February 20 2012 09:54AM
Calgary is yet to lose in regulation time in February, going 5-0-3 in that span, doubling their odds of qualifying for the post-season into the 49%-52% range, their highest of the season. However, they are still 27th in close-game shot-based possession metrics, and their -13 goal differential would certainly be the worst of any post-season participant, so they're peddling uphill.
February 19 2012 01:34PM
Playoffs are a distant hope for the third straight season in Edmonton this year. The focus now shifts to the pending trade deadline, the kids and, eventually, the draft. This week Allan visits with California hockey fan and writer Earl Sleek, welcomes various voices familiar with both pro and amateur Edmonton prospects and shares some reader/listener thoughts on the rapidly approaching deadline.
This is Nation Radio.
February 18 2012 11:01PM
We know how the Calgary Flames are doing it, but yet...we kind of don't know how. Riding the spectacular goaltending of Miikka Kiprusoff, and his fourth shutout this season, the Flames were able to use a third period goal from Mike Cammalleri to take a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings and officially move into a playoff spot for the first time this season. It's exciting to see despite another, um, punchless effort for Calgary. They've now got points in eight straight games.
February 18 2012 10:50PM
Final Score: 1-0 W
February 18 2012 07:06PM
With Calgary sitting just two points below the Kings for the final playoff spot in the West, the Sutter brothers rivalry has taken on a bit more heat. The Kings continue to be more or less the team Darryl inherited - capable defensively, but hopeless in the offensive zone. The Flames, for their part, have been getting their heads beat in in terms of zone time and such over the last month or so, but a resurgent Kiprusoff and opportunistic top line has them in the mix nonetheless.
Calgary's fortune won't last forever. Just as the percentages eventually go south on all pretenders (*cough* Minnesota *cough*) the bounces will start to go the other way eventually. The hope right now is they stick around long enough to get the club into March so they can get some of their depth back. The return of guys like Moss, Glencross, Stempniak and Backlund won't turn the Flames into an instant contender, but it will mean a much better ratio of shots for/against.
For now, here's hoping the Flames can continue to dance along the cliff's edge this evening and sour Darryl's return to the NHL just a bit by matching his new club in the standings.