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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

The 2017 Playoff Chase: The picture gets clearer

Welcome to the 10th week of our Western Conference playoff race coverage. The playoff picture has become a lot clearer over the past week or two, as there are eight teams in playoff spots and one team on the outside with a snowball’s chance of making the postseason dance. The Flames are fairly comfortably in a playoff spot, and it’ll take a fairly epic collapse for them to fall out of the top eight spots.

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

WHERE THEY STAND

Team
GP
W
Pts
Pct
ROW
Div
Chances % Change
Blackhawks 70 45 95 .679 42 CEN 100% none
Wild 69 43 92 .667 40 CEN 100% none
Sharks 70 42 91 .650 40 PAC 100% none
Ducks 70 37 84 .600 34 PAC 98.6% up 0.4%
Oilers 70 37 83 .593 33 PAC 98.9% down 0.2%
Flames 70 39 82 .586 35 PAC 93.4% down 1.0%
Predators 70 35 81 .579 33 CEN 94.2% up 13.1%
Blues 70 37 79 .564 36 CEN 95.5% up 12.7%
Kings 70 34 75 .536 32 PAC 19.3% down 23.1%
Jets 71 31 69 .486 29 CEN 0.1% down 1.5%
Stars 70 28 66 .471 28 CEN 0.0% down 0.4%
Canucks 70 28 65 .464 24 PAC 0.0% down 0.2%
Coyotes 70 26 61 .436 20 PAC 0.0% none
Avalanche 69 20 43 .312 20 CEN OUT none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

The Flames head into the weekend sixth in points and points percentage.

As with our last update, there are basically three races going on right now:

  • Anaheim, Edmonton and Calgary vying for the two 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.

Once again, Los Angeles’ odds have dropped in the past week by a big amount. They’re not playing terribly, but the teams ahead of them keep winning and time is rapidly running out for the Kings to close the gap. Based on their seven-point cushion, it’s really beginning to look like the Flames are going to be in the playoffs.

If the playoffs began today, the Flames would be playing San Jose. There’s a decent chance they could also end up facing Anaheim or Edmonton, though.

THIS PAST WEEK

The Flames won two of three this week, even with some cracks appearing in their game. They beat Winnipeg and Pittsburgh after rough starts, then lost to Boston.

THIS COMING WEEK

The Flames play four times before next Friday. They have Dallas tonight, Los Angeles on Sunday, Washington on Tuesday and Nashville on Thursday. They won’t be able to clinch this week, but they can get themselves on the verge with a good week.

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): they play Buffalo, San Jose and Edmonton.
  • Edmonton (one point up): they play Vancouver, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado.
  • Los Angeles (seven points back): they play Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.