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Welcome to another edition of the Hockeybuzz hotstove.

The Calgary Flames have been one of the bigger surprises in the NHL this season, and currently hold a playoff spot. In today’s hotstove we’ll look at whether they will hold onto that spot, and make the postseason, or if they’ll miss the playoffs.

Todd Cordell

I think it’ll be close, but when all is said and done I think they’ll be on the outside looking in.

LA has struggled all year, but if they win their game in hand they’re just three points back of Calgary plus Minnesota and Dallas are surging up the standings as well.

I really like some of the forwards Calgary has (notably Monahan, Backlund, and Gaudreau) and Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie are exceptional defensemen, but I think there’s enough time for Calgary’s 4-5 point advantage over these teams to evaporate.

Again, I think it’ll be close and, whether the Flames make it or not, fans can be encouraged that some key pieces are in place, and that the rebuild is further along than many expected. Adam French

Analytics says they’re doomed. I thought they were doomed. Screw it, they make it. This team has heart. Lucky heart? Probably. Yet it’s working and they don’t seem to be slowing. Is there a better hidden treasure than Jiri Hudler? What is it with Flames spending a year in the KHL and learning life is worth living? Oh…well, personal experience here, I understand. I like a lot of elements of this team, I did going into the season, but I’ve had to re-evaluate things as they wore on. I didn’t think Monahan would develop this quickly. I didn’t think Brodie would not only continue to improve but just explode to greatness. I think if Calgary makes a move for a defender that can take Diaz’s more or less wasted space, they could have guaranteed their spot even if they coast.

The Pacific has one dangerous foe for them, and it’s the Kings, the sleeping giant. Tim Chiasson

I don’t think they will. The Flames are a fun team to watch but they just don’t play good enough all-around hockey to keep them in the position they’re in. Hate possession all you want, but it matters.

Even looking at their last ten, where they have a beauty 7-3 record, they have three of the seven wins against the dysfunctional Sharks who have been owned by the Flames all year. Two more come against Buffalo and Edmonton.

Before that ten game stretch they were reeling – going 6-9-1 in the previous 15 games – and I think that’s a team we’re going to see again and they’ll drop out of a playoff position. The Flames are definitely ahead of the curve in their rebuild but they’ve also been one of, if not the, luckiest teams in hockey this year.

Dallas and Minnesota are making a big push right now and I wouldn’t count out LA until the final horn sounds on the season as replacements for the Flames in the post-season. Recent posts Power Rankings: Preds back on top Will the Jets make the playoffs? Best fit for Mike Santorelli? Best fit for Mike Green? Is Marc Staal worth the money?