Dwindling Playoff Hopes for Flames
That’s the percentage chance, according to sportsclubstats.com, that the Flames have of making the playoffs this year. It went up from 0.2% yesterday with losses to the Kings, Sharks, and Preds last night.
One small step for man...
The Flames also have played equal or less games to those teams they are chasing -- three less than the Ducks, two less than the Hawks and Sharks, and one less than the Avs and Yotes. Call them small consolations to the inevitable fact the Flames will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. The Flames still sit nine points back of 8th spot – like an elephant trying to catch a cheetah, it’s just not going to happen.
But hold the phone, there is more good news...sort of. The Flames sit 6th last in the league, only a point ahead/behind (depends on which side of coin you examine) of 5th last place, which so happens to be the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs – the Flames next two opponents. In case you haven’t realized why this is important, it is because the bottom five teams in the league get entered into the draft lottery for 2011 – a key step in rebuilding a bad hockey team, and the Flames are just that.
Ottawa is coming off a big 6-4 victory over the mighty Islanders last night. It was rookie goalie Robin Lehner first NHL start, and subsequently first NHL win. But, last night’s win aside, the Sens are in a heap load of trouble when it comes to making the playoffs – make that a 0.2% chance of making the dance. There is a better chance of Spike Lee cheering for the Lakers.
The Flames are coming off of a full two day break after falling 6-5 in a shootout to the Carolina Hurricanes. A gutsy comeback effort where the Flames were able to steal a point.
It has been announced that Henrik Karlsson will get his 8th start of the season after coming into relieve Kiprusoff in the Carolina game. Karlsson has played well in a majority of his starts and deserves to play.
Kipper is struggling right now just in case you have been living under a rock this past week.
Everyone has been all over Kiprusoff this week, including the Coach, but, and I don’t think I’m alone here, I am thinking that Sutter had planned to play Karlsson in one of these two games anyways, so really, it’s not as big of deal as people are making it out to be. That’s the media making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Karlsson, despite playing well, is winless in his last three starts. His last victory came on December 3rd against the Wild – a 3-2 shootout win in Minnesota.
The Flames PP has gone dry once again converting only one time in its last 19 attempts -- a streak that’s extended over the team’s last six games. These streaks are not uncommon to this Flames team. This is the third such streak where the PP has forgotten what to do. They went 1 for 22 in a seven game stretch in late November and 2 for 31 in the team’s first seven games of the season.
They rank 24th in the league in that category.
They rank 25th in the league points wise. Funny, huh?
39 games to go...