Calgary Flames: Can They Keep Up The Excellent Play?

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /

Will the Calgary Flames be able to keep up their recent excellent play?

The Calgary Flames have been known to go through hot and cold stretches. During their past two postseason appearances (2014-15 and 2016-17), they’ve made the postseason in large part because of hot streaks. Last season, the Flames entered 2017 with 42 points in 39 games. In their last 43 games, they put up 52 points. Winners of six straight, the Flames are starting 2018 on the right foot.

This season story of the 2017-18 Flames starts with their top line. Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan (who somehow didn’t make the all-star team), and Micheal Ferland form one of the most effective lines in the NHL.

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Gaudreau currently has 51 points in 43 games and has helped tremendously with his team’s winning streak. He’s on his game, and he has focus and poise. There’s nothing in his way as of right now, and he’s definitely loving the thrill of the ride. Gaudreau is a legitimate Hart Trophy contender, especially if the Flames make the postseason.

As for the other two on this top line, they’ve been just as effective and potent. During this stretch, both have recorded at least one point in each of the last four games.

However, the reason the Flames are doing well as of now is not only because of that line. They have a lot of thanking to do to Mike Smith while they weren’t playing their hottest hockey. He kept them in the playoff race at times. If it wasn’t for Smith, it most likely wouldn’t have mattered that they’ve started playing well now anyway.

Be wary, though, Flames fans. You can’t act as though you haven’t seen this pattern before. Last season was eerily similar in the sense that the Flames started out mediocre and had a major winning streak. This by no means qualifies them as a true contender or a playoff team to begin with.

They currently sit in third place in the Pacific Division, which now features the Vegas Golden Knights, who have proven to play beyond everyone’s expectations. Being in third says a lot about this team. The real question is if it’s enough to achieve their goals, however unconventional their ways might be of getting there.

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Hopefully, this means more than what it looks like. Because as of right now, it seems like a team on a hot streak with no consistency. They could definitely prove this theory wrong, but with their bye week coming up, it might be difficult to keep their energy going.