Three reasons why the Flames can make the playoffs.

By DawsonThompson01
Dec. 20, 2016

Recent special teams success.

Over the first two months of the season the Flames had an awful power play and sat in last place in the league hovering around the 10% area. Since the beginning the of December the Flames have been absolutely red hot on the power play, scoring a power play goal in 8 straight games and 3 in one game against Arizona. Since the start of December they have been working at about 40% bringing the season total to 18.8% which has vamped them up to 15th in the league, and 3rd in the division. At the beginning of the season the penalty kill was working really well, and Frolik and Backlund were looking like two of the best penalty killers in the league, and scoring on the penalty kill as well. They have slowed down over the last two months a little and sit at 79.4% and 22nd in the league but the penalty kill is not hurting them.

Team unity on offence.

It was always going to take time to adjust from the coaching of Bob Hartley to Glen Gulutzan and it looks like it has taken the Flames just about 30 games to do so going 7-3 in their last 10 games. A lot of this has to do with them figuring it out on the power play scoring in 8 straight games with the man advantage. Individual play recently has really helped the Flames along especially in the scoring department, scoring the 3rd most goals in the division. Sean Monahan is currently on a 10 game scoring streak, and Johnny Gaudreau is on an 8 game streak, getting a point in each game since coming back from injury. New additions Troy Brouwer, Alex Chaisson, Kris Versteeg, and rookie Matthew Tkachuk are really starting to find their groove with the Flames as well and are helping produce to keep the Flames in play off contention.

Solid goaltending.

Although Brian Elliott has had a very rough start to his career as a Flame he still has lots of time to turn it around and play well for his new team. In the time that Elliott has struggled they have got extremely solid goaltending from Chad Johnson. Right now it is hard to tell who is the true starter on this team but over the past month and a half Johnson has shown that he should be the one for Calgary. Right now Johnson is 13-6-1 with a .924 SV% and 2.22 GAA which is defiantly good enough for an offence that is 3rd in the division. Elliott at the moment is 4-9-1 with a .889 SV% and 3.21 GAA. If Johnson can keep up his very consistent, great play, and if Elliott can start playing a little bit better when he gets the opportunity and win some games like he did recently in Arizona then Calgary should have no problems scoring more than their opposition and make the playoffs.