The first 10 games were pretty good.
The second 10 were very bad.
The third 10 have been an indifferent set.
Suffice it to say at least 4 of the final five 10 games stretches need to be good, maybe there's room for one indifferent stretch, but it can't be the next stretch.
Schedule analysis after the jump.
When the Flames woke up on October 27 with a 6-3 record, things looked pretty good since one loss was on the road against a very good Detroit squad. With 15 goals in the previous 3 games it looked as though the struggling offence that contributed to early season shut out losses against Florida and Edmonton was fixed and the Flames were ready to roll.
The Flames would go on to lose 10 of the next 12,scoring only one goal in 5 of those losses. Mimimal consolation was earned with the loser point twice in that stretch.
The good news, as previously reported was that the schedule was somewhat weighted to the heavy hitters through 20 and the Flames were halfway through their big Eastern swing.
The past 10 games have done nothing to enlighten us as to whether this team will stay in the hunt or fall out early. A win in Philly, a pair of wins vs the Wild and competitive losses on the road to Pittsburgh, Chicago and LA have showed promise, but the 7-2 Canuck drubbing was depressing. The competive losses are frustrating, just not quite good enough on those nights. A dominant performance in Anaheim - only to see the Ducks move another point ahead of Calgary is equally depressing
As of game 30,or 36.6 % of the schedule, the Flames have played 17 of 36 of their "tougher" games or 47.2 % of that schedule. In the next 7 games before the New Year's eve tilt vs Colorado - the Flames will play zero games against the teams I designated as tough - so this is the time to make a move back up the standings.
At the beginning of the year we projected 96 points as required to make the playoffs, owing to last years 95. This year however, it may take fewer points to do with no one team falling off the back of the bus just yet. It looks to be a logjam for sure with 3 points currently seperating 3 from 12th, so 91 or 92 might do it. Since the lockout, the league average is 92.7; 91.8 in the East and 93.6 in the West, so I will say 93.
To make that target, Calgary will need to play at .635 clip which is alot better than the .450 put in so far, which pretty sounds daunting.
Breaking it down further, with 12 pts in 17 games against Tier one teams (.353), in order to get to the .444 needed against this group, Calgary needs to play .526 hockey from here on out against Vancouver, Colorado, San Jose, Detroit, Chicago, LA, Montreal and Boston.
In the mid range a .500 record so far is short of the .625 needed, so a .656 pace in 16 games is required against St Louis, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Toronto and Carolina.
A win in Anaheim would have been huge, as the Flames now have only 11 points in 9 games vs potential cellar dwellers. This .611 pace stil falls a fair ways short of the .692 required to generate 36 points in 26 games. Consequently the Flames need to play .735 hockey in the 17 games left vs Anaheim, Minnesota, Edmonton, Columbus, Atlanta, Ottawa, Buffalo and the Islanders. 8 of the next 11 games are in this category and that takes us to game 41 and the mid point of the season January 5. If the Flames are not in a playoff position by then, they are not going to be.
|Games||Games to date||Points|
|Washington||1||Pts Req||1||0||Projected PTS||% played||Pace req|
|total Mid Range||20||25||4||4||20||20.0%||0.656|
|NY Islanders||1||Pts Req|
|Total Cellar dwellers||26||36||9||11||31.78||34.6%||0.735|