Well, it could be a good day for the Calgary Flames — a day where they return to an 8th place tie with the Colorado Avalanche. On the other hand, it could be a worst-case-scenario day for the Flames, with their playoff hopes ending following the fate of game #80. Let’s see how it all breaks down.
On the Homefront
The Flames take on the San Jose Sharks for the final time this season, coming off the heels of a 4-1 loss in Chicago on Sunday afternoon. Calgary has wins in two of the three games so far against San Jose, both by one goal. On March 17th at the ‘Dome, Calgary was able to hold on for a 4–3 win, despite a pair of third period goals for the Sharks. Eric Nystrom’s 9th of the season served as the winner, while both Mikael Backlund and Jamal Mayers finished with two assists.
Calgary’s other win came way back on December 5th in NoCal, as the Flames used a Daymond Langkow 3rd period goal to skate away with a 2–1 triumph. And of course, we all remember January 18th, the 9–1 debacle. But at this time, why rehash?
Calgary’s Elimination Number is now 2, which technically means they can "afford" one more loss.
The Mountain Men
As for those pesky Colorado Avalanche, they’re riding a whole lot higher now, following a 5-4 overtime triumph over the Sharks on Sunday. It snapped a four-game losing skid for the Avalanche and reduced their Magic Number to 2. It was a gutsy win in a lot of ways, as Colorado lead 4–2 in the third period only to have San Jose tie it in the final frame. But a desperate overtime was the difference in this game, as the Avalanche would not be denied.
Colorado plays game #79 tonight on the road in Vancouver, a team they’ve had issues with. The Avalanche sit 1–4 against the Canucks this season, including and 0–3 record at GM Place. It’s the first of a back-to-back set for the Avs, who will play in Edmonton on Wednesday. The Avalanche sit 9-5-1 in the first half of back-to-backs, but just 4-9-2 in the second half.
Colorado needs four points to guarantee a playoff berth, providing there is one win in that equation. Calgary can’t control that, but they can keep things as close as possible with a win over the Sharks on home ice. Let’s see what happens.