October 29 – Edmonton Oilers
Of course, this is the most anticipated game on the homestand. It’s a Saturday night game on Hockey Night in Canada, and should be a wild affair. It’s a true shame the Flames and Oilers only meet three times in the regular season.
The Flames won the first matchup with a solid effort on the road, and will look to win the season series with a victory on home ice next week. The Flames have shown they can beat the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season, but the biggest question mark is in goal, for both teams.
The Flames chased Jack Campbell after four quick first-period goals in the first matchup, and then Stuart Skinner was incredible in relief. The Flames started backup goalie Daniel Vladar for reasons only known to Darryl Sutter, but it sure looked like they didn’t trust Jacob Markstrom against Edmonton after what happen in the Spring.
It’s a fascinating storyline to follow, and the saga will continue on this homestand. This game should be close, but if the Flames play the same way they did in the first matchup they should walk away with two points.
Tuesday November 1 – Seattle Kraken
The Seattle Kraken have been surprisingly decent to start the year. They are just 1–2–1 on the season, but earned a solid win against the Los Angeles Kings on the road. They definitely have some interesting pieces, including new additions Justin Schultz and Oliver Bjorkstrand, plus what looks to be an absolute superstar rookie in Matty Beniers.
Shane Wright, their newest first round pick, has only played a combined 13 minutes over two games thus far, but he should be a great NHLer for a long time. The future is bright for the Kraken, but at this stage, they should be a very easy win for the Flames.
The Kraken lost to the Golden Knights and Hurricanes by a combined score of 10–3 in their past two contests, and that’s they type of score the Flames should beat them by as well.
Last season, the Flames were a perfect 4–0–0 against the Kraken. They should do the same thing this year.
Thursday November 3 – Nashville Predators
The Nashville Predators are a sneaky good team this year, despite sitting at .500 with a 2–2–0 record. They opened their season in Prague with two wins against the Sharks, and followed that up with two big losses to the Dallas Stars.
Still, the Predators have an talented and deep team, one of the best defencemen in the world, and an elite goaltender. They are built similarly to the Flames and the two teams produced some seriously fun matchups last season—this season should be more of the same.
Last season, the Flames went 1–0–2 against the Predators, not a great record but they earned points in every game. Calgary is the second of three games in a Western Canadian road trip for the Predators, and it should be a close, but winnable matchup.
Saturday November 5 – New Jersey Devils
The Flames close out their homestand with a game against the New Jersey Devils on a Saturday night. It’s always hard to win the last couple games of a long homestand, so despite the Devils being a bubble team this year, it will be important for the Flames to bring their A-game to finish things off on a high note.
The Devils are 0–2–2 on the season so far, and both losses have been pretty terrible ones—a pair of 5–2 defeats to the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings. They were without their captain Nico Hischier, but he’s back now and they’ll be looking to turn things around.
Last season, the Flames were 2–0–0 against the Devils, winning by 5–3 and 6–3 scores. The Flames should come away with two points in this one.
Flames homestand prediction
This homestand has a mix of good teams and bad teams. The Flames should beat the Sabres, Kraken, and Devils for an easy six points. Then, if they can go 3–2–0 against the Golden Knights, Hurricanes, Penguins, Oilers, and Predators, it would be a very successful homestand.
With the way the Flames have started the year, I’m expecting them to go 6–2–0 on this homestand, but a 5–3–0 record would be just fine as well. They should nab at least 10 standing points with multiple chances to display on-ice cohesion or even dominance.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire