Winners of the last 4 in a row - the Flames closed out the 10 game stretch since the midseason mark with a 6-1-3 record - 15 points out of 20 - a .750 clip. Can they make a serious playoff run ? A look at the schedule backwards and forwards.
With teams 7-9 currently holding 56 points in 50 games thats a pace of just under 92 points.Also, with more games in the conference for all teams down the stretch, and just 9 points separating teams 4-14, it may take as little as 90 points to make the playoffs. At the beginning of the year we were projecting 95 and had revised it down to 93.
During the past ten the Flames had 3 games against top tier competition, against Detroit, Montreal and Vancouver. With 4 points in those games that brings the total to 18 in 22 games. With 14 games left against the teams I rated as top tier - they still need to play at least .500 in these games, to get 32 points in 36 total games.
The mid range group had the least information to mid season, but was well represented in this game set with 5 contests. . A 4-0-1 record brings it to 17 points in just 11 games. I had projected a need to get 25 points in 20 games. It looks like that is very possible, but it is also extremely neccesary as that group includes playoff competitiors Nashville, St Louis and Phoenix.
Another reason the Flames need to play well against the middle group has been their disappointing record against the bottom tier teams. From the Flames point of view ,rating Minnesota a potential cellar dweller doesn't look so smart now as Calgary ended their season with the Wild with a 2-4 record with the 6-0 drubbing Jan 19. Getting even one of those last 3 games against Minny would look so good right now. Winning the Ottawa game was good, bringing the point total to 19 in 18 games. I had projected 36 points in 26 games as required - that is now mathematically impossible. Suffice it to say that the 3 against Anaheim, 2 against Edmonton and one each against Columbus, Ottawa and Atlanta are all must win games.