Flames’ Slim Playoff Hope Tour Hits Denver

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Well, the season comes down to this. Again.
Facing official mathematical elimination against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver tonight (6 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet West), the Calgary Flames know its postseason hopes hang in the balance – a familiar scenario for the team during the past few weeks.
The team didn’t end the month of March in great fashion, either. A 2-5-2 record isn’t going to get it done at this time of the year, especially when the teams near you in the standings still have games in hand.
But the Flames played an inspired third period in Edmonton eight days ago, lost a tough game on a flat-out bad call during Getzlaf The Great’s move against Anaheim, Wednesday, and played well enough to win in St. Louis on Friday night.
Captain Jarome Iginla hit the 1,000 career point mark with two goals and an assist during the 3-2 win and comes in having scored 12 points in his past seven game. He can’t do everything by himself, though, so Olli Jokinen, Rene Bourque and others, this is directed to you: pick it up!
Calgary is still three points behind the Chicago Blackhawks and anything less than three straight wins will end the playoff aspirations. Chicago has two games in hand and can eliminate the Flames if they earn at least one point against Tampa Bay (5 p.m. MST on RDS) and Calgary loses in regulation.
A Chicago win and a Calgary overtime or shootout loss will also eliminate the Flames. Long story short: Calgary has a remote chance of playing past April 9.
Colorado has a 29-40-8 record and has only won five games since mid-January, so tonight’s two points should be for the taking. Calgary won the last meeting 9-1 on Feb. 14 in Denver.
But this is the NHL and teams don’t just lay down (look at the Oilers’ surprising win in Vancouver last night). The bad news is we may really not the make the playoffs for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
The good news is that the following year, we made a pretty deep run in the playoffs.