The Calgary Flames have re-written National Hockey League history. With their league-leading seventh shutout of the young 2021-22 season, the Flames set an NHL record that has stood since 1929.
Calgary became the first team to put up seven shutouts in just 19 games to begin a season. This record means the Flames are the first team to do so since offensive forward passes were allowed… Yes, it has been a long time.
Netminder Dan Vladar picked up his second shutout of the season on Sunday evening, turning aside all 28 Boston Bruins’ shots he faced for his second-straight clean sheet, following a shutout over Ottawa one week prior.
But the real leader in the crease for Calgary is Jacob Markstrom. Boasting an NHL-best five shutouts on the year, the big 31-year-old owns a 7-3-4 record through 14 starts. Putting those numbers into perspective, in the entire 2020-21 season, the league’s co-leaders had seven shutouts all year (Semyon Varlamov and Philipp Grubauer).
Now owning a combined seven shutouts through 19 games, Calgary also has the league’s best goals differential at +27, while the Flames’ 63 goals-for and 36 goals-against are also both top-10 across the league.
Finishing their seven-game road trip with a 4-1-2 record and an 11-3-5 record overall, the Flames have pulled one point ahead of the Edmonton Oilers for first place in the Pacific Division, despite their northern rival having two games in hand.
Riding strong performances from both the offence and defence, Calgary put up 22 goals to its 10 goals against in the seven game trek. Now 9-2-2 away from Scotiabank Saddledome, the team will look to improve upon its 2-1-3 record at home.
Whether Markstrom and Vladar will be able to continue their combined streak of three shutouts in the team’s past five outings, Calgary should have an easier test on its hands as the Central Division’s cellar-dweller Chicago Blackhawks roll into town on Tuesday. The Winnipeg Jets visit Calgary on Saturday.