Game No. 52: Back to it

Ryan Lambert
February 01 2011 05:52PM



So here we go again.

It's now officially time for the post-break push, which should be even easier for the Flames because, I believe, they were the only team in the NHL that was in no way represented at the All-Star Game or Skills Competition. Having seen the first two-thirds or so of this season, though, you can probably figure out why pretty easily.

Despite the recent run of shocking success, you can't feel too great about where this team's at right now, even in terms of making a playoff push in the home stretch here. It's an old team with middling talent that needs to play extremely well every night to win games. Granted, it has done so lately, and with frequency, but how much can we expect that in these final 30 games?

Last year, after February 1, Calgary, which had very few players participate in the Olympics, went just 12-12-1. They only scored 60 goals in those 25 games (2.4 a night), which is really not very good, and gave up 68 (2.72 per game), which is ghastly.

The problem with last year's team — and to a similar extent this year's — is that you really don't have any idea what you're going to get on a given night. Big-time scoring spree? Calgary's popped in four or more 17 times this year. Bone-dry on offense? It's also scored one or none 16 times. That makes up a hefty proportion of the season, and includes a lot of middling offensive nights where you need your goaltender and defense to bail out the offense.

But then there are the 18 games in which Calgary has given up four or more, and just eight in which they've allowed no more than a single goal (and while three of those have come in the last two weeks, it also hasn't shut anyone out since November). It might be asking too much for a spotty defense to cobble together another string of strong own-zone games in front of a goalie that's been remarkably Jekyll and Hyde this season.

Anyway, Nashville is a team Calgary has shown it can handle, and with some of that defensive aplomb I was talking about. There aren't too many teams that average less than a goal a game against the Flames this year.

 

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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 06:11PM
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Strong start for CGY.

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#2 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 06:19PM
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Wow. Chances are 8-1 in favor of the Flames, but the Preds lead 1-0.

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#3 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 06:35PM
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Flames have fallen way back since the initial surge. Preds have pretty much evened the count.

On that note, it's been a high-event period considering the score.

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#4 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 06:41PM
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Chances ended up 9-8 in the first for the Predators. I don't I've ever seen a period where one team gets all the chances followed by the next team going on a long run.

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#5 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 07:07PM
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So, yeah, things have slowed right down in the second. Chances are...0-0 7 minutes in. Flames look confused a lot.

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#6 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 07:21PM
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Preds are shelling hard now. One forechecker in (if that).

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#7 otto
February 01 2011, 07:26PM
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So where did Nashville rank on the crappy ice list?

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#8 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 07:30PM
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Chances were just 4-3 for CGY in the second. NSH sat back and protected pretty well. The bad ice and bouncing puck helped.

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#9 coptin_
February 01 2011, 07:33PM
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flames seem like they are still on their all star break. i dont see anyone playing with any effort

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#10 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 07:43PM
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@coptin_

I haven't noticed Jarome at all tonight.

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#11 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 07:51PM
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Flames with all those chances in the first and that's the shot that goes in.

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#12 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 08:12PM
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This one is going to come down to a bounce I think.

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#13 Kent Wilson
February 01 2011, 08:24PM
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Pretty dull 3rd. Flames with 3 chances and two goals though (the first goal wasn't even counted as a chance).

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#14 B
February 01 2011, 08:38PM
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...the winning streak lives! So sweet!

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#15 otto
February 01 2011, 08:39PM
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Believe!

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#16 B
February 01 2011, 08:46PM
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...we aren't in a playoff spot yet, but we moved past the Kings in the standing with the win tonight.

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#17 B
February 01 2011, 08:49PM
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...nevermind, the Kings lost in a SO, darn.

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#18 dickshilling
February 01 2011, 09:27PM
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I've never been more frustrated with Sportsnet broadcasting crew than I was tonight. Between them talking about the puck hitting linesman and the puck bouncing on the bad ice, I almost threw my TV through the front living room window.

Does anybody know who to write a letter to about things like this

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#19 Flamin Cannot's
February 01 2011, 09:40PM
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Everyone is back on the flamers bandwagon! We are gonna make the playoffs, hurrah! Not so fast... The flamers currently have 56 points and they have 30 games left X 2 points for a win = a possible 60 points The LEAST amount of points a team needs to make the playoffs is around 96 points... 96 - 56 = 40 more points needed...40/60 = .666 Soo...as all the reporters have been saying the flames MUST win 2 out of very 3 games from here on out... Possible? Yes, but it sure ain't good betting odds.

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#20 mikeecho
February 02 2011, 12:14PM
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@Flamin Cannot's

it's not like the 96 point thing is a firm requirement.

The least amount of points the Flames need to make the playoffs is 1 more point than the 9th place team.

The 95-96 point range has been a pretty good bench mark, but the reality is that the Flames are neck and neck with 7-8 teams for last 3-4 playoff spots.

Each of those teams chances of making the playoffs will be determined by how they perform as well as how the others perform.

If they all crap the bed, 90 points might make it in. If they all push hard, it could be 96 or higher.

At this point the Flames just want to be in the mix and setting their sights on the team 1 spot ahead of them and jumping them in the standings. If they do it enough, they'll be in the post season.

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