Breaking down the Calgary Flames playoff chances with but a dozen games remaining.
-The pace for 8th place sits at 92 points, based on a .564 points percentage for the Phoenix Coyotes (San Jose, .565)
-The Flames currently hold the first tiebreak (ROW) on each of the 4 other teams in the hunt for the final 2 spots. Last night's OT win puts the Flames at 30 Regulation/Overtime Wins - although the WIN is the most important thing, avoiding the skills competition for the result also has major importance going forward.
-As of today, 93 points would likely get them into the playoffs - although by the end of the season I expect that number to be more like 94 - so, with that expected pace the Flames need to go something like 7-4-1 or 6-3-3 down the stretch for a points percentage of .625.
-According to SportsClubStats, the Flames playoff chances went up to 43.9% with the win last night. The team hasn't been getting a ton of help on the out of town scoreboard of late or else that number would probably be the highest its been all season.
-Of the 12 remaining games, 7 are at home (Phx, Clb, Dal, LA, Col, Van, Anh) and 5 are on the road (Edm, Col, Min, Dal, Van).
-On tonight's schedule, fans should be cheering for Vancouver, Buffalo and Winnipeg.
-On this day in 2011, the Flames sat in 8th spot with 81 points (3 points ahead of this years mark, although they had played one more game). They were also +18 in overall goal differential, compared to -17 this season - a 35 goal difference. Praise be to Kipper.
-Thursday night the Flames host the Phoenix Coyotes for their 4th and final meeting. The Yotes will be playing the 2nd night of a back-to-back - just like the Sharks - giving the Flames a slight edge in the rest department. However, the Flames then play a back-to-back as they travel to Edmonton looking to avenge their worst game of the season.
These are two winnable games coming up, but let's hope the team uses the positive energy gained from the OT win against the Sharks as fuel to their push and not as an end result. Just when we think this team may have turned a corner they tend to remind us of their mediocrity; let's hope they can overcome that trend.