SUN Hockey Pool

All eyes on race to playoffs

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

It's considered rude to answer a question with a question, but we'll cut Flames forward Eric Nystrom some slack in this case.

When asked whether he was starting to do some serious scoreboard watching on those evenings the Flames don't play, Nystrom replied: "How can you not? Every channel in this country is hockey highlights 24/7."

We'll take it that's a 'yes.'

Actually, it's hard to imagine players not spending some evening time channel surfing to see the results.

The first night of NHL action after the Olympic break saw the Detroit Red Wings win and vault over the Flames into eighth place.

On Tuesday night, there were 24 teams in action.

"I watch a little bit more now because my family isn't here," said right winger Jamal Mayers.

"When you have kids, there's no time and you get updated when you come to the rink. I may be a little more informed now."

The Flames went into Wednesday night's clash with the Minnesota Wild sitting in ninth spot and with 20 games remaining on the schedule.

So pretty much every night between now and the end of the regular season, there will be games which impact them positively or negatively.

"You don't know who to cheer for some times, just hope it's not a three-point game," said captain Jarome Iginla.

"You're not watching as intently as the last week or two, but you start to watch more now.

"But it's nice to still have it in your control."

For the most part, the Flames have enough games to seal their own fate, but time is running out.

"There's no time to wait for tomorrow to get hot. We've got to start climbing," Iginla said.

"We're outside looking in and everyone's feeling that push."


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