The playoff fate of the Calgary Flames
is simple -- win out and get in.
Trailing the eighth and final playoff spot by three points with six games remaining coupled with having to leapfrog three teams, the 11th place Flames have set their sights on winning their remaining games in order to extend their season.
But the Flames can't win six if they don't first win one.
"We know we pretty much have to run the table, but it's with one game," captain Jarome Iginla
said. "As far as the way we're thinking positively, we've been in a drought, but the tide will turn and we all have to approach it that it'll be tonight."
The Flames host the Dallas Stars
, a team that took two points away from Calgary in the first of a home-and-home series Saturday. Another loss against the Stars puts the playoffs all but out of reach.
"The focus is to win tonight," Matt Stajan
said. "If we don't win tonight, nothing else matters. That's our focus. We've got to be ready to go and treat it like Game 7 and go from there. The next game will be a Game 7, but you can't look past tonight."
A favorable schedule, Calgary will play the majority of their remaining games at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"We've got six games left," winger Curtis Glencross
said. "We're not out of it yet. We have five home games and we have to take advantage of it."
"We have these games at home and we have this week at home," Iginla said. "It starts with tonight. We've got a shot, but we've got to win our own games. No matter how much help we get, we have to win our own games, and that's what our focus has to be."
Winning six straight is a daunting task for the Flames, whose season-high five-game winning streak in early March has given way to a five-game skid. Though they've earned points in three of their five losses, Calgary hasn't seen the win column since March 15.
“These last five games, we've went into them knowing how big each game is, we know where the standings are, and they haven't turned out well for us, obviously," Iginla said. "Now we just go play. As far as squeezing sticks, teams run into tough stretches where you have a hard time scoring goals. It turns. We need it to turn now. We know the time is running out and we need to get ourselves on a roll. We think it's going to turn."
It just has to start with one.
"The best way is to win one hockey game and we'll see what happens from there," Tim Jackman
said. "All of a sudden you win two. Then you win three.
"We believe we can do this. We have the team. We just have to win one game and we'll take things from there."
Because if they can't, the Flames will find themselves watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive year.