Brad Stuart hasn't had time to think about playing in his home province. Helping the Calgary Flames avoid their longest losing streak in more than four years is a much bigger concern.
Stuart plays his first home game with the Flames (29-19-8) on Tuesday night as they try to end a season-high four-game skid in a matchup with the Atlanta Thrashers (30-20-9).
Stuart made his debut with the Flames on Sunday in a 7-4 loss at Detroit, one day after the defenseman was acquired from Boston with Wayne Primeau for Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference.
Stuart, a native of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, will be playing in Calgary for the second time after playing junior hockey with the Calgary Hitmen in the 1998-99 season.
"I think that's not something I've even had a chance to think about. That's probably going to be put on the back burner for now," Stuart said. "My purpose is to help this team and I just will do what I can to make the team better and go from there."
Although the addition of Stuart should give the Flames one of the league's strongest defensive units, that wasn't readily apparent Sunday as Detroit scored three first-period goals and coasted to its 12th straight home win.
Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled in the opening period after allowing the three goals on 14 shots. Jamie McLennan stopped 32 of 36 shots the rest of the way.
"It's frustrating. They came out quick," Calgary's Craig Conroy said. "I've got to take a lot of the blame myself. We weren't ready, we made a few mistakes and the next thing you know they're in the net and all over us."
The Flames, tied with Vancouver and Minnesota atop the Northwest Division, are 0-2-2 in their last four contests. They haven't dropped five in a row since a seven-game skid from Nov. 7-21, 2002.
After losing all three games on their road trip, the Flames should be happy to return home, where they lead the NHL with 22 wins. Calgary had won eight straight at Pengrowth Saddledome losing 3-2 in a shootout to Chicago last Tuesday.
Left wing Kristian Huselius saw his NHL season-high 15-game point streak end Sunday.
Calgary's skid has coincided with Jarome Iginla's slump. The Flames captain has no goals and one assist during the losing streak, but does have three goals and three assists in his last three meetings with Atlanta.
The Thrashers have dropped two straight and five of their last six as their lead in the Southeast Division has been sliced to five points over surging Tampa Bay.
Edmonton scored three straight second-period goals en route to a 5-1 victory over visiting Atlanta on Sunday.
Acquired Saturday from Nashville, Eric Belanger gave the Thrashers the lead early in the first period, but Atlanta fell to 1-2 on a six-game trip that includes visits to Ottawa and Carolina.
"It's been a tough road trip," forward Ilya Kovalchuk said. "It just makes it tougher when you have back-to-back games. We had the lead there and we just stopped playing. I don't know why."
Atlanta's next road win will be its 17th of the season, matching the franchise record set in 2005-06.
Tuesday's game will be the first meeting between these teams since the Flames recorded a 5-2 home victory Feb. 10, 2004. Calgary has won all three home games against Atlanta, outscoring the Thrashers 14-6.