Calgary Flames: 5 best games of the Johnny Gaudreau-era

(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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Since Johnny Gaudreau joined the Calgary Flames, there have been plenty of memorable moments.

What is the Johnny Gaudreau-era exactly? It is the period in Calgary Flames history that we are currently in right now.

It began when Gaudreau joined the Flames full-time in 2014-15. There were six long years with no playoffs in Calgary, and with Jarome Iginla being moved at the 2013 trade deadline, the Flames went a while as a team without a true face of the franchise.

Gaudreau’s impact on the team as a rookie in 2014-15 was hard to look past, and the team has been competitive ever since (with a few hiccups along the way). With that being said, let’s take a look at the fifth-best game of the Gaudreau-era, the end of the losing streak in Anaheim back in the 2017-18 season.

Calgary Flames
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

5. The Calgary Flames versus the Anaheim Ducks

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If you’re unfamiliar with the Flames of recent years, the team had a very hard time trying to beat the Anaheim Ducks in their home arena, the Honda Center. The Flames won a Jan. 19, 2004 matchup in Anaheim, then a playoff meeting between the two teams in 2006. After that, the Flames would go winless every time they arrived in Orange County.

By the end of the 2016-17 season, the Flames losing streak in Anaheim now stood at 29 straight losses when counting regular season and playoffs. 13 years without a regular season win. The only streak that rivals what the Flames went through would be the Pittsburgh Penguins going winless against the Philadelphia Flyers in the old Spectrum from 1974-1989. 

In preparation for the 2017-18 season, the Flames acquired goaltender Mike Smith from the Arizona Coyotes. Smith was having a strong start as the Flames arrived in Anaheim for their Oct. 10 matchup and third game of the new season.

The day before the game, Smith showed just how confident he was feeling. “Well, (the Flames) haven’t lost since I’ve been here, so it doesn’t really matter to me,” said the veteran netminder.

Smith delivered on his confidence by playing a gem of a game. With goals from Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund, Smith did his job and then some by stopping all 43 shots he faced. Just like that, the Flames won 2-0 in Anaheim. The Flames had actually won a regular season matchup in Anaheim for the first time since 2004. Backlund said after the game, “it’s nice to finally break [the losing streak].” A huge monkey had come off the backs of the Flames organization and fans alike.

Since that fateful October day, the Flames have added two more wins at the Honda Center, both coming in the 2019-20 season. While Flames fans might not think too fondly of Smith today as he plays for the rival Edmonton Oilers, there’s no denying that his contribution of ending a streak that hung over the Flames for far too long will be remembered for years to come.