The Flames plan to focus a little more on shootout success this year. (QMI Agency Files)
CALGARY - The Calgary Flames missed the playoffs last season by five points.
That handful of points added up to the difference between a shot at the Stanley Cup -- the Los Angeles Kings earned the eighth seed and went on to win the title -- and finishing ninth.
Had the Flames been a strong shootout team, they probably would have been in the second season, but they were a putrid 3-9 in games which reached the skills competition, the second-worst among the league's 30 squads.
In a 48-game season, expect that margin between success and failure to be even smaller.
Therefore, expect more emphasis on practising and preparing for showdown games worth the third point.