They did it.
The Calgary Flames managed to secure a NHL playoff spot by American Thanksgiving. What does that get you? Absolutely nothing of course, as they still have more than 70% of their schedule still left to play. It does however, create a great discussion given the history of this magical date.
The history of the turkey line comes from a notion by Red Wing’s GM Kenny Holland;
The Hockey News December 2013
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland has long contended that when it comes to making the playoffs, things are pretty much decided by the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, which gives a new meaning to Black Friday if you’re on the outside looking in.
And if history is any indication, Holland is about three-quarters correct. Over the past 10 seasons there have been 160 playoff spots up for grabs. Of the 160 teams that have held down a playoff spot after the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, 41 of them have finished the season out of the playoff picture. (We obviously didn’t include last season because the battle between the billionaires and the millionaires prevented us from having any NHL hockey until January.)
As a web site owner I’ve been projecting this article on this date for the better part of a month. My hope was the Flames would squeak into the 8th spot at Thanksgiving creating the debate about teams and the likelihood of holding down a spot in each Conference. Media in other markets would have been sure to point at the Flames as the team most likely to fall out (the 25%), and fans in Calgary thinking things too good to be true, would likely have thought the same.
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