Even as the season winds down, the Calgary Flames are trying to build something

Photo credit:Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
On Saturday night, the Calgary Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings on home ice. In the small picture view of things, the win didn’t do much to improve the Flames’ playoff math or really hurt their draft lottery positioning either. But in the more macro sense, the Flames snapping a losing skid at home by out-battling a divisional rival is something that could – and maybe should – be appreciated.
After Saturday’s game, Rasmus Andersson spoke at length about the challenges of being a young player in the NHL, the adjustments they need to make, and said of the way the team won, “It was one of those nights when you look around and you’re proud of being this team.” (We transcribed a bunch of his lengthy answers because they were excellent.)
After Monday’s practice at Winsport, two-time Stanley Cup champion Blake Coleman discussed the team’s situation and his approach to it while visiting with the media.
“It’s a new challenge,” said Coleman. “I haven’t been in this position in awhile. Obviously our reality is what it is right now. It can challenge you and when you’re in this spot to be a better person, leader, teammate. You’ve still got to show up and leave it out there, and on me and the rest of the guys that have been around for a little bit, it’s more just about showing the culture that we expect from ourselves and the young guys. At the end of the day, you don’t want to have a losing attitude and I think guys have done a good job keeping that out of our room.”
In Saturday’s win, Coleman scored his 29th goal of the season. (He’s never scored 30 as a pro.) He mentioned what the group can take from that game’s result going forward.
“It just shows, it’s not going to come easy,” said Coleman. “We’re probably not going to roll teams out of the building six, seven-nothing. It’s going to be hard-fought games and it’s going to be everybody chipping in and special teams, goaltending, whatever it it may be, it’s got to all be there. But ultimately that’s how you get the most growth out of everybody. If you’re counting on 20 guys and they understand their importance to our team and their value right away, it can lead to a lot of confidence and ultimately make them better players for us moving forward.”
Coleman was asked about the team’s efforts to build a culture this season, and he praised the coaching staff in his response.
“Yeah, I think the culture’s great,” said Coleman. “We’ve gotten great coaching. We’ve got a really good group of guys. It’s fun to come to the rink still. I’ve been on teams where it’s not fun. You lose five in a row and… not that anybody’s happy about losing, but I think we’re understanding it’s more about the way we play right now and the results will follow. Like I thought the St. Louis game was really good, just bounces didn’t go our way, but we carried that over to another strong game against L.A. I think a lot of that it’s on the staff, they’ve done a good job of keeping it light and keeping it more about teaching and developing and growing our game versus just getting beat up on mistakes and the results.”
The Flames are where they are in the standings. The wins and losses might not matter a whole lot right now, but the games themselves remain pretty important for the group as the Flames begin working through their retooling process.
The Flames are back in action on Tuesday night when they face the Anaheim Ducks.
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