SUN Hockey Pool

Flames back hated rivals

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

A day after officially eliminating their northern rival from the playoffs, the Calgary Flames had to cheer on the Oilers as they hosted the Colorado Avalanche in a two-game set in Edmonton.

The Flames mathematically knocked out the slumping Oilers with their 2-1 win over Detroit Tuesday night but sit just four points ahead of the streaking Avs after Colorado's win last night in Edmonton.

"It's weird. Probably all of Alberta last year was rooting for them (in the Stanley Cup final) and this year now we're going to be rooting for them again to give us a little help," said Craig Conroy, who felt the Oilers had a chance to at least split the two-game series.

"They've lost some games closer than it should be. They've been battling."

You'd think the Flames would be tuning into that game but the fact tonight's opponent was in Vancouver forced them to do a little last-minute scouting.

"I'll probably watch the Nashville game, to tell you the truth," said Tony Amonte.

"You can't be wishing and hoping for other teams to beat Colorado. If Edmonton beats them it's a bonus but ultimately it's in our hands to do what we have to do."

Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish said in yesterday's Edmonton Sun he wouldn't be throwing games to sting his southern rivals.

"I have been in the situation before on the outside looking at teams that don't need the games," said MacTavish. "Detroit did it in L.A. a few years ago, they kept a bunch of their players back. It really left a foul taste in my mouth. We won't be resting anybody."

NEW DUDS FOR FLAMES

Those who participated in yesterday's optional practice got a preview of the new RBK jerseys and socks that will be standard next season.

Many of the skaters were compelled to pour water on themselves to test out the new-age fabric, while others joked they looked slimmer.

ICE CHIPS

Darren McCarty skated with his teammates during yesterday's optional. Head coach Jim Playfair doesn't expect the veteran to return to the lineup in the near future ... With Daymond Langkow netting his 30th of the season Tuesday, the Flames can boast three 30-plus goal scorers for the first time since 1993-94.


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