January 20 2017 08:00AM
Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Another game, another must-win for the Flames. That's going to be something to get used to, for as long as the Flames are a bubble team pretty much every game from here on out is going to be a must-win.
This one more than most, though. The Flames' lackadaisical efforts against the Jets and Devils also came in must-win games, but they weren't as important as this one was. They aren't competing with the Devils for a playoff spot. In all likelihood, they aren't competing with the Jets, either.
They are directly competing with the Predators. Going into this game, these two teams occupied the seventh and eighth spots in the West in points percentage, with the Kings right on their heels. They played against a team missing P.K. Subban and Roman Josi. And now they're ninth.
Nation World HQ
January 20 2017 05:00AM
Should the Leafs or Oilers chase Shattenkirk, the Canucks point streak affecting long term goals, Dylan Larkin's struggles, Draisaitl's fantastic season, Mikael Backlund's case for the Selke, and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
In the Roundup we go around the Nation Network and give you some of the best articles of the last couple weeks. Every once in a while it's good to know what other teams are doing, or maybe you find an interesting article you wouldn't have found otherwise.
Note* This article is posted across all Nation Network team sites so comments are an open forum.
January 19 2017 10:20PM
The Calgary Flames hosted the Nashville Predators at the Saddledome tonight in what was a big game for the playoff aspirations of both clubs. The Predators played a measured, composed, playoff-like game for the majority of the contest. The Flames? Not so much.
The home side was equal parts shaky, sloppy and out of sync en route to a 4-3 loss to their Western Conference rivals. The score is a bit flattering, as all three Calgary goals came at the tail-end of this contest.
January 19 2017 02:00PM
Alex Chiasson is not a top six forward.
Over halfway through a season in his career as a Calgary Flame, I think that's a pretty fair statement to make. He has 14 points - seven goals and seven assists - through 47 games, which is 13th in team scoring, behind noted healthy scratch Sam Bennett.
The clear difference here: more is expected from Bennett than from Chiasson, even though it's Chiasson seemingly being gifted into a top spot on the team.
January 19 2017 12:00PM
When it comes to the Western Conference playoff race, there's a quote that I like (attributed to author Jim Butcher) that seems to apply to this situation: "You don't have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you." The Calgary Flames don't have to be the best team in their conference to make the playoffs; they just have to be better than one or two teams. As our pal Pat Steinberg has noted on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in recent days: all they have to do is win more than the teams around them and they're in.
Tonight, the Flames have a golden opportunity to trip up a team between them and the proverbial bear (which represents a hockey-less spring) as they host the Nashville Predators. There are nine teams with a strong shot at a playoff spot, with Calgary and Nashville currently dueling for the final wildcard spot (when you factor in points percentages rather than pure points). A win tonight can trip up the Predators and give the Flames some breathing room.
The puck drops on this important game at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!