SUN Hockey Pool

'Ton of fun being spoiler

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

Crushing the Edmonton Oilers' playoff hopes would be a dream come true for most Calgary Flames fans.

And while first place in the Northwest Division is the only goal the Flames players will admit to, it's a given that bouncing their northerly neighbours would be a huge bonus.

"Oh yeah. It definitely makes you feel good as a player," said defenceman Robyn Regehr yesterday after practice at the Saddledome.

"You can't just take that as your main objective -- we need points, we want to get to the top of the division for us -- but if you can do it at the expense of your division rival, then I think that's a pretty good situation to be in.

"We play a good game and we win and we step on their fingers, so to speak, and not let them hang around."

Regardless of what happened to the Oilers in last night's game against the Colorado Avalanche, the least the Flames can do with a win tonight is guarantee they can't be caught by their foe in the standings despite Edmonton's 13-4 record -- including an amazing six victories in either overtime or shootouts -- in their previous 17 outings.

"We know how hot they are. We know how well they've been playing," said Adrian Aucoin.

"It's always nice when you know you can dictate your own fate."

And squash that division foe. One of Regehr's favourite crunch-time memories was a win over the Oilers back in April of 2002.

The Flames were long out of the race, but spoiled Edmonton's chances, too.

"I think it was the second last game of the season. We went up there and won 2-0 and eliminated them from contention," he fondly recalled. "There's always those things that really stick out in your minds."

A similar memory may be created tonight. Although, nobody believes it's going to be easy.

"They're playing for their lives. They're gonna be desperate. Even moreso if they (won last night)," said Alex Tanguay.

"They've played us pretty good this year."

The atmosphere at the 'Dome has been intensifying over the past week, and the saddle-shaped roof should be rocking with the Oilers here for the regular-season finale.

"I think it's great for the game," said Aucoin.

"I think the fans will really enjoy it, and I think the players will really enjoy playing it."


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