The Calgary Flames have been a dominant force in the NHL for decades, but one aspect of their success often goes unnoticed: their incredible home-ice advantage. Playing in the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames have consistently been one of the league’s top teams when it comes to winning on home ice. This has been a major contributing factor to their continued success and a point of pride for both the team and their fans.
The home-ice advantage has long been recognized as a crucial aspect of winning in the NHL, and the Flames have mastered it like no other team. This advantage is not just about playing on familiar ground, as many factors contribute to creating a truly dominating home atmosphere. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Calgary Flames‘ dominance in their arena and how they have been able to create such a strong home-ice advantage.
The Scotiabank Saddledome, located in downtown Calgary, has been the home of the Flames since 1983. With a capacity of over 19,000 fans, the arena is always buzzing with energy and excitement during Flames games. The team’s loyal fan base, known as the C of Red, fills the arena with their fiery support, creating an intimidating atmosphere for visiting teams. This is a major advantage for the Flames, as they feel the support and energy of their fans on home ice, giving them an extra boost of confidence and motivation.
But it’s not just the fans that make the Scotiabank Saddledome a tough place for visiting teams to play; the Flames’ players have also played a significant role in creating a home-ice advantage. The team has consistently built strong rosters and played a tough, physical style of hockey that wears down opponents. This style of play has earned the Flames the reputation of being a tough team to play against, and this is amplified even more when they are playing in their home arena.
The Flames’ home-ice dominance is also reflected in their impressive record. Since the 2004–2005 NHL lockout, the Flames have consistently been one of the top teams in the league when it comes to winning on home ice. In fact, during the 2020–2021 regular season, the Flames had the fourth-best home record in the NHL, with 20 wins and only 10 losses. This success has also translated into the playoffs, where the Flames have often had deep runs on the back of strong performances at home.
But what exactly makes the Scotiabank Saddledome such a daunting place for visiting teams? One aspect is the unique atmosphere that the arena provides. The Saddledome is an old-school arena with narrow corridors and steep seating, creating a feeling of closeness between fans and players. This creates a type of intimacy that is lacking in modern, larger arenas, allowing for a strong connection and rapport between fans and players.
Another contributing factor to the Flames’ home-ice advantage is the playing surface itself. The Saddledome ice is notoriously rough, with unusual bumps and cracks that can throw off the game for visiting teams. While the Flames have grown accustomed to these conditions, it can often take time for other teams to adjust, providing the Flames with a significant advantage.
The Flames also have a strong track record of using home ice to their advantage against their biggest rivals. One of the most notable examples of this is their rivalry with the Edmonton Oilers, a matchup known as the Battle of Alberta. The intensity and physicality of these games are always heightened when they are played on home ice, and the Flames have consistently performed well in these matchups at the Saddledome.
In recent years, the Flames’ home dominance has extended into the playoffs, where they have had incredible success on home ice. In the 2021 playoffs, the Flames swept the St. Louis Blues in the first round and won all three home games in the process. This showcased the importance of home-ice advantage in the playoffs, where every game is crucial and the home crowd can make all the difference.
Overall, the Calgary Flames‘ dominance at home is a combination of dedicated fan support, a tough and physical playing style, and a unique and often challenging playing surface. This creates an environment that is tough for visiting teams to compete in and gives the Flames the edge they need to be a dominant team on home ice.
The Calgary Flames’ ability to command a strong home-ice advantage is a major contributor to their success as a team. They have built a dedicated fan base, created a unique and challenging playing environment, and played tough, physical hockey that is often difficult for opponents to match. As the Flames continue to build on their home-ice dominance, their arena will remain a tough place for any team to play, and their loyal fans will continue to provide the team with unwavering support.