The Calgary Flames are rolling
The Calgary Flames have become the fourth team to record a 10 game winning streak during the 2016-2017 NHL season. The Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Philadelphia Flyers are the other three teams to have done it. This is a National Hockey League record as four teams have never done this in a single season. The Philadelphia Flyers are currently looking to be the first team in NHL history to record a 10 game winning streak in the same season they do not make the playoffs.
The recent performance of the Flames is no fluke. One huge factor for the team this season has been their goaltending. It has been inconsistent to say the least, and bad at times. Brian Elliott has become the goalie they traded for last season as of late, with his 2 shutouts and 11 goals against total over his last 8 games played. His .957% save percentage and 1.37 goals against average over that same time period would put him by far at the top of the league had it been sustained for an entire season (which is very unlikely for anyone). Still, his season GAA is 2.51 and save percentage is .910%, so his performance over this recent streak has been an enormous step up, and exactly what Calgary needed.
More than any other, the Flames victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens and defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins show just how good they are. The Flames defeated the Canadiens 5-0 for their eighth straight victory and the Penguins 4-3 in a shootout to win their tenth. They’ve scored 38 total goals in the last ten games and allowed just 18 in that span.
Contributing offensively over the course of this streak is Johnny Gaudreau with 14 points, Sean Monahan with 11, and Mikael Backlund with 9. Micheal Ferland has added 6 goals in the last ten games as well. The team has climbed the standings and placed themselves in second place in the Pacific division behind only the defending western conference champion San Jose Sharks. The Flames longest winning streak in franchise history happened in 1978 and lasted ten games. The team will look to break that record and win their eleventh straight when they face the Boston Bruins this Wednesday.