Lots of Adversity and Scoreboard Watching to Come
A day after the Flames fall to the league’s best Canucks, I am looking ahead at what is to come. The Flames have played the most games out of any of the 30 NHL teams and yet we find ourselves in ninth place in the Western conference. But like all the players and coaches will tell you “win your games, and you’ll be in” Worrying about yourselves is fine but I can’t help but look at the whole picture.
The Flames may be in and out of 8th spot in the West but a tough road lies ahead! Looking at the schedule upcoming I see a decent balance of home and road games, but what really sticks out to me is the California 3 game trip in March. If the Flames are still hanging around at the time of that mini road trip, it surely will decide our faith! The Kings and Ducks will be neck in neck with us for the next while and with both teams having games in hand the Flames will need all 6 points that remain up for grabs between the clubs.
The Flames only play 2 more games against a non-western conference opponent, making every other game a “four point” game. Too bad we can’t steal some points from the Wild as that ship has sailed by 6 times, and we will not see them anymore. But we do see the Coyotes two more times and although a couple weeks ago I thought the Coyotes were falling down to reality, the reality now is showing they are a playoff team, and are playing very good hockey. Add the Sharks, Ducks and Wild playing their best hockey, the fight for eight is becoming harder and harder each day. The Flames will definitely need to get 30 points or more in their remaining 24 games!
I just hope the Flames establish themselves in the playoff picture by February 28th. Because not trading guys like Glencross, Babchuk and Regehr (who are arguable at their highest value), due to the team hoping to snag that final playoff spot could result in a longer road to re-tooling this team, in the future. So looking at it today; a ninth or tenth place finish is more likely than seventh or eighth! But that doesn’t stop my belief and or drive to see this team in the playoff dance!
GO FLAMES GO