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Flames in last place out West

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

CALGARY - The reminders aren't hard for the Calgary Flames to find.

All they have to do is look at the standings posted on the wall in their workout room.

Or check out the statistical packages available to them.

Or flip open the newspaper, watch TV, surf the internet or listen to the radio.

They're in 15th and last place in the Western Conference.

Talk about an easy motivational tool for head coach Brent Sutter.

"Everything that transpires around you, you use as a motivational tool. Any thing that's there for you to use, you use it," Sutter admitted after Sunday's practice.

"We know our situation, know the teams we're playing are in front of us, obviously, and for us to catch them, we need to beat them."

With their 12-15-3 record, the Flames are tied with the Edmonton Oilers with 27 points, but the squad from the Alberta Capital has played two fewer games and has fewer shootout victories, which are the first two tiebreakers, and therefore is sitting 14th.

Flames fans can hope the stigma of being a last-place team will spark something in the squad.

"You can use whatever saying you want, but there needs to be urgency in our game, but in a good way and a positive way, and we need everybody to play well," Sutter said.

To their credit, the Flames have played with urgency in most of their games over the past four weeks but haven't drummed up enough victories.

Right now, the coaches have to ensure their players don't fall into the trap of feeling they'll lose no matter who well they play.

Calgary's 3-2 shootout loss in Anahaim Friday is a perfect example of a game they can't become discouraged over.

"It is disheartening when you're in our position and need the points the way we do, and you put in the effort and have a strong game and don't get the two points," defenceman Robyn Regehr admitted. "You're mad, but we have to continue to play strong games each and every time.

"We just have to build on a consistent game. The game we had against Tampa Bay or the game we played in Anaheim -- even though we didn't win -- was a strong game, for the most part. So we've got to look at those things and build off those."

twitter.com/RandySportak


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