For many people watching the Calgary Flames enter the 2022–23 season, expectations were sky high and along with what was meant to be a dominant display on ice would have been a plethora of player milestones. That immediately wasn’t the case and it took until Games 74 to 77 for the Flames to put together their first four-game win streak of the season.
However, even in a down season, there was still lots of momentous occasions for players on the Flames roster. Let’s take a look at some that were hit (and some that were missed). As one might expect, these milestones range from complete surprises to milestones that were simply bound to happen.
I’ll highlight some worth talking about before the end of the season comes around.
The Flames with notable milestones
Most are in agreement: this season has been the season of the “holy moly, Tyler Toffoli.” The forward set a new career-high with goals, assists, and points. In 77 games played, he has a stat line of 33 goals and 38 assists. His previous career-highs in each category were 31 and 27, respectively—both set back in 2015–16.
On top of that, some lesser-known milestones that he passed this season: 50 career power play goals (now 57), 100 power play points (now 107), and 2,000 shots on net (now 2,001). With five games remaining, some more milestones to watch for Toffoli include:
- 40 assists, needs two more
- 35 goals, needs two more
- 250 shots, needs four more
By and large, this year has been massive for Toffoli and he’s a key reason the Flames are even still in the playoff race at all.
Another key player that’s been as consistent as he’s always been is Mikael Backlund. On the season he’s reached the 52 points from 17 goals and 35 assists, which has him one point away from tying his career-high in total points. He also passed some major career marks recently—most notably playing in 900 career games (now 903) and earning is 300th career assists (now 305).
Milestones that may still be reached for Backlund are:
- 20 goals, needs three more
- 100 career power play points, needs four more
- 250 shots, needs four more
With Elias Lindholm losing his linemates—Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk of course—many expected him to have a down season, and even with a down season he’s still a core contributor. While his points total is lower, there were some career milestones along the way that Lindholm hit. This season, Lindholm has 21 goals and 42 assists, which puts his career marks in those categories at 202 and 310, respectively. This also means he passed the 500 NHL points mark this year as well (now 512).
Lindholm also tied his career-high set last season with 10 power play goals. At the moment it’s unlikely that he’ll hit any other major milestones. His best shot at one might be reaching 25 goals if he’s able to score four more before the end of the season.
Nazem Kadri has had a couple of big milestones this year. Of course this doesn’t count his Stanley Cup rings increasing from zero to one earlier in the season. With the Flames, his major markers included scoring 31 assists to pass the 300 career assists mark (now 324), and playing in his 800th career NHL game (now 816). This season, he’s also put up 250 shots which is just 10 shy of his career high.
With five games remaining, there are a couple more that Kadri could hit:
- 25 goals on the season, needs two more
- New career-high in power play goals, needs three more for 13
If we’re being real, Huberdeau should have hit more milestones than he has, but it doesn’t mean he didn’t reach any. Despite scoring less than half the total points he has last year, Huberdeau still managed 15 goals this season to pass the 200 career goal mark (now 213), as well as 15 power play points to pass the 200 in his career (now 205).
The biggest miss for Huberdeau that no one really saw coming might be his career points. He had a strong shot at passing 700 points this season, but he sits at 665 right now. With the games remaining, one more milestone he might hit could be 50 career power play goals if he scores two more.
Other Flames milestones
Among other Flames, we’ll filter them down to more major milestones reached.
- Dillon Dube scored his 50th career goal and 100th career point (now 54 and 117, respectively)
- Blake Coleman scored his 100th career goal (now 105) and is four points away from 200 career points
- Rasmus Andersson scored his 50th power play point (now 52)
- MacKenzie Weegar earned his 100th career assist (now 120)
- Trevor Lewis scored his 200th point (now 208)
- Michael Stone hit 100 career assists (now 104)
It’s not an extensive list and that’s largely in part due to more Flames having less-than-stellar seasons than not. Perhaps one bigger miss came from within the crease—Jacob Markstrom could have reached 200 career wins but only has 191.
Ending the season on a high note
The Flames know that for all intents and purposes, these milestones are nice and all but the end goal is still the playoffs. Right now, there are five games left to capture three more points than the Winnipeg Jets do in their final five. We’ll see if the Flames can hit the biggest milestone of them all by season’s end: bringing back the Red Mile.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire