The Flames arrived back in Calgary late Saturday night after dropping a frustrating 4-3 decision to the San Jose Sharks.
The road trip didn't exactly go as planned as the Flames dropped three of four on the road.
What went right and what went horribly wrong?
"We've got to cut down on our mistakes," said head coach Brent Sutter who met with media after putting his team through the paces Monday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"We've made some mistakes that have cost us goals and at the end of it, it costs you points. It's mistakes that...we work on a lot and we're not doing and it hurts you and it certainly hurt us the last two games."
The Flames have now lost seven of their past eight. Sutter believes that it is not a physical thing, it is all mental.
"It's how you prepare for the day, how you prepare when you come to practice, how you prepare for game day and how you prepare for your opponent," Sutter said. "What you need to do that night to be the best you can so the team can have success.
"It's all mental. You have to be mentally engaged at this level on a daily basis."
The Flames are 7-9-0 and are four points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot in the West.
Although there is still a lot of hockey to be played, there still needs to be a sense of urgency for this group to win. Mistakes will be made but need to be corrected and not made again in order to see improvement.
"We went through a lot of teaching last year and there's still a lot of teaching this year but at some point you have to get it," explained Sutter. "You have to understand this is how we need to play, how we have to play. "
Sutter continued: "You make a mistake, you learn from it and move on and don't make it again. We have a tendency of making a lot of the same mistakes over and over again and it's hurt us. We have to wake up to that as it's affecting us in the win-loss column. We're certainly not getting enough wins and we certainly need to change that."
The Flames are back at home for a pair of games this week starting on Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes and Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Wednesday night's game starts at 7:30 pm MT on Sportsnet West and The Fan 960. BRETT SUTTER REASSIGNED TO ABBOTSFORD HEAT
Calgary Flames forward Brett Sutter, 23, was charged with assault for an alleged incident while the team was on the road in Phoenix, Arizona, last week.
Flames management announced Monday morning that Sutter has been assigned to the Flames top affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat (AHL).
"It's a decision that management has made and it is what it is," said Brent Sutter. "He's been re-assigned and he can get some ice time down there and play. I think it's really important for a young player. He needs to play."
Brett Sutter also issued a statement regarding the alleged incident:
“I want to apologize to my family, my friends, our fans and the entire Flames family for what took place this past Wednesday night.
"My background is one of hard work and respect so this incident is totally out of character for me. I have been a captain in junior hockey and an assistant captain last year in Abbotsford so I totally understand the values of leadership and character.
"I have set the wrong example not only for children who love the Flames and hockey but also for my brother who has been such a great example for me. I want to thank everyone for their support and wisdom over the past few days. It has been especially difficult because of the type of person I really am and will continue to be.
"Thank you.” SENSE OF URGENCY
There is no finger pointing going on in the Flames dressing room right now. Each player is taking a step back and looking at themselves individually. Every player must improve individually in order for the group to come together and improve.
"I haven't strung enough consistent games together," said captain Jarome Iginla
of his recent play. "Last game was better but I need to start having those types of games night in, night out to help the club."
It seems as though one night, one line is very productive and on their game. The next game, however, that same line struggles. There is no 'one guy' who is doing everything wrong. Everyone needs to do something right in their own game to improve.
"We need to be more consistent," said Alex Tanguay
. "It's still early in the season. there's still time for us to catch up. It's not too late. We're not in the crucial situation where it's February or March and you need to win or else you'll be out. But we have to get a little more desperate out there and find ways to win. You don't want to put yourself in that situation where it's January and you have to win or you're going to be out."
Author: Kristi Hennessy, calgaryflames.com