It was the nail in the coffin.
Having already lost two straight games, the Calgary Flames could ill-afford a third loss in a row to the last-place Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
Calgary lost 5-2, all but guaranteeing they’ll will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs this year.
Now six points back of the final wild card spot in the West, the Flames would have to pass three teams to make it in.
It’s not likely.
With eight games left in the season – fewer than all the teams they’re chasing – Calgary needs to go on one hell of a run to end the season.
The analytics website SportsClubStats.com, which takes past results and future matchups into account, currently lists the Flames’ chances of making the playoffs at 0.7%. That’s down from 15% two weeks ago.
Sports Club Stats estimates that if the Flames went 8-0-0 down the stretch, they would have a 72% chance to make the playoffs. If they lose just one game in an overtime or shootout (ie. a record of 7-0-1), their probability of making the postseason drops to 37.7%. A loss in regulation (7-1-0) sinks it to 16.3%.
Making matters worse is Calgary’s schedule, with six of their final eight games against playoff teams.
There’s going to be a lot of questions asked of this group in the offseason, assuming their season ends in April. Glen Gulutzan, whose blowups at practices will live forever on YouTube, could pay the price. How about GM Brad Treliving, who has given up plenty of future assets for a team that hasn’t proven it can contend for a Stanley Cup?
And the worst part? The Flames don’t even own their first round draft pick this year, as it was traded to the New York Islanders for Travis Hamonic.