Revisiting Flames’ Hockey Day in Canada History
After the Flames secured the franchise’s first four-game winning streak on Hockey Day, the Flames stumbled (again) against the Canucks and lost their 2011 contest 4-2, though Iginla picked up more points in the loss. The Canucks’ dominance was short-lived, however, as the Flames emerged with their first Hockey Day win over their rivals, 3-2 in a shootout when Iginla scored in the third round.
Despite the captain’s best efforts, the Flames would lose the next two games to the Canucks (both in Vancouver) in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Unfortunately, Iginla didn’t record any points on his last day of hockey (2013) as a member of the Flames, resulting in a 5-1 loss. However, despite recent failures, the team bounced back in 2014, losing just 2–3 on penalties when Chris Higgins scored in the fifth round.
After returning to the Saddledome for the 2015 Hockey Day game, the Flames defeated the Canucks 3-2 thanks to Sean Monahan, who scored two goals, and Lance Bouma, who scored the deciding goal. Additionally, their momentum continued into 2016 where, thanks to Mikael Backlund’s three points on the pace of the Flames attack, the team clinched their second straight win, a 4-1 triumph.
However, as they often say, all good things must come to an end, and the team’s mini two-game winning streak on Hockey Day did just that in 2017 with a 2-1 loss in overtime when the Flames were the current reserve captain , Chris Tanev, winner clinched the win for the Canucks. Unfortunately, that particular loss sparked another lengthy (three-game) losing streak that brought the decade to a close.
After the Canucks played for seven consecutive seasons, the rivalry took a season off in 2018 when the Flames fought the Winnipeg Jets on Hockey Day. Unlike last year, the team lost that contest 2-1 in a shootout when Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler were successful in their breakaway attempts. Despite facing a new opponent for the first time in 13 years, the Flames still had no answers on how to get out of their Hockey Day crisis.
After a season apart, the Flames and Canucks renewed their acquaintance in 2019. Unfortunately, they had no answer for Elias Pettersson, who assisted two goals during regular time and was the only player to add another 4-3 penalty penalty shootout. However, the Flames reversed the script in their Hockey Day rivalry with the Canucks, winning the last two encounters in 2020 and 2022. Indeed, the Flames had some unlikely heroes like Dillion Dube (three points) and Derek Ryan (goal, assist ). who demolished the Canucks 6-2 in 2020 before Johnny Gaudreau scored the game’s only goal in 2022, resulting in a surprise 1-0 win. Historically, the team’s only shutout on Hockey Day occurred the previous season, a feat accomplished by Jacob Markstrom.