Strap in, folks! It’s Rivalry Week around here at SB Nation, and we’re taking this as an opportunity to do one of our absolute favorite things—bully other teams. We’re kicking things off with a trip on out to the Western Conference to talk about the Calgary Flames and why we hate them.
Now, as some of you may know, I also contribute over at our SB Nation Flames site Matchsticks and Gasoline, so I have indeed watched a whole lot of the Flames over the last couple of years! Which I guess makes me uniquely qualified to talk about why we hate them? Sure. Let’s get right into it. I’ve prepared a list.
1. They made me watch Zac Rinaldo for 19 games this season.
Honestly, I don’t really have to break this one down for you all. We remember the Zac Rinaldo days here in Philly, and probably not all that fondly, and I was really hoping that when he was traded to the Bruins years ago, that whole saga would over and I could finally be free. But suddenly, there he was in Stockton and then there he was in Calgary, and he was not just hanging out in press box, let me tell ya. Evidently the saga will never be over and some of us are doomed to be haunted by the ghost of Zac Rinaldo until the end of time. Whomp whomp.
2. Mountain Time is my enemy
We’re spoiled out here on the East Coast, folks. This isn’t exactly a qualm with just the Flames, but rather with the whole of the Western Conference, but we’re keeping it Flames-centric for now. Anyway, with most of their games starting at at least 9 PM our time, that makes for a good number of late nights for me when the Flames are on.
And, as a grandma on the inside, I take issue with this. I mean, really, who’s built to be staying up until midnight all the time?
*all of the night owls slowly raise their hands*
I didn’t ask you. Moving on now.
3. Harvey The Hound is nightmare fuel
Yes, we have all seen Gritty and know the fear he can instill in his friends and enemies alike. We’ve been there. But Harvey The Hound is actually like something out of my nightmares and I cannot believe that he is real.
Truly, I have no words, I just... *shudders*
4. Their chaos level feels very Flyers-esque
I think about this one a lot, and in a lot of ways, the Flames sort of feel a lot like “The Flyers: Western Conference edition” in that a lot of their struggles in the last few years have mirrored ours. The revolving door of coaches, the playoff fizzles, the top end talent toiling away with these sort of weird middling teams, and the overall maddening lack of consistency? It all does sound a bit too familiar, doesn’t it?
And who needs that, really? Two teams dealing in the same kind of suffering? A person doesn’t deserve this. It’s not even like they’re finding new and more inventive ways to hurt me, it’s just the same old ways recycled over and over, and still to the same effect. Truly, it’s just not fair.
5. They still haven’t traded Johnny Gaudreau to the Flyers.
*slams fists on the table* Bring Johnny home!
But let’s be real, here, as much as I hate the Flames sometimes, it’s always still inexplicably wrapped up in love, too. When they’re playing well, they’re a fun team to watch and really easy to root for. They’ve long lived in that weird mushy middle of the league, like the Flyers, and they feel our pain. We love them because we love Johnny Gaudreau, who you may have heard is from near Philly? Big if true.
And they also have Matthew Tkachuk who is chaotic and perfect and does things like pissing off Drew Doughty and also scoring goals like this:
Also one time they played Dancing Queen at practice, and I honestly can’t think of anything more perfect than that.