San Jose. Arizona. Anaheim. Minnesota. Vancouver. Anaheim. Los Angeles. That's your next 7 for the Calgary Flames. This is the stretch that will most likely decide if they make the playoffs or are on the outside looking in. There's 14 points available within the Conference during this stretch and the Flames need as many as they can get.
Calgary currently sits 6th in the Pacific Division with 51 points. That 51 points has them tied for 10th with the Winnipeg Jets in the Western Conference. That 51 points has them 7 points behind Nashville and Colorado in the Wild Card race. It's grim, but not impossible. After this stretch of opponents they need to gain ground on, they get a small break before they startup again in the month of March. The Flames are done with Nashville, but have one game left with the Avalanche (March 18th). The point is this: Calgary needs to win and win now. The dream scenario is to win all 7 games and pick up all 14 points. Again, dream scenario. What would be most likely? Probably 7-9 points from these next 7 games. The hardest one of the whole bunch is the Flames trip to Anaheim. Not sure if you've heard, but they struggle in Anaheim. Since 2010 the Flames are an unimaginable 0-15-0 when they make the trip to the Duck's pond. So even IF you count that as an automatic loss, that leaves the Flames with games they have to win on the road against San Jose, Arizona and LA. In San Jose? 32-29-4 In Arizona? 36-50-11 In LA? 52-64-9 Ouch. The road ahead hasn't been very kind to the Flames over the years, but hey, anything can happen. That leaves the Flames home games against Anaheim, Minnesota and Vancouver at the dome during this 7 game run. Those records? At home against Anaheim? 32-20-1 Home against Minnesota? 24-13-3 At home against Vancouver? 82-51-15
So what this tells you is the obvious: the Flames records at home are good, on the road, not so much. If Calgary takes the 3 games at the Dome that's 6 points right there. If they can get 3 points on the road, which isn't unreasonable, there's your 9 points. But I'd think anything under 9 points could doom any chance they have at creeping in to the playoffs.
Of course, everything depends on what the teams ahead of them do right now. But being behind by 7 points in the Wild Card and not winning at least 4 of their next 7 will certainly put Calgary in a bind. Their 3-9 record in October looks much worse now than it did back then and that's saying a lot. It's time to basically win or go home. These next 7 games could also decide whether the Flames become sellers come the trade deadline. A lot is riding on the next 12 days and it's reached "must win" status with 31 games left in the season.
What do you think? Will the Flames grind out the points required or is the season done after these 7 games? Vote in the poll below!