The Playoff Chase – March 23 2015

We’re into the meat of the playoff chase now, gang.

Most teams only have ten games remaining. The races are heating up. Here’s where things stand heading into this exciting week.

In terms of magic number calculation and up-to-date numbers, check out Pat Steinberg’s page over at the Sportsnet site. He’s been on this from day-one, and he usually keeps that page quite current. Long story short, the magic number is the combined number of Flames wins and opponent losses required to eliminate that team from catching Calgary in the final standings (Flames OT/shootout losses are half-wins, and opponent OT/shootout losses are half-losses).

If four of the teams below get their magic number down to zero, Calgary goes to the playoffs.

VANCOUVER (88 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Vancouver: 12.5

Vancouver has a relatively easy schedule ahead of them. They play three times and have days off in-between, and no travel whatsoever. They host Winnipeg on Tuesday, Colorado on Thursday and Dallas on Friday. The Tuesday game is the tough one.

MINNESOTA (87 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Minnesota: 12

The Wild have a big week ahead of them. They visit the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, then jet off to Long Island to face the Islanders on Tuesday night. Then it’s back home for a back-to-back with Calgary (Friday) and Los Angeles (Saturday).

WINNIPEG (86 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Winnipeg: 11.5

The Jets have an easy game and then three tough ones. They visit the Oilers on Monday, then immediately head to the coast to face Vancouver on Tuesday night. Then it’s back home for Montreal on Thursday and Chicago on Sunday.

CALGARY (84 PTS)

Your local hockey heroes have a week that should be a big test for them. They host Colorado on Monday and Dallas on Wednesday, then head to the Twin Cities to face Minnesota on Friday. A game in Nashville on Sunday ends the week, and is the first game of a back-to-back that also takes them to Dallas the following Monday.

LOS ANGELES (82 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Los Angeles: 10.5

The defending champions are on the road all week and have a tough string of games. They deal with the Devils on Monday and the Rangers on Tuesday, then the Islanders on Thursday before closing the week out on Saturday against Minnesota.

COLORADO (78 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Colorado: 8.5

An easy-ish week for the Avalanche: in Calgary on Monday, in Edmonton on Wednesday, in Vancouver on Thursday and back home to host the Buffalo Sbares on Saturday. They should be able to rack up some points and stay close to the pack.

SAN JOSE (78 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus San Jose: 7.5

With apologises to the Sharks, they’re in tough this week. Four road games against fairly decent opposition. In Ottawa on Monday, in Detroit on Thursday, in Philadelphia on Saturday and in Pittsburgh on Sunday. They may be toast by week’s end.

DALLAS (78 PTS)

Calgary’s magic number versus Dallas: 7.5

Two easier games and two tough ones for the Stars this week. They host Buffalo on Monday and then hit the road for games in Calgary (Wednesday), Edmonton (Friday) and Vancouver (Saturday).

  • prendrefeu

    This was asked on another, recent, FN post, but since it was ‘old’ it might have a better chance of being answered here:

    If the Flames make the postseason/playoffs, what are the limitations to roster?

    Thanks!

  • RedMan

    We play both COL and DAL a combined three times in the next week or so. Those two teams could very well improve our playoff position, or put us in the outside-looking in.

    Huge game tonight vs. Avs. It won’t be easy.

    • Avalain

      Well, yeah. Every single game is huge right now. I’m interested to see how they respond after shelling Columbus and still losing. That being said, this team seems to be excellent about putting the last game behind them. Hartley mentioned at the beginning of the year that he isn’t going to ever have a “bag skate” or really any kind of punishment for losing. You just move on to the next game. I think that has helped the players move themselves forward mentally.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I’m very unhappy about having to back the Canucks over the next few weeks. I was hoping the Flames would be able to crush the spirit and playoff hopes this year.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    LA vs NJ initially looks like a win for LA, however you don’t think NJ will be motivated to knock the team that beat them in the cup final out of playoff contention?

    I actually think that will be a tough test for LA and if they lose it, will greatly benefit the Flames. C’mon Schneider – get hot!!

          • piscera.infada

            There’s absolutely nothing wrong with signing the guy to an AHL PTO at all. When you’re as thin as the Flames organization is (from top to bottom) in terms of defensive prospects, you leave no stone un-turned. However, the only scouting report I could find, is all red flags, he just doesn’t sound like much of a player at all.

            At 6’7” and 230 pounds, Yevenko’s size is his greatest asset. Offensively, he registered just five points in 96 NCAA games. That said, his defensive skills have improved every year since his freshman year with UMass. His skating is much improved, although still an area of potential improvement, while his defensive awareness and positioning has also come a long way. While his size allows him to play a very physical brand of hockey, he still needs to work on using his size and strength when engaged with forwards in front of his own net.

            That’s from a Hockey Writer’s post on NCAA defensemen, and it’s about a year old. So like I said, long-shot, but not a horrible idea.

          • The Real Slim Brodie

            He signed a contract with Adirondack this week.
            But his stats look awful. He is a worse Kaanzig. Just big. And with 5 assists and -25 in 36 games he looks like someone who isn’t very good at skating

  • RKD

    Just keep winning, forget about getting help from the other teams. The Flames hold the tie-breakers in a lot of categories, they hold the upper hand right now. Beat Colorado tonight!