As the Flames come out of the All-Star break and hit the final 30 games of the season, I thought it would be good to start a weekly piece updating Flames fans on the team’s playoff chances. I’ll include how the Flames are doing, as well as the teams around them and each team’s schedule for the upcoming week.
It’s time to recognize that any chance the Flames had at a divisional playoff spot has gone out the window for now, so we’ll focus on wild card competition, but if that changes later in the year, we will adjust accordingly.
*All Playoff % are from sportsclubstats.com
Calgary Flames (25-24-3, 53 pts) 2nd Wild Card Spot: Playoff Chances = 26.2%
Last 5 Games: 1-4-0
Next 5 Games: 01/02 vs MIN, 03/02 @ NJ, 05/02 @ NYR, 07/02 @ PIT, 13/02 vs ARI
The Flames struggled heading into the break having lost six of their previous eight games, but remain in the second wild card spot for now. The issue is that they have played 2-3 games more than the teams around them and will very likely be passed as the teams catch up. They have a tough schedule this week, facing some of the leagues best teams.
St. Louis Blues (24-20-5, 53 pts) 1st Wild Card Spot: Playoff Chances = 66.2%
Last 5 Games: 1-4-0
Next 5 Games: 31/01 vs WPG, 02/02 vs TOR, 04/02 vs PIT, 06/02 @ PHI, 07/02 @ OTT
The Blues had some struggles in January especially in their crease, but their strong start to the season still has them comfortably sitting in a wild card spot. The Blues have such a strong pedigree of regular season success that they should be able to figure things out defensively. It will also be interesting to see what decisions they make with Kevin Shattenkirk down the stretch.
Los Angeles Kings (24-21-4, 52 pts) 9th in West: Playoff Chances = 79.1%
Last 5 Games: 2-3-0
Next 5 Games: 31/01 @ ARI, 01/02 vs COL, 04/02 @ PHI, 05/02 @ WSH, 07/02 @ TB
The Kings only have to win one of their three games in hand to bump the Flames out of the final wild card spot, which explains why their % is so high. Plus they get the two worst teams in the conference after the break which should be easy victories. Like the Blues, the Kings have a history of success and the Flames will be hard-pressed to pass them, especially if they get Jonathan Quick back at some point.
Vancouver Canucks (23-21-6, 52 pts) 10th in West: Playoff Chances = 14.9%
Last 5 Games: 3-2-0
Next 5 Games: 02/02 vs SJ, 04/02 vs MIN, 07/02 @ NSH, 09/02 @ CBJ, 11/02 @ BOS
The Canucks slowly crept back into the playoff mix during January where they registered at least a point in 9 of 12 games. Whether or not the Canucks will have what it takes to sustain a playoff push remains to be seen, but for now they’re a threat as they have two games in hand and are only a point back of the Flames.
Dallas Stars (20-20-10, 50 pts) 11th in West: Playoff Chances = 14.6%
Last 5 Games: 2-1-2
Next 5 Games: 31/01 vs TOR, 02/02 vs WPG, 04/02 vs CHI, 07/02 @ TOR, 09/02 @ OTT
The only reason the Stars have hung around this season is because of the loser point. The Stars have never really gotten into the playoff conversation despite the high pre-season projections that people had for them. Their main issue is defensively as it’s always been, but with a duo of Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, they’re always a threat in the rearview mirror.
We’ll be back next week to hopefully talk about how the Flames moved back to within striking distance of actually being in a playoff spot! Go Flames Go!