Thursday, February 08, 2007


Flames Game Day

The Flames start a 3-game roadie tonight in Columbus (5PM MT, RSN West). I was parsing the Flames record through Game 53 yesterday, and noticed something unusual -- at least for the Flames in recent years. Their success, so far, has been extremely proportional to the quality of the opponent. Check this:

Record vs. ANA, SJS, DAL, NSH, DET
Record vs. VAN, MIN, COL, EDM
Record vs. PHX, LAK, STL, CHI, CBJ
I haven't gone through past years in much detail, but it sure seemed like the Flames tended to play up or down to their opposition. This season, they've been feasting on the bottom end of the conference (so yeah, Nick Kypreos: you think it's "unfair" that DET or NSH will be seeded below the NW champ? Get bent.) On the road at least, they've had literally zero success against the top end of the conference. (The Flames have 2 road wins this season against teams in a playoff spot: a 3-2 November win in Vancouver, and a 1-0 October win in Ottawa.)

So if you're a bettor, you probably take a win or shootout loss tonight against the Jackets, a loss against the Wings Sunday, and you lay off the Sabres game Saturday (they're kinda bipolar, though granted they're manic more frequently than they're depressive). Looking to the rest of the season, though, two things:

1) Practically speaking, they've clinched a playoff spot. The only real danger is the 6 H2H games against Colorado; so long as they're not dominated in that series, Colorado is unlikely to catch up to them (if Edmonton goes on a run, it'll probably have to be at the expense of the Wild, not the Flames).

2) If you're looking for clues that the Flames have what it takes to go on a post-season run, they'll need to have some success against the top Pacific and Central teams. They still have road games at DET, NSH, SJS, and DAL; home games remain against DET, NSH, and SJS. If they don't have success in those 7 games, it'll be near impossible to like them to get further than the second round.

Tonight though, things line up relatively well. Columbus is a bad team who's lost 3 straight (including that thumping by the Flames on Friday). The Flames aren't likely to come out complacently given the way Tuesday's game ended, and might get a bit of a boost from the Canucks' loss last night.

Ummm.... how about Calgary 4 (Iginla, Conroy, Ritchie, Phaneuf) Columbus 2 (Rusty & Jody). Go Flames.



"They still have road games at DET, NSH, SJS, and DAL; home games remain against DET, NSH, and SJS. If they don't have success in those 7 games, it'll be near impossible to like them to get further than the second round."

this is just one example in this post. Is it just me or aren't these just a tad self-serving. If you don't do well against those opponents, or get dominated by colorado, you're not likely to make it to the play-offs in the first place, let alone talk about the second round.

I meant to say "these arguments just a tad self-serving."

Matt was foreshadowing what my happen in the playoffs when Calgary would most likely have to face one of these teams in the second round, whereby if they weren't able to beat them in the regular season, then by what justification can you rationally expect them to win a playoff series against them, given the likely need to win at least one road game...

The Flames could lose each of these seven games and still finish atop the Northwest, so that isn't the most relevant of points to what I believe Matt was trying to get across...

The Colorado point is relatively unconnected to his statement in this paragraph. If you took all of his paragraphs as one, as in assuming that Calgary would lose all of these groupings, then yes, I would believe that the playoff picture would get much more murky...

But does anybody outside of Vancouver and Edmonton really expect that to happen?

It might help me to quantify your answer if you could state your allegiance, as right now you sound like an Oiler fan...

Apparently we are no longer allowed to speculate on what might happen in the playoffs until the regular season is over...

And aren't most bloggers selfserving in regards to their team (especially when they are doing well)?

was an oiler fan a lifetime ago.
now canucks.

if you're trying to say that the flames aren't likely to lose all those games, i'll give you that. They'll make the playoffs in all likelihood.

I'm not sure the arguments in the post prove the point Matt's making. i'm talking out of my ass here, but I remember that the Ducks had a losing record to the flames last year and we all remember how that turned out. I'm almost dead sure that Edmonton had a losing record against Detroit.

whoever the Flames face, I'm betting they'll have their ass handed to them.

By no means was I saying that Calgary needs to beat those teams in the regular season in order to beat them in the playoffs, merely that it would be a lot easier confidence if they get a couple wins in the other teams barn before it really counts...

I'm glad we played Noodles, we probably would have found a way to lose anyway, and now Kipper can be somewhat fresh for our next couple games. I wouldn't mind starting Noodles against the Thrashers next week either.

I'm glad we played McLennan as well. It seems he got a little rattle from that puck to the helmet, which was probably a bit of consideration in the second Columbus goal that immediately followed the first one...

That's two late losses to 'lesser' teams in a row...

They really need to figure out what's going on before Buffalo...

No kidding. I'm driving down to Buffalo (from Toronto) for that game. If they lose that is going to be one LONG drive home...

I think the Chicago game was more of an anomaly and the Columbus game was the past repeating itself.

Is it just me, or does Iginla not really look quite right yet?

Is it just me, or does Iginla not really look quite right yet?

It isn't you. He's still a bit off for sure.

Man, would a six game losing streak ever look good on you guys right now.

Man, would a six game losing streak ever look good on you guys right now.

Another Oiler fan I was watching the game with remarked (after Columbus' first goal):

"They're playing like the Oilers in their own end!'

"They're playing like the Oilers in their own end!

That bad, eh? Ouch.

I debated going down to Buffalo for tomorrow night's game, but then I had about ten different things I'm supposed to go to this weekend, so I had to drop it off the list...

Is it just me or is Millions becoming an even bigger arsehole by the game? He gets more and more tiresome with every win for the Flames and for me personally it tore it last night when he called the first BJ's goal a lucky goal. Yelle turned it over and Vyborny potted it. That was a bad or stupid play by Cgy more than it was luck for Colu.

Calgary just sucks on the road and Ro-get should know this by now.


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