Nation World HQ
November 27 2011 01:53PM
The Calgary Flames finish off a nightmare four game road trip this afternoon when they take on the Minnesota Wild for the second time this season (4 pm, Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960). Calgary has lost all three prior games in Columbus, Detroit, and St. Louis and have done it in different ways. Knowing where the team is heading right now, a win in any fashion at this point is pretty important.
November 26 2011 12:16PM
So the theory is that if you have a playoff spot near the end of November, you are likely going to hold onto that spot and be a playoff team. Obviously, nothing is written in stone but the percentages are very good and by we should be able to know the difference between a hot start and a talented team.
According to data from the Toronto Star in 2010: 77.5% of teams that held a playoff spot on Thanksgiving made the playoffs. 84% of teams with 17 or fewer points did not make the playoffs. 89% of teams with 28 or more points made the playoffs. With that in mind, let’s look at the Canadian Team’s chances.
November 25 2011 08:56PM
Another November night, another November loss. For the first time this season, the Flames have lost three straight games, dropping a 2-0 decision to St. Louis. Give the Blues all the credit they deserve, as they're a very regimented squad getting goaltending from Brian Elliott, and they grinded out the victory. It was a decent outing for Calgary, but in the end, they were unable to cash on their chances and have fallen four games below the .500 mark.
November 25 2011 08:42PM
Final Score: 2-0L
November 25 2011 05:39PM
We have a FN roundtable coming up in the next few days on the Flames so I'll limit the discussion to the Blues.
St. Louis has gone on a run since Hitchcock replaced Payen and although Ken is usually a guy who can coax better than average results from his clubs, the truth is the Blues were bound to rebound with or without the coaching change. I covered their early season results at HP here. Short version? The Blues had better than average underlying numbers at ES and their record through 13 games this season was almost entirely bad luck.
Hitchcock may be a good move anyways (although Payne was pretty capable work himself), but we should resist assuming a coaching change would suddenly right the ship here in Calgary - the fundamentals were there for the Blues prior to the change and their rebound was inevitable. So while I think the Flames will eventually go on a run at some point as a matter of chance, the local team's issues are a lot deeper.