The Playoff Chase – February 15 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.58.27 PM

Another week, another shuffle in the Western Conference playoff race! Yet despite everyone shuffling in their order, the same eight teams remain in the Western Conference playoff spots. For now.

Here’s a look at the next seven days.

WINNIPEG (68 POINTS)

Record: 29-19-10 in 58 games; first wild-card in the West

  • Monday vs. Edmonton
  • Thursday at Washington
  • Saturday at Toronto

Two of the NHL’s worst clubs face the Jets this week. Oh, and the Capitals, who are quite good. Overall, a fairly simple week for the Jets.

SAN JOSE (67 POINTS)

Record: 29-20-8 in 57 games; second place in Pacific Division

  • Sunday vs. Tampa Bay
  • Tuesday at Nashville
  • Thursday at Dallas
  • Saturday vs. Los Angeles

The week features two tough games for the Sharks and two winnable games against conference opponents afterwards. They should get at least a split. I think Flames fans are hoping they beat LA, at the very least.

VANCOUVER (65 POINTS)

Record: 31-21-3 in 55 games; third place in Pacific Division

  • Monday vs. Minnesota
  • Thursday at NY Rangers
  • Friday at New Jersey

Let’s hope it’s a two point game on Monday – go Canucks, I guess… And then the Canucks get a tough game in the Big Apple and then an easier one in Newark.

CALGARY (65 POINTS)

Record: 31-22-3 in 56 games; second wild-card in the West

  • Monday vs. Boston
  • Wednesday vs. Minnesota
  • Friday vs. Anaheim

The home side has a pair of tough game against established playoff teams, and sandwiched in-between is a game featuring the hottest team in hockey. This week is a measuring stick. Win two of three (or more), and you’re probably worthy of being a playoff squad.

MINNESOTA (63 POINTS)

Record: 28-20-7 in 55 games; two points back of Calgary for the final wild-card with a game in hand

  • Monday at Vancouver
  • Wednesday at Calgary
  • Friday at Edmonton

The Wild are 8-0-2 in their last ten thanks to Devan Dubnyk’s heroics. Now they head West for two tough games against teams they’re chasing for playoff spots. Oh, and Edmonton.

LOS ANGELES (62 POINTS)

Record: 25-18-12 in 55 games; three points back of Calgary for final wild-card with a game in hand (and three back of Vancouver for a divisional playoff spot)

  • Monday vs. Tampa Bay
  • Wednesday at Colorado
  • Saturday at San Jose

Three tough games for the defending champs this week.

DALLAS (60 POINTS)

Record: 26-22-8 in 56 games; five points back of Calgary for final wild-card

  • Tuesday at St. Louis
  • Thursday vs. San Jose
  • Saturday vs. Detroit

Dallas’ playoff hopes are tenuous right now. So the league gives them three games against established playoff teams. Oh, and they just lost Tyler Seguin.

COLORADO (57 POINTS)

Record: 23-22-11 in 56 games; eight points back of Calgary for final wild-card

  • Monday vs. Arizona
  • Wednesday vs. Los Angeles
  • Friday at Chicago

If Colorado gets to 10 points back of the Flames and/or the last wild-card, I might stop including them. They need wins to stay in this group. They have two tough games (and Arizona) this week. They might not be included here next week.

  • cgyokgn

    The team I’m most worried about is the Wild… although they’re only a point ahead of LA, they have two more ROW. They’ve been the hottest team in the west and have the Oil… twice… in the next five games. And of course, there are the depending champs who are recently playing the way they are capable of. The Flames must continue to win most of their games just to stay in place.

  • RKD

    I would really be glad if SJ and Van missed the playoffs. Van has a tough schedule and lots of travel right before game days. Minny is riding Dubynk hot right now, but he’s got to cool off at some point. I think the Jets make the playoff barring a collapse. Dallas is out, without Seguin they are done like dinner. Colorado seems too far back, they would need a miracle run. I hope the top teams coast, the Flames are facing some really tough teams with an upcoming seven game roadtrip againt the Eastern teams at the end of this month. Last night it was evident we won’t get help from other teams nor should we depend on them to do so. We just need to keep finding ways to win games.

    • mk

      I almost feel bad for Iginla…almost. He tried to pull a Hossa, but the cards didn’t fall the right way for him. But it shows that for him, taking a real run at the Cup wasn’t the top priority. Otherwise he would’ve found a way to stick with BOS/PIT or to get onto a team like CHI.

      [Note: I’m not saying all he wanted was money – there are other things, like family, location, etc. that could’ve influenced his choice of FA spots.]

  • everton fc

    The Avs are out of it, me thinks. Dallas might be soon. The Wild are riding a hot goalie. Always something to fear. The Kings seem too inconsistent. I think Winnipeg will be fine. I think the Sharks need to watch it. The Canucks, too. If the Flames can continue to stay out of the penalty box and do a better job on the PP, they should continue to stay inside the final playoff spot. A win vs. the Bruins would be a real boost.

  • KiLLKiND

    As far as Calgary taking a look at Yandle I think he would be great if a Flames uniform and this sounds like a reasonable package for him to me.

    Smid, Granlund, Ramo and our 3rd For Yandle and Jedd Soleway.

    Smid to help bring in young defence Gormley, Granlund is obviously the star of the package and Ramo as their goaltending situation isn’t looking good unless they plan on signing Niemi in the offseason but with Smith locked up that looks unlikely. Jedd Soleway is a long shot RW and is kind of a toss in.

    This took me 2 hours of looking at what both organizations need and what they may want. Also I would prefer trading Reinhart instead of Granlund but Granlund gets the deal done. let me know what you think.

    • Burnward

      We could not, but that’s boring. Just two weeks to go anyways.

      But define spare parts, I suppose. Second round picks like Granlund who have elevated their game to show they can play in the NHL and keep improving aren’t exactly chum.

      Just because they’re stuck behind a glut of other talented forwards doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

      Agreed that package isn’t getting you Yandle though.

    • Burnward

      Rumor is Arizona wants a first, an NHL ready prospect, and a top six forward.

      Im guessing BT wont give up a first, and the top six would preferably be a Centre.

      Im thinking a 2nd, Sven, Granlund or Shore, and Colborne.

  • RedMan

    Flames need to take care of business against the Bruins, if we win and Vancouver loses to the Wild we leapfrog them. I think that only 3 teams from the Pacific make the playoffs as the Wild are making a serious charge. This team could finish 2nd in the conference and have home ice in the first round(way better than anyone here honestly predicted)

  • Greg

    Yeesh, not liking these Yandle packages people are throwing out there. If that’s what it takes to land Wideman 2.0 who will be 30 in almost no time? No thanks.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I think we need to stop hoping for Vancouver wins. We should be eyeing second in the division, not one of the wildcard spots. I would take a Minny win over Vancouver 10 times out of 10. Minny probably gets in anyways given how they are playing, so it will be awful tough to fight it out with the Jets for 1st wildcard spot. We need to push out the Canucks and the Sharks – forget the central teams.

  • KiLLKiND

    Gio isn’t a UFA next that the team is trying to trade and every other trade scenario either fails to meet Arizona’s needs as their prospect situation is similar to ours which made it hard to come up with trades that Arizona would actually want and that Calgary would be willing to pay. This is also evaluating Ramo as 2nd rounder that they could either flip or keep to push Smith for starts and everyone knows goalies do amazing when they come to play for Arizona and Sean Burke.

    I’m not saying this trade scenario will happen it most likely won’t, but I’m pretty confident Arizona won’t settle for less and Calgary will not pay more…. or at least I hope Calgary won’t pay more for a UFA who might not even sign