Time for Flames to buck trend

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

The biggest trend this season for the Calgary Flames has been losing.

Theyve done it too often to be a playoff team as it stands today. Most would say theyve lost too often already this season to have legitimate playoff hopes.

However, there are two trends within their win-loss record a disappointing 18-20-4 which jump right out at the eyes.

A sub-par road record of 7-12-3.

A middling 4-5-1 mark against Eastern Conference foes.

Its fun for those of us out west to refer to the Eastern Conference as the junior varsity division, but the 15 teams in that cluster arent that bad in comparison to the Western Conference.

But, as a whole, they arent that good, either.

Therefore, its on the Flames to reverse those trends during their coming four-game road trip, which starts Tuesday in Carolina before hitting all three Eastern Canada NHL cities.

You cant worry about those things now, said defenceman Jay Bouwmeester. We had a couple of road trips where if wed won a game or two more, wed be in a better spot right now, but going into games you dont think, Man were on the road.

Were going into some tough places to play, but you cant worry about whats in the past.

Curiously, whats staring at them is both daunting and a great opportunity.

Sure, the road hasnt been kind to the Flames this season, but of the four teams theyll meet during this trip, only the Montreal Canadiens are in a playoff spot (eighth).

Carolina is boldly fighting to leap back into the top eight, sitting three points back of the Canadiens, while Ottawa and Toronto are both sliding down the standings and venturing into wait-till-next-year country.

Its really a big trip, said Flames captain Jarome Iginla. Were down to the second half of the season and we need to make up some ground.

We know where we are and know how important each game is, but at the same time, its not looking at the big picture. We just want to keep playing like weve been playing, and if we do that well get our wins. Were due for another roll here.

Actually, the Flames must get on a roll and start turning those strong efforts into victories in the win-loss column, not just moral victories.

Or else they can expect to see acting GM Jay Feaster start looking to make some trades.

I dont think guys are worried about that, replied forward David Moss. No matter what team, something can happen, its the nature of the business, but I dont think guys are worried about that now.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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