SUN Hockey Pool

Flames hoping home is where wins are

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 6:08 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Home for the holidays? Not exactly.

For the Flames, the rest of December will be a working staycation.

At least, under the watch of head coach, it had better be.

After a road-heavy schedule since the start of November, the Flames finally have an extended spell at home.

They'll play seven of their next eight games at the Saddledome.

It's a golden chance to pull out of their losing skid -- one win in five outings -- provided they remember the task at hand.

"We have to have our focus where it needs to be," Sutter said.

"We can't have distractions. We need points, first and foremost, ahead of anything else going on outside. It's a tough time of year with Christmas and you can get distracted, especially when we're at home.

"It's important with a lot of home games, and that's the responsibility of the individuals to making sure we are focused and playing up to our standards."

The Flames will certainly be under the gun to return to their standards.

Their November to remember is now a distant memory, having limped to a 2-4-1 mark since the calendar flipped to December.

They climbed to the top of the Northwest Division, and second in the Western Conference, but have tumbled ever since.

A home-heavy slate is a chance to regroup.

"We've got to go home and win games," said Jarome Iginla.

"The standings are so tight and we had a bad last 10 days where we haven't got enough points.

"At the same time, we have a chance to go home and play seven of eight. Be good at home, and in the next 10 days we can move up the standings."

Home cooking hasn't served the team all that well yet this season.

The Flames are one of the league's top road squads, but have a mediocre 8-5-1 mark in Calgary.

If they can't fix the problems that have caused them to lose three straight, though, it will be a dreary Christmas.

"One game, it's the penalties we're taking. Tonight it's our third period. The other night it was our first period," Iginla said.

"Right now, we're not playing the way we can or the way we're capable of and putting things together like we can.

"We need to get home, start with one and build some momentum again.

"We'll work through it. It's a tough stretch. By no means are we complacent or satisfied with what's going on."


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