The Calgary Flames aren’t helping themselves into the playoffs this year, and they are certainly not getting any help from other teams. With just 8 games left in the season, the Flames headed into Boston today sitting 6 points behind Detroit for the 8th spot in the Western Conference. To say that this game was a “must win” is an understatement. The Flames last 10 games have been “must wins” but they haven’t shown the sense of urgency that they need to battle their way into a playoff spot.
After Calgary’s last game (a 3-2 loss on Long Island) The Detroit Red Wings dealt a serious blow to Flames fans hopes for the playoffs by winning 6-2 in Minnesota. Detroit had one game at hand over the Flames and increased the gap from 4 to 6 points with the win. Detroit is now healthy after struggling with injuries all season, and have been on fire since the Olympic break, going 10-2-1. During the same period Calgary has gone 7-5, including 3 losses to teams that are out of the playoffs.
Today’s 5-0 shutout loss for the Flames leaves them with almost no hope to make the playoffs. They now rely on either Detroit (unlikely) or Colorado (also unlikely) to start losing like the ’74-’75 Washington Capitals… and at the same time, the Flames need to start winning like the ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens.
As a passionate Flames fan it hurts me to admit that my team probably isn’t going to make the playoffs, but I’ve known the team had problems since they went on their ‘infamous’ 9-game losing streak in January. When the losing streak ended, my dad said to me “we’ll be talking about this losing streak in April when they don’t make the playoffs.” I didn’t believe him then, but I believe it now.
The Flames next game is tomorrow afternoon in Washington (oh great…)