Everybody Chill – The Numbers Game

The Calgary Flames lost last night.

They have seven games remaining. They have to win a good chunk of them to have a realistic chance at the post-season.

No, they didn’t look particularly good last night. No, it probably isn’t an encouraging sign to kick off a road trip.

But everybody take a look at the following numbers and calm down a bit. Nothing’s over. Not yet.


We’ve reviewed magic numbers a bit already, but let’s discuss elimination numbers. Simply put, elimination numbers are the magic numbers other teams have versus Calgary – the wins by them (or losses by Calgary) required so that the Flames cannot catch them.

With 7 games left, the most points Calgary can possibly have is 101 (87+14).

  • Anaheim already has 101 points, so Calgary cannot catch them.

  • Nashville already has 100 points. Their elimination number is 0.5.

  • St. Louis already has 99 points. Their elimination number is 1.

Not surprising so far. Calgary isn’t going to win the conference or division. Shocking.

  • Chicago already has 94 points. Their elimination number is 3.5.

  • Minnesota already has 93 points. Their elimination number is 4.

Not huge surprises, again. Let’s get into the messier areas, shall we?

  • Winnipeg already has 90 points. Their elimination number is 5.5. (Calgary’s magic number on them is 9.)

  • Vancouver already has 90 points. Their elimination number is 5.5. (Calgary’s magic number on them is 10.)

  • Los Angeles already has 88 points. Their elimination number is 6.5. (Calgary’s magic number on them is 9.)

  • Dallas already has 82 points. Their elimination number is 9.5. (Calgary’s magic number on them is 5.)

Dallas, Colorado and San Jose all have similar elimination numbers on Calgary given their similar point totals.

But the moral of this story is that Calgary is still chasing Winnipeg, Vancouver and Los Angeles. They trail them by between one and three points with seven games left, including one each against both Los Angeles and Winnipeg.

Is the race a bit tougher now that Calgary has lost to Minnesota? Sure. Is it impossible? Definitely not. So everybody calm down. Nothing is over.

  • RedMan

    Flames have now put themselves in the position where winning isn’t enough – they also need other teams to lose.

    Still – great season, and after the disappointment and bad bad taste of missing the playoffs fades a bit, sober reflection will allow us all to see this season as a raging success in every way conceivable. If the bitterness lingers for the players – there is nothing but upside to that as well.

    but for us to win, given how the team has stepped back lately, and given how the other teams need to lose, in spite of their steamrolling ways, leaves one hoping, but not expecting. No worries – great season.

    Now let’s just hope the brass (BB) doesn’t go stupid at the draft and keep stockpiling these long shot prospects who have huge stature but lack skill and speed.

  • supra steve

    Our next game v. NSH seems like a tough two points, but when observing closer, it might not be as difficult as expected, especially if NSH wins tonight and clinch their playoff spot:

    Weber did not play today, with a lower-body injury. And i’m betting he doesn’t play tomorrow, even if he feels better. No point in risking your best d-man when your team is on the brink of playoff hockey.

    With Rinne starting, I also doubt he gets that start tomorrow V. CGY.

    BTW, NSH currently leads WSH 4-2 after 40; Forsberg with a 3-point game so far.

  • supra steve

    Here is my feeling on the rest of the games:

    Nsh-Possibly an easier game due to match ups, flames been playing well against them this season, hopefully 2 points.

    Dal-Must win for flames, stars probably have no chance of getting in after losing last night to oilers, so this game might be easier, must get 2 points here.

    Stl-Probably a loss here, if flames can stay close in the game against blues, they may be able to get 1 point here.

    Edm-Must win, doesn’t matter what time of the year, when and where they play the oilers. 2 points.

    Ari-Must win, must get 2 points if they want to get in.

    Lak-kings are a tough team to beat this time of the year, would not be surprised if they win all their games remaining, hopefully flames can drag them to OT and SO and get 2 points here, or at least get 1 point.

    Wpg-it probably come to this last game of the season to flames and jets, whoever win get in, so must win for flames if they want to be in. let’s hope they can do it. Go Flames Go!!!!

    • RedMan

      since Nashville played AND clinched today, they may be ready to start pacing themselves tomorrow when they play Calgary, maybe even resting some of the injured guys.

      What’s the downside to Nashville if they lose Calgary tomorrow when playing their backup and resting some key banged up guys? they might let Flames slip in at the expense of the Kings or Jets – something I don’t think would bother Nashville at all!

  • supra steve

    The guys look a little out of gas. It has been a great season to watch and I’m sure they will compete very hard over the next 7 games. But, the team needs 3 more top 6 forwards, 2 more top 4 def and some more size. Hoping Bennett can nail down a top 6 role next year and Gio returning obviously fills one of the def spots. It’s going to be quite an off season.

    • RedMan

      I would be surprised if Bennett doesn’t make it next season, sheltered a bit like Mony was his first year. Generally I like the idea of prospects working through the AHL, but I am looking forward to see what Sam brings to training camp – i think he makes it.

  • beloch

    Prior to this season, nobody would have expected the Flames to be in the playoff bubble this late in the season. Whatever the outcome, the Flames have had a great season. If they fall short, here’s hoping they win the draft lottery just to spite the teams that have been in full tank mode for months.

  • beloch

    I haven’t been able to see many of the Flames games because of where I live so I can’t comment on how they look, but I have kept up with articles and news. I think the Flames are looking at it right: one game at a time. There’s no need to think about what has happened to this point. They have time and can very well make it and that’s their goal. Would be a great experience for the team. Try to win every game and see what happens.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    No chilling out required. Fact remains Flames cannot play with the big boys at this early stage of rebuild. They need to get bigger without compromising any of there great speed, need more depth on ‘D’ and they need to get more consistent goaltending where there goalie plays better than the opponent…regardless it’s been a great year and next year will be even better!

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Minnesota might win the Cup. No big deal they beat the Flames, but they crushed the Kings, also. It doesn’t hurt that they put Calgary back in the playoff hunt, either.