Fight for underdog tag

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:12 PM ET


 Everybody wants to be the underdog in the NHL playoffs.

 Less pressure, you see.

 So when the Vancouver Canucks cop a 'we're not the favourite because it seems like it's us against the world' attitude, they are trying to relieve some of the expectations associated with the favourite label.

 But it won't fly with the Calgary Flames on the eve of Game 1 of their first-round series against the Canucks tomorrow in Vancouver.

 "You look at their playoff experience and where they finished," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

 "They finished third (in the Western Conference), so I'd think they'd have to be the favourite."

 Sounds right by conventional wisdom, especially if you're the sixth-place Flames.

 "We're a huge underdog," agreed Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter. "But considering where we came from, that's fine.

 "What I like most about it is that we're in the toughest division in the conference," continued Sutter, whose club finished seven points behind the Canucks despite boasting just one less win.

 "That tells you how tough the division is. And all the division winners are clear favourites."

 Sutter took it a step further, saying the New Jersey Devils must be considered the favourite to win in all.

 "The team that's got the Stanley Cup," he reasoned, "is the clear favourite."


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