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The Calgary Flames have not made the playoffs in consecutive seasons in over a decade. Despite some uneven play this season, they’re in a decent position to change that.

Welcome to our ongoing look at the playoff race in the Western Conference.

The Pacific (in a snazzy table!)

GP Pct. Pts Reg W ROW This weekend
Canucks (P1) 51 .608 62 23 26 2/1 @ NYI, 2/2 @ CAR
Oilers (P2) 50 .580 58 22 24 1/31 vs STL, 2/1 @ CGY
Flames (P3) 52 .567 59 17 21 2/1 vs EDM
Coyotes (WC1) 52 .548 57 19 21 1/30 vs LA, 2/1 vs CHI
Golden Knights (WC2) 52 .548 57 19 22 1/31 @ CAR, 2/1 @ NSH
Sharks 52 .462 48 16 20 2/1 vs TBL
Ducks 50 .450 45 14 16 1/31 vs TBL, 2/1 @ LA
Kings 51 .402 41 13 18 1/30 @ ARZ, 2/1 vs ANA

Notable Central teams

GP Pct. Pts Reg W ROW This weekend
Predators 49 .541 53 20 22 1/30 @ NJ, 2/1 vs VGK
Blackhawks 51 .529 54 18 22 2/1 @ ARZ
Jets 51 .529 54 18 22 1/31 vs BOS, 2/1 vs. STL
Wild 50 .520 52 21 22 2/1 vs BOS

The tiebreakers are, in order:

  1. Points percentage.
  2. Regulation wins.
  3. Regulation and overtime wins (ROW).
  4. Wins of any kind.
  5. Points earned in head-to-head games between tied teams. (If they’ve played an uneven amount of games head-to-head, the first “extra” home game is thrown out.)
  6. Goal differential.
  7. Goals for.

Typically-speaking, it’s rare that tiebreakers go further than a couple levels down. But the “regulation wins” distinction is new this season, and the idea is to de-emphasize the shootout.

The race

Right now things are, to be blunt, pretty jam-packed. After Wednesday’s win, the Flames are two points up on Edmonton but the Oilers have a lead (for now) in points percentage because they have two games-in-hand. Saturday’s game could be huge, as the Oilers could draw even (or pass them) or potentially fall four points behind.

Beyond that, the Pacific Division has (for now) five playoff spots. The three top Central teams – St. Louis, Colorado and Dallas – are basically locked in, so it’s now a race for the three Pacific spots and the two wild-card spots. There are six teams fighting for the two wild-card spots; for now, the Pacific teams have a slight edge.

Everybody strap in, this is going to be a long and bumpy ride to the finish.


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