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Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Playoff Chase: On a roll

Welcome to the ninth week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. Amazingly, it looks like the Calgary Flames may actually make the playoffs as they’ve gone on a crazy run over the past month. At the same time as Calgary got hot, many of the teams around them got ice cold. Timing truly is everything.

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

WHERE THEY STAND

Team
GP
W
Pts
Pct
ROW
Div
Chances % Change
Wild 65 42 90 .692 39 CEN 100% none
Blackhawks 66 42 89 .674 39 CEN 100% none
Sharks 66 40 87 .659 38 PAC 100% none
Ducks 67 35 80 .597 32 PAC 98.2% up 3.3%
Oilers 66 35 78 .591 31 PAC 99.1% down 0.3%
Flames 67 37 78 .582 34 PAC 94.4% up 13.4%
Predators 67 32 75 .560 30 CEN 81.1% down 8.7%
Blues 65 33 71 .546 32 CEN 82.8% up 7.1%
Kings 66 32 70 .530 30 PAC 42.4% down 5.8%
Jets 68 30 66 .485 28 CEN 1.6% down 2.1%
Canucks 67 28 65 .485 24 PAC 0.2% none
Stars 67 27 64 .478 27 CEN 0.4% up 0.1%
Coyotes 66 23 54 .409 18 PAC 0.0% none
Avalanche 66 19 41 .311 19 CEN OUT none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

The Flames head into the weekend tied for fifth in points and sixth outright in points percentage.

There are fundamentally three races going on concurrently:

  • Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary are duking it out for the second and third Pacific Division spots.
  • Nashville and St. Louis are fighting for the last Central Division spot.
  • Calgary, Nashville, St. Louis and Los Angeles are fighting for the two wildcard spots.

Los Angeles still looks like the odd team out. Everyone around them just keeps winning and they’re having a tough time gaining any ground.

If the playoffs began today, the Flames would be playing San Jose based on all the current tiebreakers.

THIS PAST WEEK

The Flames swept the three games they’ve played over the past week, beating Detroit, the Islanders and Montreal.

THIS COMING WEEK

The Flames play three times before next Friday. They visit Winnipeg on Saturday, then are back home to play Pittsburgh on Monday and Boston on Wednesday.

Focusing in on Anaheim, Edmonton and Los Angeles – in terms of the divisional race and Calgary’s ability to clinch eventually:

  • Anaheim (two points up, games are even): they play St. Louis, Washington and St. Louis again.
  • Edmonton (even in points, one game in hand): they play Pittsburgh, Montreal, Dallas and Boston.
  • Los Angeles (eight points back, one game in hand): they play Washington, St. Louis, Arizona and Buffalo.
  • Atomic Clown

    To reiterate what Mcdonaugh said when asked would he rather the Rangers lose to be first wildcard spot or win and be third in their division, how can an athlete think that way. There should be only one thought: Win. Above all else, no matter the cost, Win.