Although it is a distant memory for Calgary Flames fans who remember, it was the best time to be a supporter. The team lifted its first and only Stanley Cup during this period, but the numbers don’t paint the complete picture of how good the team was.
If the incredible Edmonton Oilers squad of the same period were not as robust and skilled as they were, the Flames could have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups. For seven consecutive years from 1983 onwards, it was one of the two teams representing the Campbell Conference, and both had two of the best squads anywhere in North America at the time.
As far as ice hockey is concerned, it is one of the most exciting sports. Played at such high intensity and with players careering off each other at a ferocious tempo, it often causes fireworks and has the baying crowd screaming for more. Not too dissimilar to the types of activity you see at a high-quality casino.
Casino gaming has come by leaps and bounds with widespread internet usage. You only need to look at some reviews for top digital casinos to see the games have similar excitement levels, such as https://thunderpick.io/blog/fruitmania-slot-review. The comparisons don’t end there, though. Although Fruitmania Slots is a fruit-themed game, you can find plenty of video slots with flame-themed graphics that mimic the Flames you see on the Calgary logo.
Although NHL fans highly respected the Flames throughout the early to mid-1980s, the appointment of Terry Crisp propelled them to legendary status. He quickly guided them to a century of points in his first season in 1987 and broke the Oilers’ stranglehold on the Campbell Conference.
One of the critical things about Crisp is that he had Championship experience. Terry was a member of the legendary Philadelphia Flyers in the 1970s, which lifted the Stanley Cup. As soon as he was appointed, he made it abundantly clear that his goal was to lift the Calgary Flames’ first-ever Stanley Cup.
Crisp and his phenomenal crop of players, including the likes of Joe Nieuwendyk, Mike Vernon, and Doug Gilmour, to name a few, had their sights firmly set on crushing the Oilers’ reign as the best team of the 1980s.
Although his first season in charge was excellent, he managed to go one better in his second year, and the team racked up an incredible 117 points and another President’s Trophy. For many Flames fans during this period, they knew that the squad had the making of something special. They weren’t just picking up significant points; they were playing at such a consistently high level that they had many other teams in the division keeping a close eye on their progress.
Such a resounding league win was a defining moment in Canadian ice hockey. The 1989 Stanley Cup Final between the Flames and the Montreal Canadiens was the last all-Canadian Stanley Cup final, showing how high the standard used to be North of the border.
However, what came up must come down, and the team slowly began to deteriorate and break apart in the early 1990s. There were more considerable factors at play during this period. One such issue that caused a lot of Canadian teams to fall behind was the depreciation of the Canadian Dollar against the US Dollar, which meant that it became a lot harder to attract the best players from the States and keep hold of them.
Blaming it all on a more significant economic issue would be naive. Ultimately, the Flames started to fall behind their competitors, who began to adapt and develop effective game plans. As a result, they didn’t reach the playoffs again until after the Millennium, a drought period that is one of the longest in NHL history. However, it looks like the Sabres will be the Kings of that unwanted title when the history books are written.
Although there’s no shortage of individual awards over the years, the Flames have yet to harness the combined collective brilliance of their legendary 1980s squad. While the Edmonton Oilers took a lot of the shine off what could have been a dynasty, the Flames at the time were the only real competition for the Oilers.
The fact that they even managed to lift a Stanley Cup during this period of pure domination shows how ferocious the Flames were at the height of their powers all those decades ago.
There’s a new generation of Flames fans looking to watch the team their Fathers grew up supporting, a team they can be proud of and what that fearlessly took on the best of their time, held their own, and occasionally came out victorious but with their heads always held high.
Although this team may now be a thing of folklore, if another Flames squad can come together as these players did, there could be another Stanley Cup on the horizon; here’s hoping, anyway!