I have nothing. MG has the most fantastic analysis about how this is going to be another short playoff run. I'm going to take another tack and hearken back unto the glory days.
In 2004, the year of the Flames' (insert-adjective-here: surprise, unlikely, miracle, improbable) run to the Finals, Darryl Sutter famously divided up the last twenty-eight games of the season, and explained to the guys that, well, they had four series of seven games each. Win each set of seven, and, you'd be pretty close to a Stanley Cup. He was right, as it turned out.
So how do we compare to that year? Let's find out.
|NJ||L||ANA||L||Wins: 4/7||Wins: 3/7|
Verdict: Ooohhhhh, not good. This season, we're losing 2 of those seven game "series", and overall have one fewer win.
Even more worrying to me is the greater number of games which we've lost, and have been blown wide open. In 2004, the only two games in which there was a goal differential of 4 goals in favour of the other team were against perennial Flames-killing Dallas. I'm willing to let those go. But even this month, there's been too many games where the team just forgot to show up.
On the bright side, even with the terrible-most final seven games of this season, we managed to take four games. That suggests to me that maybe it is possible to squeeze out a series win. Mayyyybe.
If we can play like we did in that second series (approximate timeframe: mid to late February), then we're as good as any team in the playoffs. However, right now my gut feel is that we're not that team.
What are we going to have to do to beat San Jose? We're going to have to be the Flames, circa pre-trade deadline. We're going to have to clamp down on the penalties. Kipper will need to be on (this is not impossible - much of the playoff analysis to date has ignored the fact that his goalie stats have largely trended upwards since the beginning of the season).
A lot of things are going to have to come right for the Flames. But hey, it's happened before.