Flames focused on scuttling skid

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

NASHVILLE -- Still unsure at the time whether or not the rumours were true, the Calgary Flames were hesitant when asked to comment on the addition of goaltender Curtis Joseph.

One thing they could agree on is the fact the rumblings aren't a distraction.

"We've got to be professional. That's what we get paid for. We've got to be professional and approach the game as we always do," said defenceman Anders Eriksson yesterday as the team prepared to face the Nashville Predators tonight in an effort to snap a three-game losing skid.

"The only distraction we have is that we're not playing well. That's something you have to deal with first."

Fellow blueliner Adrian Aucoin agreed.

"I think he hit the nail on the head," he said. "I think we're more concerned about what's going on and why we're not winning right now."

The three-game slide has jettisoned the Flames from first in the Northwest Division to seventh in the Western Conference -- proof of how critical it is to avoid slumps with so much parity in the league.

Aucoin uses rumour as a tool to keep things light in the dressing room. He walked in yesterday with a big smile talking about an ESPN report that Joseph was joining the Flames.

"I've been one guy who's always enjoyed rumours, to be honest with you," said Aucoin. "It's part of the game. I try to use it to lighten the mood up instead of deteriorate it."

With playoff races rounding into shape, and the trade deadline a little more than a month away, Aucoin expects much more talk. But he says the team will shake it all off.

"I think people would be surprised by how little it affects us in the dressing room."


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