With the Flames about to embark on an ugly 7 game road trip, it struck me as a good time to take a look at the final quarter of the season with eye an to predicting the club's potential for success going forward.
I decided to do this by organizing the league into the 3 tiers: excellent teams, good teams and the rest. "Excellent teams" are those clubs with a win percentage equal to or higher than Calgary's (60%). "Good teams" were those at .500 or better (50%) and "rest" is well...the rest.
Red = tier one, blue = tier two, black = tier three
Next, I investigated the Flames success rate against each respective tier:
Finally, based on these results, I projected the Flames expected win % through the final 20 games.
Of course, this is a very quick and dirty run through of the potentials, so don't go placing any bets based on this analysis. The sample sizes are small and I didn't look at underlying numbers like GD, home and away win rates, etc. Also, things can change drastically if the Flames experience any more significant injuries and/or add someone notable at the deadline.
Still, in terms of thumbnail sketches, this one isn't too bad. If the Flames do indeed manage to win 12 of their last 20, they would finish the season with 104 points (assuming no more OTL loser points). In order to match that total, Vancouver would have to claim 32 of a possible 40 points from their final 20 games, a record of roughly 16-4-0 ( WIN% of 80). While that's not impossible, it's certainly improbable and not something I'd put money on.