Calgary Flames

Breaking down the math on if the Calgary Flames can catch the Seattle Kraken in the wild card race

The Calgary Flames’ playoff hopes are still alive and well with just five games remaining in the 2022–23 season. Currently riding a four-game win streak—their longest of the season—the Flames are turning it on at the right time to make things interesting.

Sure, this season has been long and challenging, with almost nothing going right all year, but at least they aren’t crawling into the darkness of the summer without putting up quite the fight.

Although most of the talk has been of the Flames trying to catch the Winnipeg Jets, and fend off the Nashville Predators, we are going to go full best case scenario and say the Flames still have an opportunity at catching the Seattle Kraken. 

We all need some good news once in a while, so here is what needs to happen in order for the Flames to delay the Kraken’s first playoff appearance.

The numbers and remaining schedule 

The Calgary Flames currently have five games left, and sit at 87 points on the season. The Kraken have seven games left and sit three points ahead with 90 points. They also sit just one point ahead of the Winnipeg Jets, with the same discrepancy in games played.

In terms of the Flames and Kraken’s remaining schedule, it’s quite fascinating;

– 87 Points
– 90 Points
vs CHIvs ARI
vs NSHvs CHI
vs SJ@ ARI
vs VGK

The Kraken clearly have the edge, with three games coming against the Coyotes and one being against the Blackhawks. Sure you could immediately say the Flames aren’t catching the Kraken, but at this time of year you can never underestimate a young team with nothing to lose. The Kraken are also 4–4–2 in their last 10 games, so they are a team truly trudging along to the finish line.

The interesting part of the Kraken’s schedule would be the last two games against Vegas. Those will be difficult games should the Kraken not capitalize on their easier matchups.

Making the math work

Update 4/5: The Seattle Kraken won both games to start off the week, which means in order for the Flames to catch them it’s going to take a mathematical miracle. They would need to win out, and the Kraken to lose out in regulation to make things work. Optimism can only take you so far.

vs CHI0vs ARI2
@ WIN2@ VAN2
@ VAN2vs ARI0
vs NSH2vs CHI0
vs SJ2@ ARI0
@ VGK0
vs VGK0

Original Thoughts:

Now let’s have some fun, how could the Flames actually pass the Kraken in the standings? Here are a few options:

vs CHI2vs ARI2
@ WIN2@ VAN0
@ VAN2vs ARI1
vs NSH1vs CHI2
vs SJ2@ ARI0
@ VGK0
vs VGK0

First things first, the Flames have little margin for error, even if they go 4–0–1 to end the season, they would need some serious help on the Seattle side. If the Kraken go 2–4–1 to end the season, the math definitely works. The Kraken hold the edge in terms of the ROW tiebreaker, so the Flames have to beat them in points.

If the Flames lose one game in regulation, say the Winnipeg matchup, and go 3–1–1, the math looks even tougher: 

vs CHI2vs ARI1
@ WIN0@ VAN0
@ VAN2vs ARI1
vs NSH1vs CHI1
vs SJ2@ ARI0
@ VGK0
vs VGK0

The Kraken would need to go 0–4–3, or 1–5–1, to ensure the Flames can sneak into the other wild card spot. Look, crazier things have happened.

Full optimism

Even though you should probably keep your hopes up on catching Winnipeg, you could truly see a situation where the Kraken fully collapse. Now three games against the Coyotes surely would help Seattle clinch, but they have been upset central as of late so start saying your prayers Flames fans. It’s not over until it’s over.

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

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