The mountain is steep, but not necessarily insurmountable.
With 24 games remaining on the agenda for the Calgary Flames, the team is 13 points shy of the West's last available wildcard berth and currently sits in 13th place in the Western conference with 51 points.
But regardless of whether the Flames make a late-season Cinderella run to the post-season, the intensity for each about to get cranked up as playoffs draw closer.
Of the two-dozen games left on the schedule, only four games are against teams (the Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, and the Oilers again) in a similar playoff position as the Flames -- bleak.
The rest of the contests are against hungry teams already in a position to vie for Lord Stanley's mug this April, or are right in the thick of the playoff race and are on the outside looking in.