It’s been about two weeks since my last playoff update so I thought it would be a good time to give another look at how teams are doing in the Western Conference playoff race.
All stats as of completion of play February 20, and from sportsclubstats.com
Calgary Flames (29-26-4, 62 pts) 2nd Wild Card Spot; Playoff Chances 44.3% (+6.1%)
Last Five Games: 2-2-1
Next Five Games: 21/02 @ NSH, 23/02 @ TB, 24/02 @ FLA, 26/02 @ CAR, 28/02 vs LA
It goes without saying that today’s game against the Preds is vital to the season. The Flames can pull even with Nashville in points but the Preds would still have a game in hand. It’s a tough next five games for the Flames, but playoff teams have to consistently win tough games.
Nashville Predators (28-22-8, 64 pts) 1st Wild Card Spot; Playoff Chances 83.9% (N/A)
Last Five Games: 2-3-0
Next Five Games: 21/02 vs CGY, 23/02 vs COL, 25/02 vs WSH, 26/02 vs EDM, 28/02 @ BUF
The Predators have fallen back into wild card contention mainly because of the strong run that the St. Louis Blues have gone on since firing Ken Hitchcock a few weeks ago. The Preds have had a strong season and will be tough to knock out in the last quarter of the season.
Los Angeles Kings (28-26-4, 60 pts) 10th in West; Playoff Chances 63.4% (-24.1%)
Last Five Games: 1-4-0
Next FIve Games: 21/02 @ COL, 23/02 vs BOS, 25/02 vs ANA, 27/02 @ MIN, 28/02 @ CGY
While the Kings are in 10th in the Conference, they have four games in hand on the Jets who are only one point above them, thus the higher playof percentages. The Kings are 0-3 since their five day break, and have only one game in hand on the Flames and are two points behind. It could really come down to these two teams.
Winnipeg Jets (28-29-5, 61 pts) 9th in West; Playoff Chances 13.1% (-1.6%)
Last Five Games: 3-1-1
Next Five Games: 21/02 @ TOR, 28/02 vs MIN, 03/03 vs STL, 04/03 vs COL, 06/03 vs SJ
We’ll keep the Jets in here for now considering they’ve gone 3-0-1 in their past four games, but really it’s a three horse race against the above teams as the Jets have played way more games than the other teams. Perhaps if they keep this up then they can get back into serious contention.
So there you have it, the Flames playoff chances have continued to improve. Again, there’s no doubting how important today’s game against Nashville is as a Flames win could boost their chances 10.3% and a loss could lower them 7.7%. Also if the Kings could lose to the Avalanche, that would be terrific.
A Flames Win + A Kings loss would vault the Flames over the Kings to a higher %. Get ready, things are about to get crazy.