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Confidence abounds

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames

Just before Christmas the Calgary Flames did some math. As a team, they decided they would divide the rest of the season into three-game segments. The goal? To get four out of six points in each three-game segment.

Since that time, there have been nine segments. In six of those segments, they achieved or exceeded their goal. In nine segments the Flames wanted to collect 36 points. They collected 38.

When they began the three-game segments, the Flames were 14-18-3 and looking very much like a potential lottery pick team. Since then, they have racked up a 17-5-6 record and find themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.

And that's why it just might be a quiet trade deadline day for the Flames. The team has found chemistry. It has found a system that is working. And they are getting stellar goaltending. Hard to bow that up isn't it?

"We've got a good thing going in here," said forward Curtis Glencross. "Guys are getting along. I don't think you want to change too much."

There may be some tinkering around the edges as acting general manager Jay Feaster attempts to add some depth players to the roster. But, right now, the coaches and the players and team management very much like what they are seeing from the team.

What brought about the big turnaround?

"I think, before, we were pressing al little too much," said captain Jarome Iginla, adding the players were squeezing their sticks and thinking about how important the two points were rather than playing with instinct. "I think in the past we were thinking about those things too much. Now we just get ready to play hard and enjoy it and make sure we are skating."


"Good things have been happening," said Iginla, who certainly is going nowhere on trade deadline day.

Iginla is asked if a change in the general manager's chair is the reason for the turnaround. The answer is no. The turnaround is the result of a number of things, including some tweaks in the system the Flames play to allow for some more creativity.

"There are so many things. I don't think it is one thing. We were starting to play better right before," said Iginla of Darryl Sutter stepping down and the Feaster taking the reins. "Probably five or 10 game before that that but we hadn't got the results.

"The coaching staff has got people playing better, They deserve some credit. They've made some changes. There is more freedom to be creative and I think that shows."

All of the above has led to a team that is confident, working hard and enjoying coming to work.

"We're a confident group. If you look around, guys are feeling that tomorrow is going to a good day, a good game," said Iginla of the prevailing attitude.

That's a far cry from where it was in December.



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