ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Calgary Flames’ streak of futility at Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks isn’t front-and-center for either team as both head into Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Calgary has not won in the building since a 5-2 win in Game 3 of their 2006 first-round playoff series against the Ducks. In fact, the Ducks were still called the “Mighty Ducks” at that time and Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf were both in their rookie years. Calgary’s regular season road losing streak at Anaheim goes back to 2004.
Still, all players and coaches involved in this series say it’s not something that is brought up outside of media availability.
“It doesn’t have a whole lot of merit in this dressing room,” Anaheim defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “I’ve been here for two years. Some guys have been here for one year. What happened here 15 years ago doesn’t really apply to us.”
Especially in today’s NHL, which features shootout wins as a possible path to victory, such a stretch is somewhat shocking. Part of it likely has to do with the fact that the Ducks have been one of the better NHL franchises since the 2004-05 lockout, but luck has to be involved to some degree.
“We don’t talk about it that much,” Calgary forward Mikael Backlund said. “It’s a totally different game now with the playoffs. We’re just going to focus on that. We’re super excited to be in the playoffs and that’s all we’re focused on. It’s a new series and a totally different game.”
Players on both teams have changed so much over that time period that it’s hard to find a lot of consistency within the streak itself. For example the only players remaining on either team from the Flames’ 2006 win are Perry and Getzlaf. Randy Carlyle coached that Ducks team and he is in his second stint with the club.
“I don’t really think about that streak too much,” Flames rookie forward Matthew Tkachuk said. “I know not too many guys – I don’t think anybody is really thinking about that too much. Streaks always are something when they get to the number they are high enough, people start to make a big deal about it but as a team if it wasn’t probably brought up we wouldn’t have thought about it.”
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