The Calgary Flames didn’t have a game scheduled on Sunday night, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t spend the evening toasting to success.
With the Minnesota Wild falling in overtime to the New York Islanders, the Flames officially became the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
FIRST WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAM TO CLINCH A PLAYOFF SPOT! YEAH BABY! pic.twitter.com/9OSg0ND3ZH
— x – Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 18, 2019
Calgary missed the playoffs last season, finishing fifth in the Pacific Division, a full 11 points back of the 8th seed.
It has certainly been a different story this year. The Flames have posted a 44-21-7 record, good for 95 points, with 10 games to go in the regular season. They are leading the way in the Western Conference, with a balanced scoring attack that already boasts three 30+ goal scorers, led by Johnny Gaurdreau’s 91 points.
Locking in a spot this early takes a bit of pressure off the Flames down the stretch, and the time is probably pretty good. Forwards Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan, and James Neal all missed games this week, and will be counted on if the team plans on making a deep run in the playoffs.
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