With Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres, the Calgary Flames proved why there was no need to worry about any rust that may have collected over the All-Star break. The Flames dominated the game and controlled the pace throughout, only giving up two shots against in the entire third period.
The game marked the first of a six game home-stand, and there is really no better way in which Calgary could have started the series of games at the Saddledome. What is important now is that the team carries out the success through the stretch, aiding the push for the postseason.
The first three games of the home-stand are all very winnable, First was Buffalo, who the Flames beat 4-1. Next is the Minnesota Wild, a team that has been severely struggling of late. And the game against the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 31 marks the third part of the six game home series. Edmonton currently sits last in the Pacific Division, and they’re not the favorites going up against Calgary.
Winning these first three games is important because Calgary must build momentum heading into the month of February, which kicks off with a game against the Winnipeg Jets, who are 6-3-1 in their last 10. The Flames then go on to play the San Jose Sharks, Pittsburgh Penguins, the Sharks again and then the Los Angeles Kings. The game against the Penguins is the last of the six game home-stand — before the Flames head on the road — and is right in the middle of one of the tougher stretches of the Flames’ schedule.
If Calgary can start their home-stretch off well, by playing well against the easier teams at the beginning, it will build momentum and give them confidence going into the tougher tests. Every single point in the standings matter that much more as we approach the playoffs, and the Flames must take advantage of every opportunity they get.