Breaking down Calgary’s remaining schedule

We are now in the midst of the National Hockey League’s All-Star-Break and I think it’s safe to say that the Calgary Flames have underwhelmed with their on-ice performance this season.

With 34 games remaining on their docket, the Flames are eight points out of the post-season (and just two points up on the last-place club in the NHL). In the interest of shedding light on how the Flames’ chances look the rest of the way, we broke down their remaining schedule.

THE BREAKDOWN

Score
Adjusted
Corsi
Head
to
Head
Games Remaining
Los Angeles 56.6% 0-1-0 Feb. 23 (A), Mar. 31 (A), Apr. 5 (H)
Nashville 53.9% 1-1-0 Mar. 9 (H)
Dallas 53.6% 2-1-0
Montreal 53.4% 0-1-0 Mar. 20 (A)
Anaheim 53.3% 0-2-0 Feb. 15 (H), Feb. 21 (A), Mar. 30 (A)
Carolina 53.2% 0-1-0 Feb. 3 (H)
Tampa Bay 52.6% 1-1-0
Washington 52.0% 1-1-0
St. Louis 51.6% 0-2-0 Mar. 14 (H)
Chicago 51.5% 1-1-0 Mar. 26 (H)
Detroit 51.4% 1-1-0
Winnipeg 51.3% 1-1-0 Mar. 16 (H)
Pittsburgh 51.0% 1-0-0 Mar. 5 (A)
San Jose 51.0% 1-2-0 Feb. 11 (A), Mar. 7 (H)
NY Islanders 50.6% 0-1-0 Feb. 25 (H)
Boston 50.1% 1-0-0 Mar. 1 (A)
Toronto
49.3% 0-0-0 Feb. 9 (H), Mar. 21 (A)
Philadelphia 49.0% 1-0-0 Feb. 29 (A)
NY Rangers 48.5% 1-1-0
Minnesota 48.4% 0-0-0 Feb. 17 (H), Mar. 24 (A), Apr. 9 (A)
Florida 48.0% 1-1-0
Edmonton 48.0% 2-1-1 Apr. 2 (A)
Arizona 47.2% 0-1-1 Feb. 12 (A), Mar. 11 (H), Mar. 28 (A)
Columbus 47.1% 1-0-0 Feb. 5 (H)
FLAMES 46.8%
New Jersey 46.7% 1-1-0
Vancouver 46.6% 1-1-0 Feb. 6 (A), Feb. 19 (H), Apr. 7 (H)
Buffalo 46.5% 1-0-0 Mar. 3 (A)
Ottawa 46.3% 0-0-1 Feb. 27 (H)
Colorado 44.5% 1-1-0 Mar. 18 (H)

Bolded teams are in playoff spots. Underlined teams are below Calgary in the standings. And we sorted everything by Score-Adjusted Corsi, which is a possession metric that controls for teams not trying very hard when they’re winning games (and trying really hard when they’re losing).

The schedule is evenly broken down between 17 home dates and 17 road dates. But the bulk of the home schedule is a six-game homestand from March 7 to 18, so it’s not really as balanced as it seems. Of note: the Flames have four sets of back-to-back games, all of which involve travel between cities:

  • A home game with Columbus followed by a game in Vancouver
  • A game in San Jose followed by a game in Arizona
  • A game in Montreal followed by a game in Toronto
  • A game in Anaheim followed by a game in Los Angeles

When you consider that the Flames have lost both ends of five of six back-to-backs this season (and they split the other one), four more sets represents some bad news.

Some good news: 15 of their last 34 games are within the Pacific Division. However, they have the worst in-division record of any of the Pacific teams, which (again) doesn’t bode well.

Fifteen of their final 34 games are against teams in the playoffs right now, while 17 of their final 34 are against teams with Score-Adjusted Corsi percentages at 50% and up – the teams that are markedly better than they are at possession hockey. And for you Auston Matthews fans, the Flames have 5 game remaining against the teams below them in the standings, meaning they are, in a small way, the masters of their own destiny.

In summation: the Flames have a tough schedule and a ton of travel. It doesn’t look too good, folks.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    It looks good for the draft lottery though, although once we ship out some vets at the TDL and bring up some kids we will probably be a better team.

      • Kevin R

        I guess Treliving is a in a no win situation eh? If he doesn’t trade some of these guys he’ll get dumped on & if he does & youth plays better & we win over a .500 clip & miss, he’ll get dumped on again. It may be possible to trade some guys, play youth & play better & still get a lottery pick. What do you call that? Cake & eat it too? :-}

    • Parallex

      We might… mostly because Hudler would be the only vet that we could/would move out that would be a noticeable loss. All the other vets are depth players on bad contracts (who we probably won’t trade because no one will want them) or are Kris Russell (who isn’t good but we’re constantly told folk might have interest in) I think trading some vets might actually force Hartley into not doing dumb things (like giving Russell more minutes then his play is due and largely excluding Dougie from the PP). Like in the film version of Moneyball when Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane forces Art Howe to play the optimal line-up by trading away his other options

      There is Gio of course but I think we all know he isn’t going anywhere.

    • PrairieStew

      Not sure that expiring free agents are what Tampa is looking for in exchange for a top prospect.

      For either of those deals the Flames would need to let GM’s Yzerman and Snow have their pick of the Flames roster, outside of a few untouchables. Johnny, Monahan, Sam, Backlund, Frolik, Gio, Brodie and Hamilton would be my protected list –

      Essentially you would say to those GM’s – any 3 of anything else on the Flames roster or reserve list.

      For Drouin – Porier, Kylington and Gilles ( likely TB not resigning Bishop)

      For Hamonic – Granlund, Hickey, Colborne.

      Both of those deals might still require another asset – either a second round pick or a pending FA to assist in this years’ run – so Hudler or Russell.

  • BurningSensation

    If CGY picks 1st and can take Mathews (a center), I’m ok flipping Monahan for Drouin.

    Drouin has much more speed, and a higher offensive ceiling than Monahan.

    Bennett and Mathews down the middle with Johnny G, and Drouin riding ahotgun for them = sweet, sweet magic.

    The other move I’d be ok with is drafting Mathews and then flipping Monahan for the pick that gets us Puljujarvi or Laine.

    That all said, we should be picking in the top 7, and so long as we don’t take a Canadian born ‘project’ winger with ‘MOAR bigger’ as his best asset, we will get a new piece of the core.

    1. Mathews
    2. Puljujarvi
    3. Laine
    4. Tkachuk
    5. Chychrun
    6. Nylander
    7. Juolevi

    All fit screaming needs on the team.

    • Truculence

      Oh, yeah, Drouin has already shown he can out-produce Monahan on an actual Nhl team (rolls eyes).

      For a guy who has already scored 68 goals in the Nhl by age 21, this kid sure takes a lot of flak on this site. He gets thrown out against the best defensive pairings and players in the league on a nightly basis, but people want him run out of town because Backlund has better corsi as a 26 year old (and with the offensive output of a bottom-tier third-liner).

      Monahan is 21 years old, guys!!!! His corsi is only marginally worse than even the best Flames’ forwards, and he faces much stiffer competition than everybody but Gaudreau ( who also sees the same caliber of bad guys).

      Yeah, let’s run him out of town for an unproven whiner with 6 goals in 89 games -a whiner who plays on a much better team, but is the same age as Monahan. Because, you know, that’s what Edmonton would do.

      (p.s. I can’t help but wonder how many points a scorer like Monahan could put up if he could be sheltered a bit more on a team like Tampa which has more depth in forward ranks.)

  • PrairieStew

    I’m doubtful that any influx of young players after the TDL will move the needle that much for Calgary.

    Say they move Russell, Hudler, Jones and Colborne without taking any roster players back. I mean, that would be amazing. Wideman gets suspended and is basically unmoveable anyway due to his salary.

    So that opens 4 spots – 1 D, 3 wingers, or maybe 2 wings and a C. Who comes up?

    At D, maybe Nakladal or Kulak or even Kylington. That’s fine, our D will get marginally better, but we’ll still be playing Smid, Engelland and Wideman, at least later in the season.

    As for fowards, they would give Agostino a deserved run. Grant has earned another shot. After that, maybe Poirier or Arnold. Those forwards may or may not be an upgrade on the others – certainly it would be a huge opportunity for them, but also a huge adjustment. It’s hard to say they’d be better than the current group, particularly given Poirier’s struggles in the AHL.

    Best case, this group gets us 3 or 4 more points in the standings. More likely there’s no net effect.

  • cberg

    A little perspective on Drouin for those that overvalue him…there are 2 reasons why Drouin failed to report to play anymore games in the AHL… On the surface the reason is so he does not get hurt before a pending trade but the primary reason is that he was not lighting it up like he should have at this level.

    So Drouin’s camp made an executive decision to not watch Drouin’s value plummett playing in the AHL when it was clear he was not going to dominate. There are a lot of GMs that see major deficiencies in his game while others can’t get past the potential. This is your typical high risk high reward….but at what cost?