Friends, the Calgary Flames enter play on Wednesday evening with 51 points. In the Western Conference playoff picture, they’re in the second wild-card spot by both points and points percentage.
The Flames aren’t a cemented playoff team, but looking at the various standings projections they don’t have a tremendously difficult road to locking a spot down.
We took a snapshot of the various models prior to play on Monday. Here’s how they looked.
Micah Blake McCurdy (@ineffectivemath)
According to McCurdy, the last playoff spot in the West would take 93 points to obtain. For the Flames, they would need to get 42 points in their remaining 37 games. That’s the equivalent of a 21-16-0 record. We think McCurdy’s forecast is a bit optimistic (we think a higher cutline is more realistic), but this is a good illustration.
Moneypuck places the last spot at 98 points. To get there, the Flames need 47 points, or a 23-13-3 record. Or, the way their overtimes are going, a 20-10-7 record.
The Athletic (Dom Luszczyszyn)
Like Moneypuck, Dom has the cutline at 98 points.
Strength of schedule
The good news for the Flames is according to Tankathon, the Flames have a favourable strength of schedule
. Compared to the rest of the league, the Flames have the second-easiest slate of remaining games – only Seattle has it easier. The challenge is that if you look up and down the list, a few teams the Flames are battling for spots against have only slightly tougher schedules than they do.
That means the Flames absolutely need to take care of business down the stretch. It’s only an “easy” schedule if you beat the teams you’re “supposed” to be able to beat. Based on the schedule they have left, and the teams they’re battling with, getting between 93-98 points seems like a fairly realistic proposition. They need to keep tidying up their game, though, and avoid prolonged periods of sub-par play.
Are you optimistic about the Flames’ playoff chances? A little nervous? Let us know in the comments!