It’s finally over.
With tonight’s 3–2 shootout loss against the Nashville Predators, the Calgary Flames’ tragic 2022–23 NHL season has officially been declared dead.
After entering the season with so much promise, such high hopes, and a fresh roster, the Flames simply were never able to live up to those lofty expectations. Despite putting together quite the last few weeks to at least make things interesting, their poor play over long stretches this season was too much to overcome.
Make no mistake, had the Winnipeg Jets not cratered to start 2023, the Flames wouldn’t have even sniffed a playoff spot.
After winning the Pacific Division last season and bowing out in the second round, the Flames face yet another summer of disappointment. Since the miraculous run of 2014–15, the Flames haven’t been able to string together consecutive successful seasons:
|2021–22||Lost in Second Round|
|2019–20||Lost in First Round|
|2018–19||Lost in First Round|
|2016–17||Lost in First Round|
|2014–15||Lost in Second Round|
The Flames just cannot string together two good seasons in a row. An asterisk should also be thrown on the 2019–20 season since there was no guarantee the team was making the playoffs if it wasn’t for their five game “pre-playoff” series win in the bubble.
Sure it’s hard to be consistently good in the NHL, but you’d have to go back to the 1991 season when the Flames had back-to-back seasons that went past the first round. That was just a lifetime ago. Trust me—I wasn’t born yet.
The Flames now face yet another offseason filled with countless questions. A trend that Flames fans surely are not looking forward to.
Change is coming, but for now don’t smile because it’s over, cry because it happened.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire