The 2017 Playoff Chase: deadline daze

USATSI_9652089
(Neville E. Guard / USA Today Sports)

Welcome to the eighth week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. Over the past couple of weeks, the Calgary Flames have gone from the playoff fringes to the meat of the race. It’s been a stunning reversal of fortunes. Similarly, some of their potential playoff rivals have enjoyed a reversal in the other direction.

Let’s check out the race as we begin the weekend!

WHERE THEY STAND

Team
GP
W
Pts
Pct
ROW
Div
Chances % Change
Wild 62 41 88 .710 38 CEN 100% none
Blackhawks 63 40 85 .675 38 CEN 100% none
Sharks 63 38 83 .658 36 PAC 100% none
Oilers 64 34 76 .594 30 PAC 99.4% down 0.4%
Ducks 63 32 74 .587 30 PAC 94.9% down 3.4%
Predators 64 32 73 .570 30 CEN 89.8% up 6.9%
Flames 64 34 72 .563 31 PAC 81.0% up 18.8%
Kings 64 31 68 .531 29 PAC 48.2% down 4.2%
Blues 62 31 67 .540 30 CEN 75.7% down 16.5%
Jets 64 28 62 .484 26 CEN 3.7% down 6.3%
Stars 64 25 60 .469 25 CEN 0.3% down 1.1%
Canucks 63 26 59 .468 22 PAC 0.2% down 1.7%
Coyotes 63 22 51 .405 17 PAC 0.0% none
Avalanche 62 17 37 .298 17 PAC 0.0% none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

The Flames head into the weekend seventh in points and in points percentage. They’re defending a playoff spot, and have considerably more breathing room than they’ve had at any point this season.

Meanwhile, the Blues and Kings continue to slide down the standings at the worst time of year to be doing so. At this point, Calgary is fighting with Nashville, Los Angeles and St. Louis for a wildcard spot (and currently hold down the first wildcard relatively comfortably)…

…but they’ve also quietly crept up on Edmonton and Anaheim for a divisional playoff spot. Yep, a team that was bad enough in October that a good chunk of the hockey world wrote them off is fighting for a divisional playoff spot. The primary race we’re following is the wildcard one, since that’s the one that ultimately determines their survival, but we’ll also start keeping an eye on Calgary potentially catching the Oilers and Ducks.

If the playoffs began today, the Flames would be playing San Jose.

THIS PAST WEEK

The Flames swept the three games they’ve played over the past week, beating Florida, Carolina and Los Angeles.

THIS COMING WEEK

The Flames play three times before next Friday, all at home. They host Detroit on Friday, the NY Islanders on Sunday and Montreal on Thursday.

As for the teams the Flames are battling with?

  • Anaheim (one game in hand, two points up) plays Toronto, Vancouver, Nashville and Chicago.
  • Nashville (no games in hand, one point up) plays Montreal, Chicago, Anaheim and Los Angeles.
  • St. Louis (two games in hand, five points back) plays Winnipeg, Colorado and Minnesota.
  • Los Angeles (no games in hand, four points back) plays Vancouver and Nashville.
    • Brodano12

      With a win tonight and an Anaheim regulation loss to Toronto, we tie them for the last spot, with the tiebreaker going to us.

      The BoA is becoming closer and closer to reality. I can’t wait to sweep that one man team in the playoffs with our depth. Backlund will shut down McDavid and the top line will wreck havoc on the rest of their team!

      • Walker 1404

        Yeah, because that worked out so well for you EVERY SINGLE GAME played against the Oilers this year. Oilers fans are praying the flames match up against us in the first round.

        • A-Mc

          Oiler fan here: I AM cheering for the Flames to take 3rd in the div. I would love for Edm and Cgy to play each other in the 1st round. I will road trip for ever playoff game, if things go my way.

          I think both cities could really use something positive, to distract us from the poor economic state of affairs.

          There’s nothing like playoff beers to bring a province out of recession! =D

        • Brodano12

          Wow, Oilers win one season series and suddenly fans think they are our kryptonite. How many consecutive season series did we win before this year?

          The Wideman-less Flames are a far better team than the team the Oilers played this year. McDavid’s speed took advantage of the 20+ minutes per night that Wideman was getting, which was the only reason you won all four games. Without Wideman and with Elliot finally playing well, the games will be much more even. The Flames are a better team than the Oilers overall, and I am confident they would win in a 7 game series.

        • cunning_linguist

          So by your logic, the Oilers are currently a disgrace, given that they have been one for EVERY SINGLE SEASON over the past decade…#EmpiricalEvidence

    • redhot1

      I don’t get those percentage stats. How, for example, are the Sharks have a 100% chance of making it?

      Its possible they could go 3-15-2 or something, unlikely, but possible.

      The term 100% is thrown around pretty loosely, for something that is an absolute guarantee to happen.