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Could Flames be Canada's best hope at ending Stanley Cup drought?

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CALGARY – Could the Calgary Flames be Canada’s team this spring?


A consensus favourite would be impossible given the passionate allegiances in every corner of the country.

Canada’s best hope?

Different debate entirely, as three teams enter the playoffs with a shot at ending Canada’s 25-year Stanley Cup drought.

The early money would have been on the Toronto Maple Leafs given their torrid start and bevy of top young talent.

However, defensive woes and a late-season slide punctuated by their matchup with a beastly Boston bunch have the odds stacked against the Buds.

The Winnipeg Jets seemed best equipped to battle through the brutality of the post-season given their bulkiness and impressive showing last spring.

Alas, they too limped across the finish line and drew the hottest team in hockey, leaving them down 1-0 to St. Louis already.

Then there are the Flames, who shocked the hockey world by finishing second overall thanks to newfound depth, consistency and a stable of scoring stars.

But as the game, its officiating and the stakes change, is this inexperienced crew capable of duplicating what the 1993 Montreal Canadiens did?

As a reminder, those Habs hoisted the cup thanks largely to the stellar netminding of Hall of Famer Patrick Roy.

Despite the fact Mike Smith has been red-hot the last six weeks, goaltending is (once again) the number one concern in Calgary this spring. (See Brian Elliott 2017).

After outplaying David Rittich the second half of the season Smith will undoubtedly be named the Game 1 starter Thursday. His........

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