Congratulations to everyone in the Calgary Flames organization and fan base for what turned into a memorable season. I'm not going to speculate about future success or sustainability, but in terms of what happened between October and now in southern Alberta, there was a lot to be proud of.
Karri Ramo — You played an unbelievable series. Time and again we've seen backup goalies steal the starting job in the playoffs and then either they run with it (Cam Ward 2006) or they fall back to Earth. Frankly, your team wasn't good enough to let you run with it, but you certainly did not fall back to Earth. In Game 5, your 5v5 save percentage was 97.06. I'd say you did your job.
Johnny Gaudreau — They may just have to put you in the shooting accuracy competition one of these years. That snipe to tie Game 3 was the kind of shot you don't usually make unless you have a name like Ovechkin or Selanne or Hull on the back of your jersey, and you might be the first player to beat Hampus Lindholm one-on-one on a purely stickhandling play at the NHL level. Patrick Kane 2.0 indeed.
Mikael Backlund — Your overtime winner guarantees you a spot on this list, but in addition to that you looked like one of the few Flames who played well in Game One. First impressions tend to stick.
Bob Hartley — If the Jack Adams award is really the High Regular Season PDO Award, you might have one coming your way. Which doesn't sound like a very nice thing to say in a handshake line, but what I'm really trying to get at is that your team overachieved, and when a team is better on ice than it is on paper, I tend to give the coach some credit. There is not a stat for pushing the right buttons at the right times, but if there was, you probably would do pretty well in it.
Mark Giordano and Jonas Hiller — For two very different reasons, you guys didn't really do anything in this series, but you are the two biggest reasons that your team made the playoffs in the first place, and for that Calgary owes you.
The Whole Team on April 9th — Thank you for eliminating the Kings. Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler both scored in the first period, Hudler added an empty net goal to make it 3-1, and Hiller made 34 saves on 35 shots. Thank you, Calgary Flames.
It's the last thing you want to hear after losing in the playoffs, but the good times outweighed the bad at the Saddledome this year. Congrats, and may you be eternally better than the Edmonton Oilers.