Desperation kicks in for Flames

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:31 PM ET

CALGARY — No one needs to remind the Calgary Flames how bad they’ve been as of late.

A six-game losing streak. One win in the last nine games.

The numbers speak for themselves.

But there’s one number that drives the point home with a sledgehammer.

Nine.

As in where the Flames awoke Friday morning to find themselves sitting in the Western Conference.

Veteran centre Craig Conroy said being on the outside of the playoff picture looking in is not a nice feeling.

“You knew as soon as you walked off the ice (after a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday) you were in ninth,” Conroy said. “Brent (Sutter) mentioned it right away. He said, ‘this is unacceptable.’

“It really is. We have to come back in a few days against St. Louis and re-group.

“Now, it’s just desperation.”

Defenceman Jay Bouwmeester said being bumped from the top eight in the conference should provide extra incentive.

“There definitely should have been a sense of urgency before, but now it’s staring us right in the face,” Bouwmeester said.

Fellow blueliner Cory Sarich agreed, saying the team needs to find away out of its funk before it’s too late.

“The feeling is awful,” Sarich said of his squad’s new and unenviable status as a lottery team.

“It’s not where we want to be. We’ve got to do something about it right now.”

The Flames have 11 games remaining prior to the Olympic break. Only two of those tilts come against teams — the Phoenix Coyotes and Ottawa Senators — currently holding down playoff spots.

Captain Obvious would suggest if ever there was a time to turn the season around, it’s now.

Centre Daymond Langkow said it will take everyone in the dressing room to turn this wayward ship around.

“We’re sitting in ninth, so we have to start winning games,” Langkow said. “We’ve lost six in a row now and it’s gotta stop.

“It’s not going to be one or two or three guys who are going to do it. You have to have the mentality that it’s going to take every single guy.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs and win the division. Right now, we’re fighting for a playoff spot.”

The players took a long look at the video after Thursday night’s loss to the Blackhawks.

Conroy said the team has learned enough lessons.

It’s time to take what they’ve been taught and put it into action.

“If you dwell on the past, it’s going to eat you up,” Conroy said. “We know what the mistakes are. We’ve watched them, we’ve seen them. Now, it’s time to not make those mistakes anymore and put a good stretch together.

“That’s what we need. We need to go on a good run and get ourselves back in the playoffs.”


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