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The Calgary Flames must now battle unfavourable math (and the calendar) in their playoff push

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Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
Folks, if we’re being honest here, nobody loves math. Even those that find it appealing, seem to really just value its utility as a tool. Math, in and of itself, isn’t overly fun and exciting. Over the past month, the Calgary Flames have likely found themselves looking at the math of their playoff predicament, and their remaining schedule, and shaking their collective fists at the heavens.
Because the math and the calendar are now distinctly against the Flames’ playoff hopes.
Over at The Athletic, Dom Luszczyszyn’s model has the Flames with an 18% chance of qualifying for the playoffs. The things working against them? The Flames have just 14 games remaining, while the teams they’re chasing have an equal number of games played… or games in hand on the Flames.
Here’s the math, folks:
  • With 14 games left and 74 points in the bank, the Flames can reach a maximum of 102 points.
  • With 24 regulation wins and 14 games left, the Flames can reach a maximum of 38 regulation wins – the first standings tie-breaker.
In Dom’s model, the Winnipeg Jets get the final Western Conference playoff spot with an estimated 96.4 points. To get past the Jets, the Flames would need to reach 97 points. That means they would need to rattle off a 11-2-1 record over their final 14 games in order to make it, and this team has won three games in a row just twice this season, the last time in early December.
Are the Flames eliminated from playoff contention? No. There’s still a potential path there. But the viability of their path is questionable given their track record this season, and they functionally have zero wiggle room. If they lose more than twice from here on out, it may be curtains for their post-season hopes.

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