To all those people who said the Calgary Flames were just lucky last season, their general manager, Brad Treliving, has a message:
“Our season last year was like winning the Masters, while sinking eighteen 40-foot putts.”
So yeah, he kind of agrees. The Flames had some good fortune on their side.
That being said, while Treliving doesn’t believe the Flames can duplicate all the come-from-behind victories they managed in 2014-15, they’re not necessarily doomed to be the next version of the Colorado Avalanche.
Personnel-wise, Calgary added Dougie Hamilton, without losing a roster player. That’s a significant addition to a blue line that was already a strength of the team.
But it’s the Flames’ recognition that they have to play better hockey that really differentiates them from previous lucky-then-not-so-lucky teams like the Avs.
“We can’t just say the recipe for this season is ‘we’re going to win a bunch of games by coming from behind in the third period. We’re going to pull the goaltender eight times and score a tying goal in seven of them,'” Treliving told Sportsnet.
“We have to get better.”
Which is to say, last year may have been a magical one for Calgary hockey fans, but the Flames know that magic has a way of running out. In the long run, it’s good hockey that wins.