SUN Hockey Pool

Flames not planning fire sale

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

CALGARY -- It was a somewhat backhanded vote of confidence coming from the general manager.

Darryl Sutter admitted Saturday his Calgary Flames are an underachieving bunch. But he also said he wasn't planning on bringing in any outside help.

He believes the group he assembled over the summer and into the fall is capable of achieving the goals they set as the season began.

“We feel the same way,” veteran centre Daymond Langkow, one of the forwards Sutter singled out, said Sunday after practice at the Saddledome.

“We believe we have the team in here that can do it.”

Now they just have to go out and prove it, or Sutter may have a change of heart before the March 3 trade deadline.

Many fans have been begging for change during the team’s current six-game losing streak. Their mood has been reflected in the room.

“I don’t think anyone in this room is happy with the way things have gone here the last couple of weeks,” defenceman Robyn Regehr said. “We’ve really struggled.”

Reviewing it on tape with coaches, talking about it with their leaders and amongst themselves as players, it’s all about actions now.

“Now it’s time for us to go out there and fix it,” Regehr continued. “Sometimes you have to work extra hard and make as few mistakes as possible.

“We’ve got to work our way out of it.”

Without any additional help, if you believe Sutter’s words of staying pat.

But those sentiments from management were already common throughout the dressing room.

None of the players seemed surprised to hear the GM suggest they were simply underperforming, and that they have all the elements they need to challenge for the Northwest Division title.

“We believed that before. We’ve talked about it. We have the personnel to do it, we just have to do it ourselves,” said Craig Conroy. “We can’t talk about it anymore, we have to get things done.”

Making it easier to believe despite the terrible stretch of the season they’ve suffered through the last couple of weeks is the fact the

team has been at the top of the division — and more importantly, played like a top

team — at times this season.

“We’ve seen it earlier on in the year,” said winger Rene Bourque, who’s been one of the team’s most consistent forces up front all season with 17 goals.

“I think we know we have the guys in here that we want, that are good enough to make this team successful.

“I don’t think anybody is worried about making moves right now.”

steve.macfarlane@sunmedia.ca


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