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Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA TODAY Sports

The final two games will dictate who Calgary plays in the first round

The Calgary Flames are a wildcard team. They will finish in one of the two wildcard playoff spots in the Western Conference, and so they’ll play a division winner. Right now, the Flames are tied with the Nashville Predators in the standings. One of them will play the Anaheim Ducks in the first round, while the other will play the Chicago Blackhawks. (Probably – if the Ducks lose out there is a chance either the Oilers or Sharks could take the division, but they’d have to win out, too. The Ducks clinch the Pacific if they win both of their remaining games, or if they win one and Edmonton loses one.)

Which team will the Flames end up playing? With two games remaining for both teams, we’ve handicapped things.

The remaining schedule

Here are the remaining games, with each team’s record over their last 10 games included in brackets.

Thursday:

  • 6:30 p.m. MT: Nashville (5-4-1) at Dallas (5-4-1)
  • 8:30 p.m. MT: Calgary (5-5-0) at Los Angeles (5-5-0)

Saturday:

  • 5 p.m. MT: Nashville (5-4-1) at Winnipeg (8-2-0)
  • 8 p.m. MT: Calgary (5-5-0) at San Jose (3-7-0)

The Thursday games appear to be coin tosses based on recent records, while there appear to be some obvious favourites in Saturday’s games (Winnipeg and Calgary). Depending on the outcomes of Thursday’s games, it’s entirely possible that one (or both) of Saturday’s games could be incredibly important or completely irrelevant in terms of playoff seeding for the Flames and Predators.

A table of outcomes

Based on how many points the Flames earn and how many Nashville earns, here’s a handy guide to Calgary’s first round opponent:

Flames
4pts
Flames
3pts
Flames
2pts
Flames
1pt
Flames
0pts
Preds
4pts
Anaheim Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago
Preds
3pts
Anaheim Anaheim Chicago Chicago Chicago
Preds
2pts
Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Chicago Chicago
Preds
1pt
Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Chicago
Preds
0pts
Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim

** -The Flames have a 40 to 38 edge in the regulation/overtime loss tie-breaker, so if the Flames win two shootouts and Nashville wins twice in regulation, then we would go to the head-to-head tie-breaker (which Nashville would win). Otherwise, if the two teams have the same number of points, the Flames will win the tiebreaker.

  • redwhiteblack

    If our best players show up I still feel Anaheim is the more beatable of the 2 options. Monkey off the back in the first game could generate huge momentum.

  • Azim

    The more I think about it, the more I rather play Chicago, even though they’re clearly a better team than Anaheim. Matchup wise, we fair a lot better. But in the end, I’ll take whoever it is. Once you’re in, anything can happen. And not going to lie, beating the Ducks would be that much sweeter. We owe them revenge for not only 25 straight road Ls, but also the 2015 2nd round and 2006 first round (the series that hurts the most of all our playoff losses post-2004). Screw it, bring on *uckin *ucks.

    • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

      It may well be true if your goal is to win 1 round but most likely you face them then in the second round. I would think the chance of knocking off a #1 seed like the very confident Ducks or Hawks would be round one if you are a lower seed because you can catch them thinking a little too cocky. You guys have been quite hot as of late. It may be your year for some payback and if so we could have Oilers/Flames in the second round if Chicago falls as well.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Woot woot~! The Stockton Heat moved back into a playoff position with a 5-3 victory over the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday night. Led by Hunter Shinkaruk’s third career hat trick and second ever hat trick in team history. Mark Jankowski would put the Heat up for good in the third, scoring his 27th of the season matching Derek Grant’s season total from 2015-16 as the most goals scored in a single season in Heat history. The Heat rookie, who pushed his point streak to a team record of 10 games tonight was named to the 2016-17 AHL All-Rookie Team earlier in the day and with his goal, leads the Heat and has tied the rookie lead with his fifth game winner of the season. Ryan Lomberg Also tallied his 11th goal of his season. Keep it Going Heat!

  • Sheldon "Oilers Fan for Life!!!"

    Hay Flames fans I have not cheered for you since 2005 but you really need to clean those Ducks if we are to have any shot of seeing the series we all really want. My Oilers have not won in Anaheim in 11 games and you have a long history of negative outcomes too. All I can say is I will be cheering that you knock out the Ducks or the Hawks so the stars can align and we can get at some real Alberta Fun. Nothing was better than the 80’s when the road to the cup came through Alberta. Her’s to making that true again.

  • Lucky 13

    One part of me is hoping for a Chicago series. The other part wants Calgary to decimate the Ducks. I hate the Ducks so much I’d love to don some skates myself and cross-check Kesler into the rafters …and when he rolls back down onto the ice, give him a shot in the gonads (like he did to Frolik last game)

    I know I’m dreaming but hey it’s my fantasy, not yours!