SUN Hockey Pool

Flames right where they want to be

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:05 AM ET

Auld Lang Syne was still reverberating in heads across the city.

But any pain from New Year's Eve revelry Calgary Flames fans were experiencing yesterday morning was easily tempered.

It wasn't eased by hair of the dog but by the news for the first time in almost a generation their heroes were atop the division standings on Jan. 1.

Jason Wiemer was thrilled to awake with the knowledge he and his teammates were atop the Northwest Division, although there are still 43 games left on their schedule, beginning with this afternoon's tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"That's where we want to be, leading the charge," Wiemer said. "You can't be in first place at the end of the year if you're at the bottom right now.

"We want to be in first, we want to pick the paper up and see ourselves at the top. It's where we want to be and feel -- if we play to our capabilities -- we belong."

It's a far cry from Wiemer's first stint in Calgary, 1997-98 through 2000-01.

"We didn't open the paper. We knew where we were," he said. "I remember a few years ago when we were the lowly Flames but now the city there's so much excitement about how well we're doing and that it's exciting to come to games again.

"It so much fun, now. There's so much more energy in the building. It used to be so quiet, with so little going on, but now it's one of the best buildings in the league to play in. It makes things a lot different."


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