There's no point in sugarcoating the Flames had a bad week. They lost both road games against Colorado and Dallas on Monday and Tuesday, and got swept by the Chicago Blackhawks at home on Thursday. They lost three in a row for the first time since November 2007.
Their earlier losses prompted a closed door meeting with General Manager Darryl Sutter on Tuesday night, followed by another team meeting with team captain Jarome Iginla, and Coach Mike Keenan smashed his stick in two out of frustration during the Thursday morning skate.
The team knows they need to improve offensively especially after Thursday's contest against the Chicago Blackhawks who swept the Flames 4-0 this season. They were able to kill all seven penalties, but failed to score in all five power play chances. Likewise, the Flames went 1-for-20 with the man advantage against the Hawks in all four games.
"There’s no reason to think we can’t get better cause we are going to have to get better," Keenan said. "Our important part of our success is everyone contributing...When you have a group like (Eric) Nystrom, (Dustin) Boyd, and (Andre) Roy come up and score goals, they are out there killing penalties, and blocking shots, the rest of the team is really supportive."
The Flames are now looking forward to the Anaheim Ducks in a Saturday afternoon showdown at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
The Ducks too haven't been playing very well and are eager to avoid their third straight loss on their three game road trip. They lost 2-4 against the Nashville Predators on Thursday with Corey Perry scoring both goals in that contest. Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 30 saves and played his first full game since January 14.
The Flames lost their first meeting against the Ducks in Anaheim in November 2, but were able to beat them 4-3 at home. When Anaheim last visited on December 23, Brett Sutter scored his first NHL goal. Mark Giordano and Mike Cammalleri followed to give Calgary a two-goal lead, and the Flames hung on for the win to move past Vancouver into first place in the Northwest Division where they have remained since. David Moss also scored for Calgary and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 30 shots.
These next six weeks will be crucial especially when 12 of their next 17 games will be played on the road which is where Calgary hasn't been so hot. After they host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, they head out for a three-game road trip starting in Anaheim. Later in March, they will have travel on a seven-game road trip.
"We just have to move on and forget these past few games and just start playing better hockey,"Eric Nystrom said. "We just need to get focused and get back on the same page and get our game back the way it needs to be successful."
Today's game is also the annual 'Jersey Off Our Back' game where 24 random fans are selected to come down to ice level and receive a jersey off one of the team's backs after the game.