SUN Hockey Pool

Late-season revival on visitors' minds

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

Michael Cammalleri is looking forward to the trip to Dallas and a date with the Stars.

Not just because he wants to get away from the media grilling them about their drop from the top of the division.

"I'm excited about Dallas. It's always good to go in there and get dinner at Nobu," the Calgary Flames winger said about one of his favourite sushi spots.

But, no, the anticipation isn't just over dinner, either.

There's plenty to play for.

"Dallas and these two road games are big for us, for all the reasons that we all know," Cammalleri continued, listing a few of them off.

"It's back-to-back, and we haven't been good at back-to-backs. It's big points this time of year, so we'd like to get our results. They're road games, and we haven't been great in road games."

Correcting any or all of those won't be easy. Six games to go, three back-to-back sets, and every opponent but the Los Angeles Kings are still technically in the playoff picture.

"We're playing against some desperate teams," said defenceman Adrian Aucoin.

"Dallas has fallen out of it, but Minnesota will be battling and obviously Edmonton will be fighting. Vancouver won't have any letdowns.

"We know every game means something and hopefully it brings out the best in us."

Believing the best is lingering just beneath the surface after playing much better defensively while splitting a pair of home games against the Wild and Sharks this week, the Flames are looking forward to proving it.

"We've made some big strides the past two games and played really well," said defenceman Robyn Regehr.

"We deserved to win the game (against the Sharks). We played solidly and didn't give up a lot of chances."

Fifteen shots allowed for the Wild, and 17 by the Sharks.

If they want to climb back to the top of the division, they're going to have to step on some building blocks.

"It's a big challenge for us with the scheduling and the back-to-backs and who we're playing and the type of travel we have to do," said Regehr, knowing the odds are against them now. "We can't be too focused on that."

Focused on being better by the time the playoffs roll around, Regehr hopes the struggles are behind them.

"When a team has been struggling, it takes a bit extra to get out of it," he said. "We're working through that."


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