SUN Hockey Pool

Happy days at Dome

RANDY SPORTAK and WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 PM ET

Amazing the difference a win makes.

When the Calgary Flames lose, it can be downright depressing to be around the Saddledome the next day.

Coming off Monday’s victory over the Minnesota Wild, though, the mood in the Flames dressing room was jovial following Tuesday’s practice.

Could be a case of seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

“If we win three or four in a row, we put ourselves right in the pack,” said left-winger Alex Tanguay, who has quietly moved to the top of the team scoring race.

The Flames currently sit 14th in the Western Conference standings with their 10-12-2 record and are facing a tough task of needing to vault over several teams to reach the elite eight.

However, considering a playoff spot remains a possibility even after a November in which they went 4-7-2, it’s something to take solace in.

“With the struggles we’ve had, I wouldn’t say it’s comforting to see that if we win a few games, we can be right up there and be in a playoff spot, but we look and see the option is there,” Tanguay said. “We win a couple games in a row, we put ourselves back in the playoff race, and I think that’s where the emphasis is right now.”

MEYER SENT DOWN

The Flames are expecting a visit from their West Coast rivals.

Stefan Meyer is headed the opposite direction.

The gritty forward cleared waivers Tuesday morning and was assigned to the Flames’ AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, right in the heart of Canucks country.

Meyer registered two assists and 17 penalty minutes in 18 appearances with the Flames, but had been a healthy scratch for three straight games. With Ales Kotalik (knee) nearing a return, Meyer is the odd man out.

The 25-year-old already has 333 AHL outings on his resume and Flames coach Brent Sutter expects to see the same style of play during Meyer’s latest minor-league assignment.

“I think the biggest thing with Stef is he has to carry on his game,” Sutter said. “He’s got to be a guy that plays with emotion, be dependable. He’s not going to ever be a high offensive-type player but he’s got to be player that works extremely hard and brings a level of energy that your team needs and be a physical presence, too.”

BLUELINE BATTLE

There’s an abundance of blueliners.

With Adam Pardy back on skates and practising after missing seven weeks with a shoulder injury, the Flames have eight defenceman competing for six spots in the lineup.

Jay Bouwmeester and Mark Giordano are the only rearguards that have skated in every regular-season game so far.

“I think it’s just making some choices for the coaches, and I think they don’t mind having to make some tough choices. I think they enjoy that,” said assistant captain Robyn Regehr, who missed one game with an injury. “For us as players, we just have make sure that we go out there and get prepared to help the team and you remember that, and they’ll put in the people that they think will give our team the best possible chance to win.”


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