Flames confident with group

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

It's tough to feel good after any loss.

Following the Calgary Flames' 3-2 overtime loss Tuesday night to the Colorado Avalanche, the vibe was remarkably positive in the team's dressing room.

Loss aside, the fact the team's lineup remained intact hours after the NHL trade deadline made for many smiles.

Nobody wanted to say good-bye in the team's tight-knit dressing room.

"I think the management and coaching staff have confidence in this group. I think we have confidence in this group. That's the important thing," said centre Matthew Lombardi, who showed a lot of jump in the game playing primarily between Stephane Yelle and Dustin Boyd.

Lombardi believes the chemistry in the room is strong, and that no deadline-day deals was the right move.

"You never like to see guys leave," he said. "Especially when you create a bond with the group.

"Everyone knows each other so well. A lot of guys have been playing with each other for a few years. I think we're a pretty tight group."

Knowing he can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, left-winger Kristian Huselius' long-term future is up in the air.

What he wants in the short term, though, is a run at the Stanley Cup.

Confident that can happen here in Calgary, the talented Swede is looking forward to the final stretch of the regular season.

"We have a good group of guys and a good team," said Huselius, who clanked a beautiful backhand deke off the post Tuesday night to fall just short of what would have been his first goal in 16 games.

"We know we can play well and have a good run if we just come together and play as a team, as we should."

Huselius' name was one of those that popped up as a potential candidate for a trade in the days leading up to the deadline.

A few reporters in the hallway with a line of sight into the equipment room saw him on the phone Tuesday afternoon and wondered whether it might be a message of 'you're in the clear,' or 'pack your bags.'

Wanting to be a Flame for at least the next few months, Huselius said he was staying up to date on the day's transactions, but didn't stress much.

"I wasn't really worrying," he said. "It's always tough when it gets close to the deadline. I wanted to stay here and have a good run. I know we have a shot at it."

General manager Darryl Sutter also believes they have a shot. That's why he made no last-minute moves.

Head coach Mike Keenan, who has spent a lot of time as a GM in the league, said there are always ways to improve, but the risk often outweighs the potential reward.

The only way you should make a deal is if you're positive it will improve the team.

"If the dynamics of the league don't provide that -- because I've sat in that seat before -- then those opportunities, if they don't make any sense, sometimes the best trades are the trades you don't make," said Keenan.

Captain Jarome Iginla was among those delighted to see all the same faces when arriving for the game.

"We do feel good about our group in here. We think we're starting to really get in the groove and move up," he said. "Guys in here believe in each other and what we're doing."


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