With division clinched, what’s left for the Calgary Flames to play for?
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The Calgary Flames have clinched a playoff spot. They’ve also clinched first place in the Pacific Division. They head into the final week of the regular season with a tidy 48-20-10 record and 106 points.
With top spot in the Western Conference locked down by the Colorado Avalanche, what do the Flames have left to play for?
The Flames have 48 wins with four games remaining. They cannot match the franchise record of 54 wins from 1988-89 (in an 80 game schedule!), but they can match (and potentially exceed) the 50 wins they earned in the 2018-19 season.
50 wins just sounds like a nice round number, too.
Second place in the Western Conference
Colorado has clinched top spot in the Western Conference, so they’ll have home ice advantage in every series they play within the Western Conference side of the bracket.
However, the Flames can potentially ensure that Minnesota and St. Louis cannot finish ahead of them. If Colorado remains alive, there’s no benefit to the Flames. But if Colorado is somehow toppled before the conference final, then a surviving Flames team could have home ice in that series.
The Flames’ magic number to stay ahead of Minnesota is 4.5 and to stay ahead of St. Louis is 4. (These are Flames wins and losses by those teams combined in each instance.)
The William Jennings Trophy
This may be a bit of a longshot, but the Flames are within spitting distance of the William Jennings Trophy, awarded to the goalies (who played 25+ games) on the NHL club which allows the fewest goals against. Three NHL clubs currently have allowed fewer than 200 goals: Carolina (190), the NY Rangers (191) and the Flames (193). All three teams have four games remaining.
Carolina has the inside track, though, as they have both the lead in this race and two games remaining against the lowly New Jersey Devils. All the Flames can do is try to play good defensive hockey and hope that Carolina and the Rangers play in a bunch of track meets to close out their regular seasons.
Elias Lindholm needs one goal to hit 40 on the season. Johnny Gaudreau is two goals away from 40. Andrew Mangiapane is five goals back.
Rasmus Andersson is two points away from 50 on the season, which is a lot for a blueliner. Heck, Noah Hanifin is five points back from that mark as well.
Jacob Markstrom is one shutout away from 10 on the season. He’s also three wins away from 40 on the season.
What are you hoping to see from the Flames in their final four regular season outings? Are you focused more on individual accomplishments, or are you hoping the team rounds into playoff form? Let us know in the comments!
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