The expectations weren't the same as they were in the past few years, yet, the Flames are headed back to the Stanley Cup finals following back to back OT wins to close out the series against the Vancouver Canucks in 5 games.

It was another convincing victory for the 6th seed in the Eastern conference who have now eliminated 3 of the top 4 teams in the regular season standings, losing only 4 games in the process.

"It's been wild!  I wasn't sure we'd even get past the first round.  Especially after we let 11 goals in on game 4 against the Coyotes and the series was tied. " said GM Barry at the post game conference.  Indeed it has.  Since that loss the team has lost 2 games. 

That evening against the Coyotes, in that 11-4 loss, Martin Necas received a 5-minute major and was ejected for a spear that injured Coyotes' forward Ilya Mikheyev.  He was handed a 5 game suspension the next day.  His loss in the top 6 would however not be felt.  Trevor Moore jumping in his spot alongside Jordan Staal and Brad Marchand.  

"They've been our best line, hands down. That's coaching at its finest." added Barry.  The chemistry was instantaneous with Moore getting 4 points in a 5-3 win the next game.  Since the line change, he has 16 points in 12 games and has become the Flames unsung hero.  This is especially impressive when you realize Moore sees no powerplay time.  With Necas set to return after his suspension, the coaching staff couldn't upset the lines.  Necas settled in on the third line his spot on the power play managing to maintain his point per game production he had before his suspension.

"Everything is clicking perfectly.  This has never happened in our playoff history.  We've had many division winning teams that did not perform this way when it mattered most." said defensemen Tyson Barrie who's now played 114 playoff games in 8 postseasons.  "I hope this is the year!"

The aforementioned Martin Necas, who the Flames received in exchange for star goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, was the one who sent the Flames back to the Finals in a game 5 overtime, scoring his third of the postseason off a perfect saucer pass from his centerman Nick Schmaltz.

"We've been lucky, but we've been good as well" Necas said.  "It takes both to get to this point and we'll need to do it 4 more times."

The Flames have returned to the Cup finals 3 times since their 2011 Cup win, being defeated in all 3 attempts.  They will now join the Kings as the only team to have fought for the prestigious trophy 5 times and will attempt to match them with a second Cup.

"Winning these last four games is the toughest and the greatest feeling.  Losing them is the absolute worst.  We've felt that.  I hope the guys in the locker room that have been through it will use that experience to get us there" concluded Barry.