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Calgary Flames Tickets

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Calgary Flames

Conference: Western

Division: Pacific

Stadium: Scotiabank Saddledome (capacity 19,289)

Head Coach: Ryan Huska (2023-present)

Starting Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom

Star Players: Nazem Kadri (C), Elias Lindholm (C), Connor Zary (C)

2022-23 Regular Season: 38-27-17 (9th in Western Conference)

2023 Playoffs: Did not qualify

Legendary Former Players: Lanny MacDonald (D), Mike Vernon (G), Al MacInnis (D), Jarome Iginla (W)

Stanley Cups (NHL Championships): 1 - 1989

Calgary Flames

The Flames actually began life in the NHL in Atlanta, Georgia, but relocated to Calgary at the start of the 1980 season. As the Calgary Flames, they became instant rivals of the Edmonton Oilers, with whom they share the Canadian province of Alberta, separated by a drive of just 3 hours over a straight flat stretch of highway. In the 1980s, teams in the same division (as Edmonton and Calgary were) faced each other many times per season as well as in the first two rounds of the playoffs, meaning that the rivalry, or Battle of Alberta as it came to be known, between the Flames and Oilers was given plenty of fuel to burn red hot. Sometimes their meetings spilled over into actual bare-knuckle battles (as per the old adage “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out”), but more often than not, they were also exhibitions of some of the highest levels of skill ever seen on a hockey rink. The Oilers, led by “The Great One” Wayne Gretzky, were one of the best teams of all time and perhaps hockey’s last true dynasty with their five Stanley Cups between 1983-1990. The Flames were probably the second best team in the league during much of that time; their biggest problem was that every year in the playoffs, they had to get past the Oilers in either the first or second round. The Flames managed just that for the first time in 1986, thanks to Oilers defenceman Steve Smith scoring a goal on his own net in Game Seven. The Flames faced another Game Seven against the St. Louis Blues in the Conference Finals and prevailed, setting up a Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens. The exhausted Flames found themselves up against one of the best goaltenders of all time in Patrick Roy (in his rookie season) and surrendered the series in just five games. They got another chance in 1988, winning a dramatic seven-game series against the Vancouver Canucks en route to a rematch against the Canadiens for the Stanley Cup. Grizzled old veteran captain Lanny MacDonald led the Flames to what felt like the inevitable victory in Game Six, after which they would lift the Cup in front of their own fans in the Saddledome. But the good times would not last. After the NHL rejigged its divisional configuration in the mid-1990s, the Flames started to find it harder to make the playoffs. The Battle of Alberta was also quite diminished as neither team was very good and they didn’t play one another as much as they used to. That was why fans around the league were shocked when in 2004, after seven straight seasons without a playoff appearance, the Flames burned through the Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, and San Jose Sharks to reach their third Stanley Cup Finals. A second Cup was not to be, however, as they were shocked by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a heartbreaking 2-1 Game Seven loss. Since that dramatic year, the Flames have been in and out of the playoffs, but have not got past the second round. A rare playoff encounter with the Oilers in 2022 got pulses racing across Alberta, but finished a disappointment to the men from Calgary as they lost in five games. All the passionate Flames fans who pack the Scotiabank Saddledome and line the famous Red Mile for games will be hoping to see their team’s fire burn bright again very soon.

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