The Flames have a National Hockey League-leading 10 wins when trailing after 40 minutes. The total gives Calgary a share of hte lead with the Anaheim Ducks, six more than the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks, seven more than the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings and, well, 10 more than the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“Honestly, it’s something that’s tough to explain,” Flames forward Joe Colborne said. “Obviously we have a lot of confidence in our ability to come out in the third period and play well.
“Maybe that’s part of the reason why, we just don’t know any better. That could be part of it. Even last year we really wanted to focus on creating an identity of a hard working team and a team that never gives up. That’s something we’ve carried into this year and something we’ve rallied around.”
The 10 come-from-behind victories are already a Flames franchise record and just two shy of the NHL-best set by the Dallas Stars in 2005-06. They’ve been in dramatic fashion, too. Calgary has needed to go beyond regulation, whether it be via overtime or a shootout, to net seven of those victories.
As much as the leadership group has helped, it’s the young guys, captain Mark Giordano admitted, that are helping pave the way.
“I think that has something to do with it but our young guys have a lot to do with it,” said Giordano, who has one goal and 10 assists in third periods and overtimes that the Flames have rallied in. “They play with the mentality that they don’t know any better. They just go out and play their game and try things. They’ve been creating. I think it’s a good mix in here, a good combination of both and it’s helped push us through.”
Most of all, though, its confidence.
“We did it a bunch of times at the start of the year so we gained that confidence,” Giordano said. “We’ve carried it throughout the year. We’ve been able to come back but I think you see it throughout the league. It’s tougher to hold leads then it was in the past, for sure. We’ve just done a good job of capitalizing on some opportunities.”
Here’s a look at the best of Calgary’s comebacks this season:
BOSTON BRUINS 3 @ CALGARY FLAMES 4 (OT) - MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2015 (RECAP)
Calgary’s most recent comeback was their most dramatic. After cutting the deficit to two goals after 40 minutes, Jiri Hudler connected at 3:22 of the third and again with just over five minutes in regulation to force overtime. It was there that TJ Brodie kicked in his heroics. Brodie burst wide and sent a centering pass into the slot that skipped off the stick of Bruins forward Brad Marchand, into the air and off the glove of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask before skipping off the top of the net, off Rask again and across the goal line with 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime to earn the win.
"To use a famous phrase from a great baseball manager, it's not over until it's over," Flames coach Bob Hartley said following the game. "I don't know what to say anymore. Those guys never quit.”
CALGARY FLAMES 4 @ LOS ANGELES KINGS 3 (OT) - MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014 (RECAP)
Christmas was kind to the Flames. Trailing 3-1 with less than three minutes remaining in regulation to the Kings, Johnny Gaudreau struck with back-to-back goals just 73 seconds apart -- including one with 59 seconds remaining in regulation -- to complete his first career NHL hat trick and force overtime. From there, Giordano took charge. Giordano took the puck at center ice, bulled through the defense of Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter, headed toward the net and pushed a backhand past goalie Jonathan Quick to send Calgary caroling into the holiday break.
"He's the ultimate leader," Hartley said of Giordano. "And again tonight he took charge. We fell behind, but the guys were great on the bench, they were great in the room. We felt like we had a chance."
NEW JERSEY DEVILS 4 @ CALGARY FLAMES 5 (S0) - SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2014 (RECAP)
The Flames had to put in a little extra work to complete their fifth come-from-behind victory of the season. Josh Jooris put a dent in the 3-1 lead of the New Jersey Devils just 2:26 into the third, but Tuomo Ruutu restored the two-goal advantage near the midway mark of the frame. A goal from Hudler at 17:38 and another from Curtis Glencross with just five seconds remaining in regulation pushed the game to overtime. After five minutes of 4-on-4 solved nothing, Hudler netted the shootout-deciding goal to give the Flames a 5-4 win.
"I'll have to get my heart checked," Hartley said. "I don't know how they do it, but we found a way again. We're not making it easy, but we're making it interesting."
EDMONTON OILERS 2 @ CALGARY FLAMES 4 - SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015 (RECAP)
Calgary’s second ‘Battle of Alberta’ comeback this season didn’t require the same dramatics as many of their other rallies, but it was impressive nonetheless. Trailing the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 heading into the third period, the Flames exploded for four goals to down their provincial rival. It was started with Paul Byron’s goal 2:56 into the final frame and complimented by a pair from Lance Bouma and a single from Sean Monahan to earn the regulation decision.
"Obviously, we have come from behind in the past so we know we can do it and we have the belief in here," Bouma said. "That's huge for us. We always say going into the third period that the third is always our best and we always seem to find a way.”
COLORADO AVALANCHE 3 @ CALGARY FLAMES 4 (OT) - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2015 (RECAP)
It took two comebacks to make an overtime victory stick against the Colorado Avalanche. Trailing 2-1 heading into the third, Glencross tied the game just 1:14 in but former Flames forward Alex Tanguay restored the Avalanche lead with just under six minutes remaining. That cued up Dennis Wideman’s game-tying goal with 1:17 remaining before Monahan found net behind Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov with his own rebound to earn the win -- Hartley’s 400th as an NHL coach.
“Even as a group we knew we had to find a way to win that one,” Monahan said. “At the end of the day, every game is important right now. We're finding ways to get the two points."