The 2018 Playoff Chase: The trade deadline looms

The Calgary Flames have 20 games remaining on their regular season docket. They lost several games this week, but remain very much alive in perhaps the most chaotic playoff race the Western Conference has seen in years.

Here’s how things look as we approach the trade deadline.

Where they stand

(Sorted by points percentage.)

Pct. ROW
Chances % Change
Golden Knights 60 40 84 .700 38 PAC 100% none
Predators 60 37 83 .692 32 CEN 99.9% +0.1%
Jets 60 35 79 .658 33 CEN 99.4% none
Wild 60 33 73 .608 30 CEN 74.4% +16.8%
Stars 61 35 74 .607 31 CEN 76.5% -9.2%
Sharks 61 33 74 .607 29 PAC 78.8% +2.5%
Blues 61 34 72 .590 31 CEN 58.4% -12.6%
Ducks 62 31 73 .589 27 PAC 63.7% +28.1%
Kings 61 33 71 .582 31 PAC 77.5% +11.7%
Flames 62 31 70 .573 29 PAC 32.9%
Avalanche 60 32 69 .575 31 CEN 39.0% -11.0%
Blackhawks 61 26 60 .492 25 CEN 0.2% none
Oilers 60 25 54 .450 23 PAC 0.0% none
Canucks 60 23 53 .442 23 PAC 0.0% none
Coyotes 60 17 44 .367 16 PAC 0.0% none

(Chances courtesy Sports Club Stats.)

Vegas, Nashville and Winnipeg are in. They’re not mathematically in, but they just need to not collapse in on themselves over the last 20 games.

From there, it’s a big clump. Two of San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Calgary get Pacific Division spots. One of Minnesota, Dallas, St. Louis and Colorado get a Central Division spot. The two wildcard spots go to whoever’s the best of the rest. It’s a gigantic jumble.

The Flames dropped like a stone this week due to their few losses. But they’re still very much in it. Their margin for error has very much shrunk, though.

This past week

The Flames lost three of their four games this week. They lost to Florida, Boston (in OT) and Vegas, but beat Arizona.

This coming week

The Flames play three games this week, straddling the trade deadline. They host Colorado on Saturday afternoon, then play in Dallas on Tuesday and Colorado on Wednesday.

  • Off the wall

    Here’s the thing.

    We jettisoned Chiasson, Wideman, Engelland, Bouma, Jokipakka, Grossman, Elliott and Johnson last year. That alone should have made a difference to the makeup of this team.

    This season we moved on from Freddie Hamilton and Eddie Lack. Also Jagr now playing overseas. Good luck Jags.

    Our team is better with Jankowski, Mike Smith, and Hamonic added to the team, wouldn’t you say? We’ve given some of our prospects looks at the NHL. Some have made the jump, others need a little more seasoning. To be expected.

    Yet, here we are again, instead of entrenched in the postseason berth , we’re still fighting for a consistent game and walking the tightrope between plunging or making it across to the playoff plateau.

    No wonder Treliving is losing his mind over this. Does he add or takeaway? What difference would it make after all the positive steps he’s made?

    If it takes your coaching staff 50-60 games to implement decent Special Teams, make sound decisions on player usuage and deployment, then perhaps Treliving knows that doing nothing at trade deadline is the best option.
    He’s given GG plenty of help, GG hasn’t helped himself unfortunately. He’s stuck on old school mentality that doesn’t work in new school reality.

    If Treliving is being truly honest with himself, he knows the best and most practical thing is to ride out this season and give the current coaches the same speech , much like he did to Bob Hartley,
    “We thank you for your efforts, however you’ve taken us as far as you’re capable.”

    Hopefully we hear something along those lines after April 7, 2018.

    There are no longer TDL acquisitions to consider, the luxury of buying isn’t enough.
    What would the point be, it would take 50 games to get the new shiny player deployed properly.

    Yup, see ya at the Draft Table Treliving. Your best work is is waiting for you..

    • BlueMoonNigel

      One problem with bringing in a new coach at the end of the season is that most of the new coaching staff, the vets and Spencer Foo will be singing the Red China blues next autumn as the Flames need to split time between here and Beijing.

      Not saying it’s a deal breaker to bring a new coach on board, but normally it’s not until US Thanksgiving before any sensible reads on a new coach can be made. That timeframe will have to be extended for the new Flames’ boss man.

      How forgiving and understanding will Flame fans be if the club this October once again bumble, stumbles and fumbles out of the starting gate? Blame it on the new coach, China, Bettman, the schedule or some deeper problem.

      If Tre is going to fire Gully at the end of the season, let’s hope Bradley doesn’t dick around too long before he hires the new coach because more than ever, the new coach is going to have hit the ground running because of the Flames truncated summer.

    • everton fc

      Agreed on all fronts. The challenge is this; what if GG makes the playoffs and wins a round? We all want this… But most want GG gone, regardless. A bit of a conundrum.

  • The Fall


    “You have to stop requesting (players),”

    “Let’s look internally. We’ve got people internally that aren’t getting it done. That’s the bottom line. There’s not enough you can do, by looking outside, if you’re not …

    “There’s no saviours out there. I’d like to see if we can get things done internally here. I just listed a checklist of things we have to improve on quickly. That’s the biggest request.”

    “You would like to see a little more desperation based upon where we are in the standings,”

    “Our team game, right now, is lacking,”

    “You look at the production throughout the lineup — lacking. We have one or two guys that are scoring regularly. Spotty special teams. And inconsistent goaltending.

    “You take messages from your team, and they’re giving us a fairly clear message the last few days,”

    “But certainly when you see performances like we’ve seen. That gives you a little time for pause.”

    Tre is not happy.

    • dontcryWOLF

      That guy knows what’s up. Good to hear. Just be a frustrating position to be in, as a GM, watching the team you’ve built underpreform. I wonder how much of the accountability for the Flames season long wibbly wobbling he puts on GG? My guess is quite a bit, but less than FN posters.

      GG seems like the kinda guy who rocks an interview and says all the right things. His ability to guide the psychology of a team, however, seems tenable. Doubt he gets a renewal, unless nobody better is available (people saying fire GG all year long, please remember this VITAL part of the letting go/hiring process)