Top 10 All-Time Calgary Flames Playoff Performers
As the Calgary Flames keep pushing to make the playoffs down the stretch, I thought it be a good time to take a look back at some great individual performances over the years come postseason play.
While Calgary has been decent in their past 11 games, going 7-4, it is going to take a little luck for them to earn the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, namely having the Nashville Predators or Detroit Red Wings lose on a consistent basis.
If the Flames do get in, they will be dangerous, as their having to play important games a lot sooner than some of the top teams in the West, who have carved their way in already. Making them ready for the playoff grind 20 games before it even started.
That being said, here are a few players that Calgary wished they had in their lineup for this recent push towards making the dance.
Players who carried the club in a big way through the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Something to take a Calgary Flames fans mind off things, if only for a few hours until their game tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.
So here it is...my list of the Top 10 Flames Playoff Performers of All-Time.
10. Martin Gelinas (2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
Whenever a series was on the line, nobody on the Calgary Flames roster was more clutch than Martin Gelinas.
In fact, his three game-winners during their run in 2004 eliminated the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks.
If his no-goal goal had counted in Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, it would have been the Stanley Cup winner and a storybook ending for Gelinas and Co.
Gelinas finished with eight goals and seven assists to go along with a +10 rating in 26 playoff games, hardly mesmerizing, but he always seemed to come up with a big play at the right time. Which is why he made this list.
9. Guy Chouinard (1981 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
In the 1980 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Calgary Flames made it all the way to the semifinals thanks in large part to the play of 5'11", 180-pound center Guy Chouinard.
Chouinard, who finished second in team scoring during the regular season to Kent Nilsson by almost 50 points, had 17 points in 16 games to lead Calgary through the postseason.
It was his most successful output during his NHL playoff career, though he retired having scored nearly a point per game (578 GP, 205 G, 370 A, 575 Points in the regular season, and 46 GP, 9 G, 28 A, 38 Points during the playoffs).
8. Mike Vernon (1989 Stanley Cup playoffs)
Very few goaltenders could outplay Patrick Roy in a best-of-seven series, but Mike did just that in helping Calgary capture its only Stanley Cup in 1989.
The 5'9", 161-pound goaltender was brilliant through 21 games, going 16-5, with a 2.26 goals against average, a .905 save percentage and three shutouts.
It is hard to believe when talking about some of the greats, that the two-time Stanley Cup winner is never mentioned, especially when he ranks 10th on the all-time list with 385 wins over his career.
7. Joe Mullen (1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
Often underrated, Joe Mullen was a very important player to the Calgary Flames' only Stanley Cup win in 1989, so much that he led the team with 16 goals in 21 playoff games, the most by any Flames player during the postseason.
Mullen finished second on the club in points with 24, and tied Joe Nieuwendyk for the lead in power-play goals with six.
There was no better goal scorer in the playoffs for Calgary than the 5'10" winger, who could have made this list for his heroics in 1986 as well when he scored 12 goals and seven assists in 21 games for the Flames.
6. Theoren Fleury (1995 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
In 1995, Theoren Fleury did everything in his power to keep the Calgary Flames alive in the playoffs, but they ended up bowing out in the first round to the San Jose Sharks in seven games.
Fleury was brilliant, averaging two points per game. He scored seven goals and seven assists in the series and led the team with a plus-minus of +8. It was not enough, though, as the Flames were simply not deep enough to make a push.
You couldn't put the blame on their "little big man" however, as he placed the club on his back during their short-lived playoff appearance.
5. Paul Reinhart (1984 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
If it hadn't been for the juggernaut that was the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames may have made a Stanley Cup appearance in the 1983-84 season, thanks in part to the play of defenseman Paul Reinhart.
Reinhart led the Flames in scoring through 11 games with 17 points (6 goals and 11 assists), and in plus-minus with a +6 rating. He was a big reason Calgary pushed the Oilers to a Game 7 in the Smythe Division finals.
He was a very dependable blue-liner, especially in the postseason, where he scored 77 points (23 goals and 54 assists) in 83 career games.
4. Doug Gilmour (1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
If you want to know how big of a star Doug Gilmour is just mention his name in Toronto. His flame started burning in Calgary, though, specifically during the 1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Gilmour was brilliant, putting up a point per game, 11 goals and 11 assists, during the team's Stanley Cup run, including the Cup winner in Game 6 against Montreal.
The 5'11", 173-pound center nicknamed "Killer" was exactly that for Calgary, and was a huge reason they were able to hoist the Cup for the first and only time in the history of the franchise.
3. Jarome Iginla (2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
As much as Miikka Kiprusoff carried the Flames to a Stanley Cup Final in 2004, there was no doubt who led the team the rest of the way, their captain Jarome Iginla.
Iginla did everything from score (13 goals and nine assists) to fight (third on team with 45 penalty minutes), and also led the team with three game-winning goals, four power-play goals and two shorthanded goals to go with a plus-minus of +13 in 26 playoff games.
There still isn't a more well-rounded captain in the NHL.
The only thing hotter to come out of Calgary then Jarome Iginla might be Elisha Cuthbert.
2. Al Macinnis (1989 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
Al Macinnis was probably the best defenseman to ever wear a Flames jersey. Macinnis had an absolute canon for a shot, and was great in his own end. In 1989, he was a big part of the team's success in winning their first and only Stanley Cup.
He led the team in scoring during the playoffs with seven goals, 24 assists, and 31 points in 22 games.
He ranks third, behind Paul Coffey (37 points in 1985), and Brian Leetch (34 points in 1994), for most points by a defensemen in one playoff year. He had five power-play markers and led the team in game winners with four.
These stats are a big reason why he earned the Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player during the postseason that year.
1. Miikka Kiprusoff (2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
You may be hard-pressed to find a better individual performance in the playoffs over the years then what Miikka Kiprusoff did in 2004.
Basically, he carried a Calgary Flames club to the finals, when they had absolutely no business being there.
In fact, if Martin Gelinas' phantom goal in overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game 6 had been reviewed, the Flames may have hoisted the Stanley Cup.
Kiprusoff became an instant Flames legend, going 15-11 with a remarkable 1.85 goals against average and a tantalizing .928 save percentage, while posting five shutouts.
Not too bad for a player that Darryl Sutter acquired from San Jose for a second-round pick.