Ask any Edmonton Oilers fan which team they would never, ever cheer for, and the answer is always the same: those stinking Calgary Flames.
But now, these fans have to ask themselves what they would prefer: the Oilers in the playoffs, or the Flames not in them.
The Oilers are 3 points out of a playoff spot, with 6 games left, all against Northwest Division foes. The Flames have 7 games remaining, also all against Northwest Division teams. Two of these two teams games are against each other, two games which the Oilers need to win to make the playoffs. So for those two games, it remains the status quo.
Now other than these two games, Edmonton needs Calgary to win all of their games. Why? Well 4 of those 5 games are against teams the Oilers are chasing for a playoff spot: tonight against Colorado, and 3 games against the Canucks. If the Flames were to win these 4 games, and the Oilers win their remaining 6 games, the Oilers would finish with 93 points. Meanwhile, Colorado and Vancouver would finish with a maximum 92 points, giving the Oilers the eigth spot in the West (with Nashville at least losing one game).
Now why would the Flames want this? Well, if they were to win 5 of their remaining 7, they would finish with 98 points. Also—since Edmonton has two games remaining against the Minnesota Wild, and Calgary has one matchup against them left—if the Wild were to lose those three games, they would finish with 97 points, giving Calgary the Northwest Division title.
While this scenario is a long-shot from happening, for the remainder of this season, the Flames and Oilers are best friends.