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).