The Flames began the five-game trip with stops in Ontario, playing the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. Subpar performances in both these games saw the Flames head to Florida with 0-of-4 potential points. A stern test against the playoff-bound Lightning awaited the Flames, and they rose to the occasion. With two games still to play on the trip, Friday night against the Florida Panthers before closing out the trip Monday against the New Jersey Devils, the Flames received the perfect mid-trip boast after their performance against Steven Stamkos‘ Lightning.
Calgary, by no means road warriors with their 14-20-4 road record, should have a little momentum heading into tonight’s contest. In a season of looking for positives amongst the thorns that come with being a rebuilding team, the Flames will also be looking to improve their 4-6-1 record in the second half of back-to-back games this season.
To say these end-of-season games for the Flames bear no weight, despite their record, would be a fallacy. The Flames and head coach Bob Hartley have been using these games to get NHL experience for some of the younger players, as they seek to find out just what they have in some of these junior members of the team. Tyler Wotherspoon, Chris Breen, Ben Hanowski, Ken Agostino, Chad Billins and Bryce Van Brabant have all seen action on this road trip.
While not meaningful in the standings, these final handful of games are important for the Flames and their future.