Flames' rocky road in rearview mirror

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:17 AM ET

The road hasn't been kind to the Calgary Flames.

But GM/head coach Darryl Sutter wasn't disappointed with another .500 mark on their latest trip, which put them at 12-12-4 away from the Saddledome.

"Would've preferred to get one more point (in a 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis Monday) but I think coming off a tough month -- nine of 13 on the road -- I think that we did a good job and stuck with it," said Sutter.

Luckily for the Flames, 10 of their next dozen games are at the 'Dome -- with the Olympic break coming after their next five.

Winger Darren McCarty is looking forward to the stretch run.

"Now it comes down to the last 30 games. This is what it's all about," he said.

Defenceman Andrew Ference is happy to be home but says the games will still be tough.

"It's not something where if I look at our schedule and we have a whole bunch of home games, I let out a big sigh of relief," he said.

MORE MISERY FOR ROMAN: Roman Hamrlik can't seem to catch a break.

Except the one in his left hand, between the base of his thumb and forefinger.

"That is really bad luck," said Sutter of the play Sunday afternoon in Chicago when a puck pinched Hamrlik's lower hand on his stick and ultimately broke a bone.

Hamrlik went off for some stitches but played the rest of the game before missing Monday's contest in St. Louis.

Hamrlik also missed 18 of 19 previous games with a knee sprain and was re-injured in his return.

The only positive this time is the timing, said Sutter.

"We're only playing five games in February, so that's going to take care of that month and we'll get him back before the (trade) deadline," he said.

Omaha Knights callup Mark Giordano took Hamrlik's spot against the Blues.

"He was really good," said Sutter. "It was good to see."

Giordano was paired with 20-year-old rookie Dion Phaneuf, who had good things to say about his latest linemate.

"Gio's a great player. He sees the ice very well," said Phaneuf.

"He's a very good skater that moves the puck well and it was nice to play with him."


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