Photo credit:David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
The Calgary Flames haven’t been great against their remaining opponents
By Ryan Pike11 months ago
With seven games left on their schedule, the Calgary Flames are just two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the final Western Conference wild-card spot. Compared to the Jets – and the Nashville Predators, also in the mix – the Flames have a favourable remaining schedule, with just a single game against a current playoff team. (And that’s Winnipeg.)
But if you look at the Flames’ record so far this season against the teams they’re scheduled to face, they’ll need some improved performances to find their way into a playoff spot.
The Flames have games remaining against the Vancouver Canucks (twice), Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg, Nashville and the San Jose Sharks.
Here’s how the various season series have unfolded so far:
- A 4-3 shootout loss and a 3-2 regulation win against Vancouver.
- A 3-2 overtime win, a 3-1 regulation loss and a 5-1 regulation win against Anaheim. (Yes, we used “roast duck” pun headlines for both Flames wins over Anaheim.)
- A 4-3 overtime loss and a 5-1 regulation loss against Chicago.
- A 3-2 regulation win and a 3-2 regulation loss against Winnipeg.
- A 4-2 regulation loss and a 2-1 regulation loss against Nashville.
- A 5-2 regulation win, a 7-3 regulation win and a 5-3 regulation win against San Jose.
All-told, the Flames’ have a combined 7-5-2 record against their remaining opponents and have out-scored them 43-39 in their meetings this season. In the aggregate, on paper, these are teams the Flames should be able to beat. Yet on the ice, they haven’t been able to do this consistently enough.
So in a way, the Flames’ season will be decided by seven games against the types of teams the Flames have found a way to lose against this season, as the losses against these teams have exemplified some of the shortcomings the group has shown. Remember their loss to Anaheim at home? Remember either loss to Chicago, one where they couldn’t get another goal and the other where they just couldn’t defend well enough? Remember either loss to Nashville?
The first 75 games of the Flames’ season have shown them to be a talented, albeit flawed, hockey team; one capable of tremendously strong play but also prone to crippling lapses at inopportune times. Yet despite all this, they have the opportunity to make the playoffs over the final seven games.
In their previous games against their remaining opponents, the Flames have been an average team – and that averageness is probably the reason they’re outside of the playoff picture. If they can find a way to exorcise the inconsistency that’s plagued them this season over their final seven outings and find a way to be exceptional, they’ll probably deserve to be in a playoff spot.
If nothing else, it will be a fascinating final fortnight of Flames hockey to watch.
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