March 10 2011 05:53PM
Despite that worrying third period against Dallas, the Flames keep rollin rollin rollin rollin.
Okay the number of three-point games in which the Flames have been participating lately is reaching a truly troubling level.
Since Jan. 7., a whopping 10 of Calgary's 28 games have gone to overtime or a shootout meaning three points were distributed to the two teams. Not so bad if Calgary wins 'em, but they've only taken four Ws from those. And prior to last night's squeaker, the Flames hadn't won in three straight OT/shootout games, dating back to February 1.
Also not so bad if those three-point games aren't coming against teams in the Western Conference, but, given that it's this late in the season, seven of those 10 predictably have.
But even still, that doesn't so much matter as long as they're not teams with which Calgary is competing directly, and yet, four were against teams within four points of the Flames' 81 as of this writing. That doesn't help. Especially when all but last night's win over Dallas were losses.
More of a problem: seven of the final 12 games are against teams that are in direct competition with the Flames for the final playoff spot, and a game against a softie — where maybe Brent Sutter will stop driving Miikka Kiprusoff into the ground — is a full week away, and three full games stand in the way.
Tonight's opponent, of course, is the Coyotes, currently two back of the Flames, who have are a tiebreaker away from home ice if the playoffs started today. And where are those Coyotes? They're in EIGHTH PLACE.
If that doesn't properly underscore the importance of not giving away points as Calgary did last night, nothing will. It's even more important given the current league rules that decides tiebreakers first by looking at which team has the fewest shootout wins. Currently, no one in the Western Conference or indeed the league has more than Calgary's eight.
So win it in regulation, eh?