Flames lacking urgency

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:55 AM ET

Of the many quirks former Calgary Flames head coach Mike Keenan had, one of the more unique ones was having music blaring practice.

It didn't happen often -- only once or twice during his two-season stint at the helm of the Flames -- but it was seemingly effective.

Perhaps current bench boss Brent Sutter may consider taking a page out of the Keenan guide when his troops gather next.

One of the songs on the playlist would have to be the classic from the 70s-80s rock group Foreigner: Urgent.

Of all things the Flames are missing during their one-win, three-loss start to the NHL season, Sutter pointed to a big one as a lack of urgency.

The fact his team which followed the gameplan so well in the second half of last season is out of sorts to start the 2011-12 campaign is something of a mystery.

Sutter has many theories -- some he'll share, and some he won't -- but one of the keys he pointed out is the lack of desperation.

"Part of (the success last season) was urgency," Sutter said after his team's 3-2 loss Saturday night to the host Toronto Maple Leafs. "We were an urgent hockey team, and when you're like that, you're engaged in the game mentally and the way you need to be -- thinking it. Right now, we have some guys that aren't engaged like they need to be, and there's not urgency. It's noticeable.

"We have to fight through it. I'm not going to sit here and be pessimistic, and I'm not going to rant and rave about it. But it's something we have to recognize and realize and straighten out ASAP. You can't be in and out like this. We'll be way too far behind. We've got to get going here.

"It's something that's got to be recognized inside the room and take very seriously."

With a six-game homestand kicking off Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers (7:30 p.m. Saddledome), the Flames have a chance to make this stumble out of the blocks a distant memory.

Still, even with 78 games remaining on the slate, it's not hard to see players know the they can't allow things to get out of control.

"This is as far down as we want to get -- we'll be working to get back," Flames captain Jarome Iginla pledged. "Even if we were 2-2, we'd be going home and saying, 'We've got to get to 3-2.'

"First of all, you've got to fight back to .500, and unfortunately, it's 1-3 instead of 2-2 right, but I don't think there's any more importance added. We're going to add it anyway. It's not like 2-2 is exciting."


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