The Flames chances of making the post-season are obviously looking fairly grim. With 81 points and 10 games left, Calgary would probably have to go a minimum of 7-2-1 to sneak into the final spot – absent a major collapse by the Detroit Red Wings or Colorado Avalanche of course.
It’s a pretty tall order, granted. That said, it’s not impossible. No less than five NHL clubs had a 7-2-1 or better record in the most recent 10 game stretch (MTL, PHX, WAS, DET), including the much maligned Toronto Maple Leafs (7-2-1). So it can be done, folks.
The Flames begin the last charge of the Light Brigade tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks. This next week may well be the "fulcrum" in the club’s last ditch run at a playoff birth: after Anaheim*, the Flames travel East to battle the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. After that, the climb gets steeper (WAS, PHX, COL, CHI, SJS, MIN, VAN) so the next three game segment represents (by far) the easiest on the dockett.
The good news is, the Flames have a pretty good record against the East over the last few seasons (for good reason – the EC is objectively weaker than the WC). If they can sweep this weeks proceedings, it’ll set them up for a much more reasonable 4-2-1 final stretch against the big boys.
If not, the hope campaign gets a lot tougher to sell.
*(By the way, we’ll be hosting one o’ them fancy liveblog things here tomorrow for the ANA game. Make sure to drop by!)