Stempniak: Flames need to be honest with themselves after blowout

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The story surrounding the Calgary Flames a month ago was one of optimism. They were considered one of the worst teams in the NHL going into the 2013-14 campaign, but managed to get off to a 3-0-2 start.

Was it possible for Calgary to actually be competitive in their first full season without Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff?

Since then the Flames have gone 3-10-1 and have suffered five straight defeats. Their rapid descent was punctuated last night by an ugly 7-3 loss to the Dallas Stars. If nothing else, perhaps the blowout will serve as an eye opener for the team.

“I guess, if anyone was sort of kidding themselves and thought, ‘Hey we didn’t play that bad, we were in it until the end,’ you just need to look in the mirror now. We got completely outplayed in every facet of the game,” Flames forward Lee Stempniak told the Calgary Sun.

“If you’re being honest with yourself, you know we haven’t played well and we need to be better.

“That’s the start of it. And if it takes hitting rock-bottom like tonight for it to click in, then maybe that’s a positive out of it.”

Coming to terms with their recent shortcomings might not transform this team overnight or push them in the direction of the playoffs. However, this is a franchise that’s trying to rebuild and the lessons their younger players learn today might help them down the road.

In the short-term though, Calgary will be looking to rebound on Saturday when they take on one of the few teams that have looked worse than them lately: the Edmonton Oilers.

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