How will Flames react to streak's end?

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:30 AM ET

OK, so the Calgary Flames lost a game.

But now that their eight-game winning streak has come to an end, the bigger concern is: How will they respond to last night's 5-2 defeat to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks?

We'll find out Monday in

Colorado.

"You can't let it slide," said defenceman Rhett Warrener.

"We played terrible and lost and we've got to pick it up.

"It's back to the drawing board. We've been brutal on the road and need to be a lot better, so it'll be a big test for us."

Were the players donning the Flaming C caught up in the euphoria of their winning streak?

We'll never really know.

In recent days, they've all said the streak wasn't on their minds and, after the game last night, suggestions it had become an albatross were dismissed.

(Actually, GM/head coach Darryl Sutter surprised a few by saying the schedule maker did them no favours by making them play nine games in 18 days against a Chicago team that had hadn't played since

Sunday.)

What they were already looking forward to, other than today's recovery day, was the beginning of another streak.

"We've got to concentrate on one game now," said defenceman Jordan Leopold.

"That's what we were doing when we were successful.

"We lost a game but now we've got to look forward. We can't dwell on this one, have to get better and have to out-compete our next opponent.

"Colorado's going to be a huge game because points are precious.

"We let two points get away because we didn't come prepared and didn't have any jump. We have to concentrate on getting off to a good start on Monday."

Just like that, the game tape -- along with the three-week winning streak -- goes into the trash.

Captain Jarome Iginla believes the loss can turn into a lesson.

"It's important to get better and leave it," said Iginla.

"Look at the standings, they're so tight, so we've got to start building on another one.

"This eight games in a row was a good run but now it's time to start another one and get back to doing things that equal wins for us."

Three times in Calgary's

25-year history, the Flames have posted an eight-game winning streak, only to lose Game 9.

Interestingly, the other two Flames squads that won eight in a row went in completely opposite directions after the streak was snapped.

When the Stanley Cup winning squad of 1988-89 had its eight-game run snapped by Boston, the Flames went 13-6-1 the rest of the regular season.

They ended the season with wins in eight of their last nine outings, to boot.

The 1992-93 team fell apart when its eight-game spree ended.

That squad went into a 0-9-2 tailspin and bowed out to Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs.

Now we find out how this year's addition fares in a big character test.


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