Flames on the Precipice

 

 

With the Blackhawks and Ducks both winning last night, the Flames already tenuous playoff chances have been pushed to the brink. The Ducks are currently four points up on Calgary with one game in hand while the Hawks are three points up with two games in hand. To make matters more complicated, the Dallas Stars are just a point behind Calgary, but have played three less games so far.

Here’s a look at the Flames three main 8th place competitors and what their stretch drive schedules look like.

Anaheim Ducks

March 30 – Calgary Flames

April 2 – San Jose Sharks

April 3 – Dallas Stars

April 6 – San Jose Sharks

April 8 – Los Angeles Kings

April 9 – Los Angeles Kings

Record to get to 97 points = 2-3-1 or 3-3-0

The Ducks don’t have the kindest schedule with two back-to-backs and four games against playoff clubs in San Jose and Los Angeles, although the bite has been taken out of the Kings a bit with the recent Anze Kopitar injury. Obviously the Flames can do themselves all sorts of favors by beating Anaheim tomorrow. On the other hand, a loss to the Ducks puts the final nail in the coffin.

Chicago Blackhawks

March 29 – Boston Bruins

April 1 – Columbus Blue Jackets

April 3 – Tampa Bay Lightning

April 5 – Montreal Canadiens

April 6 – St. Louis Blues

April 8 – Detroit Red Wings

April 10 – Detroit Red Wings

Record to get to 97 points = or 2-1-3 or 3-3-1

The Blackhawks last seven games are book-ended by some division leaders, but the middle portion isn’t all that frightening, even with the one back-to-back versus Montreal and St. Louis. Chicago recently saw Patrick Sharp go down to injury which was certainly a blow to their top-six depth. Unfortunately, the Red Wings also recently lost Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard themselves which lessens their chances of taking the final two games. 

Dallas Stars

March 29 – Phoenix Coyotes

March 31 – San Jose Sharks

April 2 – Los Angeles Kings

April 3 – Anaheim Ducks

April 5 – Columbus Blue Jackets

April 7 – Colorado Avalanche

April 8 – Colorado Avalanche

April 10 – Minnesota Wild

Record to get to 97 points = 4-1-3 or 5-2-1

The Stars have the easiest final four contests of the season, particularly since COL and MIN as close to sure wins as exists in the WC outside of Edmonton. If they take those three, the Stars will still have to manage at least two more wins or three more ties in their other four contests to get to 97.

Finally, here’s how the Flames schedule rounds out

Calgary Flames

March 30 – Anaheim Ducks

April 1 – St. Louis Blues

April 3 – Colorado Avalanche

April 6 – Edmonton Oilers

April 9 – Vancouver Canucks

Record to get to 97 points = 5-0-0

The Flames final five aren’t too bad outside of the Ducks and Canucks. The problem is, Calgary has to win out and they need all three of the aforementioned clubs to fall short of 97 points because the Flames inevtiably lose the tie-breaker.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a fairly terrible position to be in. Five game winning streaks are hard enough to come by in an NHL season for a middling club. Betting on that and for each of Dallas, Chicago and Anaheim to be under .500 down the stretch is praying for miracle.

That said, it’s not over till it’s over.

    • Scott

      So as we all predicted back when this big push begin in early january, the Flames will inevitably end up in 9th or 10th place…

      Well atleast according to Todd (Canucks Troll) we get a nineth pick overall! That should work out well… Oh wait… We stand to be picking around the 13-15 range if things stay as they are today.

      Another mid range pick. I’m afraid as to what this team will look like at the start of the next season, but big changes are needed.

  • icedawg_42

    As much as I wish otherwise, this one has been over since the loss on March 15 vs the Coyotes…these games in hand have been a storm overhead for quite some time, and most of these teams the Flames are chasing, have been making good on them. Aaargh – summer is always SO long without any hockey to watch! *sniff*

    • Scott

      Yeah, those summers can be long, especially if the Canucks go far, meaning less good hockey to watch in the playoffs.. Well at least the Stampeders season isn’t far off!

  • Scott

    I told you Flames fans, how many times was it done? So now you are holding on to a glimmer hope that by beating the Ducks you are still in it. I really hope the Ducks win tomorrow and end this madness.

    On a side note: I don’t agree with what Fleury said, but I DO NOT AGREE with those idiot van fans bringing his past into it. The guy stated an opinion, being that it was a stupid one, but no way should you bring somebody’s past into it. Those aren’t even real Nucks fans.

    Anyways Calgary enjoying golfing in your snowy spring, and kick back and watch the VANATION win the cup. When Mason Raymond gets it for two days, I hope he goes up and down Deerfoot with it.

    CHeers to your vodka rums!

  • Upkeeper

    To quote Dennis Green “They are who we thought they were!” Back in the summer this the place that most predicited the Flames would be in. It has been a rollercoaster to get here but, we are still in the place. I would rather be here then be Ottawa, which the Flames had the choice of being back in December.

  • Scott

    Given that they were way out of the playoffs back in December, atleast they played entertaining hockey to give us something to watch since then.

    @Todd

    I thought you said Canuck fans knew more than flames fans? Now you seem to be contradicting yourself… I took a look over at your CanuckArmy site, and noticed only 2 people commenting on the last 5 posts. I guess you all know so much that its not worth even discussing with eachother.

    I usually cheer for Canadian teams, but given that your team contains no more than 1 decent canadian player, I think I’ll cheer for someone else.

    • A18

      I am neutral here, but I am just saying that what, exactly, do the Canuck fans need to talk about?

      The only ones talking about the Canucks seasons are all on this website

      I’m just saying… let it be already

    • A18

      I am neutral here, but I am just saying that what, exactly, do the Canuck fans need to talk about?

      The only ones talking about the Canucks seasons are all on this website

      I’m just saying… let it be already

  • Derzie

    Fitting that tomorrow is the season in a game. Play well, get a win and momentum. Play like you did Saturday in Mudville, the season is over. Who would you rather golf with? Iggy or the Sisters? The hockey gods know the answer.

  • OilFan

    Well the “homers” on 960 have to continue to spin a positive light, or their rights holders aka the FLAMES will go to another station. They can’t rip your sad sad team until the final nail of the coffin has been placed. My Nucks follow the Charlie Sheen method of TIGER BLOOD and WINNING, when it comes to our persuit of the cup.

    Yes Flames fans WINNNING DUH?

    Even if we don’t win this year, our team is still young enough to give it a shot again next year and the year after. Our guys are entering their collecitve primes, while your “core” are about to enter the old folks home. Sorry no Selannes on your team.

    I’ll bet you guys “go for it” one more year then start the rebuild. 50K committed to a team that could give the GOlden Girls a run for their money.

    REAL VAN fans know what’s going. We have our version of 04 Flames fans, who have no clue what they are talking about. Those are probably the ones who bashed Fleury. I have nothing against the guy stating his opinion, but as a human I don’t think it’s right to bring one’s personal history into a debate, NO MATTER WHO I CHEER FOR.

    Fleury likes to stir the pot, and if you fell for it, you are dumber than you look.

    • OilFan

      You just had to steal my TIGER BLOOD so lame. Only in Vancouver people jump on the band wagon lol I remember in 06 ( oh the days) everyone in Vancouver was cheering for the Oilers and in 04 for the Flames. Do you think Flames fan cheered for the Oilers ? Or Oilers fans cheering for the Flames ? GIVE ME A BREAK . DUH WINNING

  • A18

    Unfortunately the Flames put themselves in a precarious position with their slow start. That being said making a solid push is noteworthy but doesn’t mean much if they don’t make the playoffs.

    We do have some solid players, with the right management and personnel we can end this potential two year post season drought.

    As a side note I must address the Van trolls. Congratulations on being a dominant team this regular season but you haven’t won the cup yet, take it easy. Your team can easily become the San Jose of the years past, choking in the playoffs. Your team is confident right now but confidence can be broken, so gtfo of here until you win something of note, aka the Stanley Cup.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    I hate to feed trolls but,

    @Todd: The Flames can’t take the broadcast rights away from the Fan because it’s a Rogers station, and Rogers just signed on for 10 years of broadcasting both the Flames and Oilers.

  • Scott

    I think that Dallas could slip out of the playoff picture, which works for us, and with Chicago beating Detroit last night, I think they roll from here on out, despite the tougher schedule.

    This leaves Anaheim. A win tomorrow, and I suspect everything will then depend on the game against the Canucks. Hopefully their d-men go down with injuries (again) before then!

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Gotta keep the hope as a true fan! Like the 2004 miracles in the playoffs, perhaps 2011 will have miracles to GET US TO the playoffs. And THEN we can lose again in round 1…LOL. Let’s hope not.

  • Scott

    It’s hard to believe 97 points might not get in, but that’s what we’re looking at. It’s really too bad Chicago had to win last night. I think that Dallas will ultimately fall short of 97, just because I think their stretch before the end could possibly kill them. That leaves Anaheim and Chicago. Anaheim has 1 less game in hand and we play them, so I’m thinking our best bet is potentially catching them. That home in home against LA to end the year will be huge. Even with Kopitar out I don’t see us catching LA but if say for example at that time they’re both at 95 points, it’ll be huge

  • Scott

    Its not over yet, but they need to be perfect and get lots of help. Those other teams have tough schedules! And hey, I might get at least some silver lining this season, I mean since Eberle and the boys destroyed Cal 4 – 0 in Game 1 its been a tough year. But, I got tickets to next wednesday, and hope to see the OILERS nail the coffin shut!

  • Gange

    I think it’s pretty much done this year. Here’s hoping I’m wrong but I don’t think I am.

    That said, the year after next looks GREAT!! Going into a strong draft year with several dead weight contracts off the books there will be significant change. Notable UFA’s that July 1st:

    Langkow
    Hagman
    Jokinen
    Kotalik
    Moss
    Kostopoulos
    Ivanans
    Jackman
    Sarich

    Vive le Difference!!

    • You say notable UFAs as if it is a foregone conclusion that Feaster/new GM won’t resign those slags…

      Jokinen will get signed for a 3rd go-round, Hagman will become captain, and Kotalik will continue to refuse to go to Europe.

  • Finally some good news on the out of town scoreboard! Chicago loses 3-0 to Boston, so they stay at 90 points, 3 points up on Calgary with game in hand. Just gotta win our games and have Chi-Town, Anaheim and Dallas lose their games

  • I didn’t know you were masking around as Charlie Sheen Oil fan? Does your team mask around as a professional hockey team as well? No wait it’s a farm team, who will lose all their star players in 2 years when NONE of them want to sign there. What’s that they are RFAs? Well thanks to players signing these stupid 10 year contracts, that pool for UFA’s is pretty slim. Take a look at this year for example. So I PREDICT the RFA scooping will begin when Taylor Hall gets a crazy offer sheet. BOOK IT.

    As for tonight Flames fans win and you are still alive, lose or give the Ducks one point and your season is DONE. How much do you want to bet P-coat nation errrrrrr I mean “flames nation” starts making their way to the exits after 2 Duck goals? I’ve seen it Flames fan, so don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. You guys come late leave early, can we say Toronto jr? Your real fans are in the 300s sad to say. Those guys can name 3 players not named Iggy, Kipper, or Regehr.

    Anyways good luck to you guys, because I’d LOVE FOR my VANNATION to play you in the first round.