SUN Hockey Pool

Help! Flames need 'friends'

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

CALGARY -- No truth to the rumour the top songlist in the Calgary Flames dressing room includes Help! by the Beatles.

No, you don’t hear Joe Cocker’s cover of the Fab Four’s hit With a Little Help from My Friends.

Still, you could understand the Flames wanting somebody to lend them a hand these days.

Despite all they’ve done lately, seven victories in 10 games, the Flames were still just outside an NHL playoff spot before Saturday night’s action.

Barring the improbable chance of them running the table over their final 11 games, starting with the Sunday afternoon date in Minnesota, the Flames will need some help along the way.

“It’s a fun time of year. Now, everybody’s scoreboard watching,” said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. “You have to take care of business when you play, but you’d love help when you can get it.

“You watch at the beginning of the year, but you’re not cheering at the beginning of the year. When you see a shootout, you’re pretty happy when it goes the right way.”

The Flames were understandably excited to watch the Edmonton Oilers upend the Detroit Red Wings Friday night. Seriously, how many fans would have bet on the Oilers to win?

But even that came with a small price. The game-tying goal in the final second earned the Red Wings one valuable point.

For a spell there, seemingly every game went against the Flames. The Nashville Predators steamrolled the Minnesota Wild the other night.

The Red Wings have been bumping off clubs.

The night before they won in Colorado, the Flames had to watch the Avalanche hang on against the St. Louis Blues, when the Blues clearly controlled play for the second half of the game.

If the Flames are frustrated, they aren’t saying.

“You can’t expect Edmonton to beat Detroit. You can’t expect Nashville to lose,” said Flames defenceman Mark Giordano. “You want those things to happen, but you can’t expect it. Our coaches have been telling us to take care of business and see what happens.

“We just have to get as many points as we can in the last

11 games. Hopefully, we do get some help, but if we take care of what we want to accomplish, we’ll be fine.”

The Flames do have a tough schedule compared to the Red Wings and the Predators, but the Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings aren’t staring at a bunch of freebies.

“We believe we can keep going, making up points and get wins,” Iginla said. “At this time of year, some of the toughest teams to play are the ones that are out. I know from when we were rebuilding that you have no pressure on you and young guys going full throttle to prove themselves. And pressure sometimes get to certain teams. You think, ‘We’re supposed to win this game,’ and, all of a sudden, it’s a tight game, so you tighten up a bit.

“I’m not worried about our schedule. At least teams we’re trying to catch play each other a few times, and it gives the chance to gain on one of them.

“If those aren’t the teams we’re catching (Detroit or Nashville), and we win our games, we’ll catch the teams right now above them. They’re slowly coming back to the pack,” Iginla continued.

“Yeah, you’d love help and like it when you get it. But look at the schedule. Detroit plays Nashville a couple of times, Colorado plays Los Angeles three times. If we win our games, we’ll be catching somebody.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

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