Flames marching on without Iggy
CALGARY, AB -- For the first time in 441 straight games, the Calgary Flames didn't have Jarome Iginla at their disposal in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.
A new streak won't be started on Friday.
Dealing their captain after downing the Avalanche, the Flames are ready to move forward without Iginla Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
And while the captain may be gone, the mission statement of Mike Cammalleri and those remaining in the locker room remains the same - playoffs or bust.
"For players in the room, we get up every day trying to win hockey games," Cammalleri said. "There's no feeling of that in the room when it comes to players. We're going to try and win every game. We feel like we can do it. Until they take our skates off, we're going to feel that way."
Calgary's won eight straight on Scotiabank Saddledome ice. Home or away, the wins need to pile up for a chance to extend the season.
"At this point we've just got to try to win games, keep trying to find a way to stay in the playoff picture and just give ourselves a chance," Lee Stempniak said.
"We have to just go on and win the next few games and just try to keep winning."
The Flames currently sit 14th in the Western Conference with a 13-15-4 record, six-points back of the eighth-place San Jose Sharks with 16 games remaining in the season.
With six teams to leapfrog, Calgary needs to put together a run and place the trade of Iginla in the rearview according to Mikael Backlund.
"I've said it a lot before but it's true, we need to put some wins together in a row," Backlund said. "If we can manage to do that we'll be right back there and even closer."
"We still have a chance here so I'm not focusing on it too much. I hope it goes well for him in the East and we'll see what happens but right now I'm trying to focus on us and win here.
Still, there's no replacing the 525 goals and 1095 points over 1219 career games Iginla provided during his tenure.
"It's a big void," Stempniak said. "You're not going to have one guy that's going to fill that role. Everyone needs to collectively step up a bit. You're just trying to pick up some scoring by committee. We're trying to do that."
Cammalleri filled that void on Wednesday, beating Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov twice, his 10th and 11th goals of the season. Curtis Glencross leads the team with 13. Three others have at least seven.
The departing Iginla had nine, his last serving as the game-winner against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday - consecutive game 440 for the 35-year-old.
Friday's game marks the second straight without Calgary's franchise face.
And the start, Calgary hopes, of their playoff push.