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5 Takeaways: 2016-17 Flames schedule

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

RIVALRY NIGHT, TIMES THREE

What a way to kick off the year.

The Flames will go head-to-head with their two biggest rivals, the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, three times in the first four days of the 2016-17 campaign.

Buckle up.

On Oct. 12, the Flames will head three hours up north in hopes of spoiling the Oilers first regular season game at their fancy new digs -- Rogers Place. The last time the Flames visited the Oilers, they put a damper for Edmonton fans looking to cap off the final Battle of Alberta at Rexall Place on a high note, routing their northern rivals 5-0. Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau led the charge in the decisive victory, each netting two goals against Oilers netminder Cam Talbot.

A couple of days later, the Oilers will be in town for the Flames' home opener on Oct. 14. The last time they made a stop at the Scotiabank Saddledome was way back on Dec. 27. The Flames also scored five goals that night, downing the Oilers 5-3 in what was a record-setting win. It was Calgary's 11th straight victory within the confines of the 'Dome, setting a new franchise high for wins on home ice.

Wrapping up a rivalry-laden few days, the Flames will make the short flight to Vancouver to face the Canucks in their home-opener on Oct. 15. The boys in red played the Canucks in their final home game of the 2015-16 season, sending fans home happy with 7-3 win over the Canucks. Backlund scored his first career hat trick that night, setting a new personal high in goals scored in a single season with 21.

SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALRIGHT

Calgary will play 13 Saturday games this season, six of those at the 'Dome. Of those six home tilts, three are against Canadian clubs: Dec. 10 vs. the Winnipeg Jets (8:00 PM MT), Jan. 7 vs. the Vancouver Canucks (8:00 PM MT), and Jan. 21 vs. the Edmonton Oilers (8:00 PM MT).

Saturdays are the second-most scheduled day of the season; the Flames will play 14 games on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Tuesday docket is filled with American clubs, particularly those in the Central Division (six games). Fridays are dominated with home games. There will be 10 games played on Friday night's at the 'Dome this year ... a solid way to kick off the weekend!

Mondays are the least crowded day of the year with nine games, three of which will be played at the 'Dome: Feb. 13 vs. Arizona (7:00 PM), Mar. 13 vs. Pittsburgh (7:00 PM MT), and Mar. 27 vs. Colorado (7:00 PM MT).

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

For a second straight year, the Washington Capitals will be in town for our Halloween festivities at the 'Dome. That game will take place on Oct. 30, a Sunday, at 7:30 PM MT.

This year's Christmas game will be played on Dec. 23 when the Canucks are in town (7:00 PM MT).

Once again, the Flames will play at home on Dec. 31 - the perfect way to kick off New Year's Eve! Oliver Ekman-Larsson and the Arizona Coyotes will be in town for the final contest before 2017.

There is no game scheduled on Valentine's Day this year but there are two home games sandwiching Feb. 14; the Flames will host the Coyotes on Feb. 13 (7:00 PM MT) and the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 15 (7:30 PM MT).

Blimey! The Flames play at home on St. Patrick's Day, taking on the Dallas Stars on Mar. 17 at 7:00 PM MT.

As for "NHL holidays", the Flames have a new five-day break around the NHL All-Star Game (Jan. 28-29 in LA) and have another five-day layoff from Feb. 8-12.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Flames will make a six-game hike across the central and northeastern United States in late November, their longest journey of the season. Their first destination is Detroit on Nov. 20 and they wrap up their trip in Brooklyn on Nov. 28.

Another notable trek is the all-Canadian tour in January. The Flames will play the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens back-to-back on Jan. 23-24 and then make a stop in Ottawa on Jan. 26.

In total, the Flames have 18 road trips on this year's schedule.

JOIN THE C OF RED

Planning a trip to Calgary to see the Flames? This year's schedule aligns with other major events happening in and around the city!

If you're a curling fan, the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling opens up in Okotoks in late October! The Masters schedule runs from Oct. 25-30 while the Flames play home games on Oct. 18 (vs. Buffalo), Oct. 20 (vs. Carolina), Oct. 22 (vs. St. Louis), Oct. 28 (vs. Ottawa), and Oct. 30 (vs. Washington).

Into ballet? The Moscow Ballett's Great Russian Nutcracker is in town on Nov. 16 - pair that up with the Nov. 18 game vs. Chicago!

Sticking with the Christmas theme, the Spruce Meadows International Christmas Market will be held on three weekends: Nov. 18-20, Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 2-4! All three of those weekends are close to home games at the 'Dome!

Also remember to check out the Calgary Hitmen and Calgary Stampeders schedules to plan a sports-centric trip! The Calgary Roughnecks 2017 schedule has not been released yet so keep an eye on their digital platforms for those dates later this year.

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