The Calgary Flames are getting ready for games against Los Angeles on Thursday and Winnipeg on Saturday. Those are their chief adversaries in the battle for a playoff berth, so it seems natural to look at those contests as the games that will define Calgary’s season.
That can’t be where their attention is though. Not yet anyways. First they need to earn two points against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. They’re the heavy favorites going into that contest, but only if they don’t fall into the trap of looking too far ahead. If they needed help staying focused, Ottawa provided some.
When Pittsburgh suffered a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, it made Tuesday’s Senators-Penguins critical for both teams. However, the Senators missed a golden chance to maximize that opportunity when they failed to put away the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead they had to settle for a consolation point in a 3-2 shootout loss.
“I’m hoping that’s a good wakeup call for us,” Flames forward Joe Colborne told the Calgary Sun. “We went into last game knowing that would be Edmonton’s biggest win of the year if they could get us and put a dent in our hopes, and managed to come out of that with a pretty good win. Now we have to make sure we get another one.
“You can’t afford to have a slip up.”
While Calgary is idle tonight, Winnipeg is facing Minnesota and Los Angeles is playing against Vancouver. Both of those contests are important to the Flames as Calgary will slide from its playoff spot if the Kings and Jets win on Monday.