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Staying positive

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames

The losing streak is at four games. The longest of the season.

But Mike Keenan and the Calgary Flames are confident the slide won't become epic, won't be something that ruins their season.

In fact, the head coach, is being calm and philosophical about the losses.

"You're never as good as you think you are and you're never as bad as you think you are," said Keenan.

A short week and a half ago, the Flames were being asked if they were an "elite" team in the NHL, a team considered to be a true Stanley Cup contender as they ripped off win after win after win. At that point they were not biting -- they said they were striving to get to that status but had not reached the summit. In that sense, Keenan's comments make plenty of sense.

Not that getting out of a losing streak is easy. It takes hard work. It takes teamwork. And the sooner the problems are nipped, the better, noted the coach.

"It's your ability to stop the slides and hang tough. They can take on a life of their own."

On area the Flames will look to improve on with the Montreal Canadiens visiting Monday night is the power play. Keenan, following a 2-1 loss Saturday at home to Anaheim, said the work ethic needs to improve in that area.

“We couldn’t produce again – I guess it’s the same comment I made last game – our power play couldn’t generate the offense that probably would have made a difference for us,” said Keenan.
“We are going to have to work on two things that will make our power play more successful. One is structure of it and two is we have to work on our work. When you have the man advantage you know penalty-killers are going to work very hard, which our group did again. A very successful penalty killing group for us and for them. No power play goals for two consecutive games. When you have penalty-killing units that work that hard then you have to work on your work. That means outworking the people first and having puck possession, which gives you a challenge because you have to do two things, you need to outwork them and then at the same time control the puck.”

"It's another loss and we are very disappointed in the result. Sometimes when a team is struggling like we are you just need a little extra effort to pull out those wins. Sometimes it doesn't go your way, like when you are riding a winning streak. We need to stick together here because the guys in the dressing room are the only ones who can fix this," said defenceman Robyn Regehr.

"There are lots of ups and downs. The important thing is to react to it in the proper way. We don't start getting down on each other and pointing fingers individually. We realize what we have to do and fix it. That's the hard part, going out there and fixing it, going out there and doing it," said Regehr."We have to stay positive.We can't sit back. We've got to fix it and we've got to fix it together."

The Flames and Canadiens face-off at 7 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Monday. The game will be broadcast on The Fan 960 and Sportsnet West.


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