CALGARY, AB – To the coach, the record doesn’t reflect the effort.
Despite starting the season 1-3-2, Calgary coach Bob Hartley believes his team has played well above what the standings would indicate.
But that doesn’t give you points, he said.
“The only sport that it’s good to be close is curling,” Hartley said. “In hockey, you’re close, it’s just not good enough but I think we’re doing some good things. We’re building on a good foundation but right now I think that I would like the guys to get rewarded. That’s what I feel as a coach. I would like to see our guys getting rewarded because I think they deserve better.
“There’s some bright parts of our game, there are other parts of our game that are coming on. I feel real good. I like my team.”
Four of Calgary’s six games have been decided by one goal, and two of those were determined by the shootout. Another, Calgary’s 6-3 setback to Colorado, was tied with three minutes remaining.
A bounce or two Calgary’s way and suddenly the Flames lay claim to more than the four points the standings currently show them with.
At least, according to Jarome Iginla.
“The hardest part in this first six games is we’ve played pretty well in a lot of these games and we should’ve had more points,” the captain said. “Yeah, we’ve let some slip away but our habits are getting better, our game is getting better as a group. I think we need to get some results. If we need to get that feeling, the winning and put a little streak together.”
The team will have ample opportunity to do so on a three-game road trip that will take put them against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday and Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks.
“It’s a very important road trip for us,” Iginla said. “We have games at hand. Right now we’re at the bottom but we have three games and you win those three games, you’d be right in the playoff mix. It is a shortened year, we know that.”
Despite a 3-2 shootout loss at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday, the Flames believe they’ve already got momentum going on their side.
Outshooting the Blackhawks 47-19 and dominating the game for a full 60 minutes, defenseman Mark Giordano sees the team heading in the right direction.
“I think we’re pretty happy, actually, with our last game obviously,” he said. “If we play like that and get those types of chances, I’m pretty sure we’re going to be okay on most nights.”
Home or away, victories need to start piling up.
“We need to win some games,” Mike Cammalleri said. “It’s been probably well documented. We’ve been in a lot of games and feel like we could’ve won a lot of games but haven’t. I’m not so much worried about road or home or away. We hit the ice, there’s still two nets, one center line, two points that are available. We’ll just try to take two no matter where we’re playing.”
And improve their standing in the standings.
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