In Monday’s edition of Daily face-to-face livehosts Tyler Yaremchuk and Mike McKenna discussed the Flames’ playoff chances in the West with 19 games left.
The duo agreed that until Calgary’s icy team becomes more selective on offense, their expensive roster isn’t going anywhere.
Tyler Yaremchuk: Things are so bad in Calgary that they were booed off the ice. Their head coach, Darryl Sutter, said, « Yeah, I would have booed them too. » Everyone knows they’ve been undesirable lately. Only two wins in their last 10 games; in that span, they are 28th in points percentage in the NHL. Is it over? Is this the Calgary Flames’ season obituary?
Mike McKenna: I think we carved the tombstone. There are only 20 games left, including 19 for Calgary. Will they really be able to close a 6-point gap to qualify? I don’t know, I don’t think so. Here’s the reason: the players they recruited to replace Johnny Hockey and Matthew Tkachuk just didn’t make it.
Whether it’s on the players or the coaching staff, whatever it is, you’ve got Mikael Backlund, Tyler Toffoli, Dillon Dube, Blake Coleman and Jakob Pelletier all ahead of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri in points since Feb. 1. are you going to win a lot of games like this? You are not.
I know everyone puts everything on the goalkeeper. Daniel Vladar won 6 in a row in January, he lost 2 or 3 recently and he looks human again. The last time Jacob Markstrom won a game despite allowing 3 or more goals was December 20. He has to allow 2 goals or less to win, and I think that made him insist. I think he tries too hard and sometimes it comes out.
Look at Huberdeau: 40 points in 60 games. Kadri: 45 in 63. Both just regressed closer to their career standards, Tyler even below. They just don’t have a good chance to score; Calgary throws the most pucks on the net from low scoring percentage positions of any team in the league and they get nothing to show for it. It is not a surprise. Don’t look at hit totals, look at the odds they create. It’s just not there in Calgary, and I don’t see that changing this season.
Tyler Yaremchuk: People always say « they outplayed this team 55-28. How did they lose? » When it’s just untrafficked wrist flicks from the high lunge, you’re not going to get much offense doing this.
Sure, they’ve run into some hot goalies, but this is a team that’s only expected to have a little over $1 million in cap space this offseason. Brad Treliving won’t have room to rework the roster as he already did this last summer. I don’t know what the Flames will do if they miss this year. I don’t think the Flames have a 14-5 record in them; it looks like we know the eight teams that will make it to the Western playoffs.
You can watch the full show here: