CALGARY – Jay Feaster isn’t ruling out making a deal to improve the Calgary Flames prior to the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Monday.
However, he doesn’t necessarily want to mess with the chemistry that the Flames have shown since he took over as Calgary’s acting general manager Dec. 28.
“If there’s an opportunity that we think is too good to pass up, we’ll do it,”Feaster said Thursday.“If I come out here with all of you Monday afternoon and say we didn’t make a move, that’s going to be alright too as far as I’m concerned because I really like this hockey club and I have no interest in breaking up this team.”
Since Feaster replaced Darryl Sutter, the Flames have gone 15-5-5 and moved from 14th in the Western Conference standings to eighth prior to Thursday night’s games.
“I really believe this group, what they’ve accomplished over the past couple of months, they deserve the opportunity to stay together,”Feaster said.“They deserve the opportunity to see this thing through and to bring this thing to the fruition of being a playoff team and seeing how far we can go in the playoffs.”
Feaster confirmed he has talked with other GMs around the league and will continue to do so leading up to the deadline.
“It’s been a busy time obviously working the phones and getting a lot of phone calls,”he said.“We’re trying to improve our hockey team if I can.”
With Adam Pardy out of Calgary’s lineup indefinitely with a shoulder injury, Feaster said he’d consider adding a veteran defenceman for the stretch drive.
“If we can do something on the blue-line, I would,”he said.“To the extent that we can add another top-nine forward, I don’t think you can ever have enough of that either.
“That’s sort of the Christmas wish list. Whether Santa can deliver those or not, I don’t know.”
Calgary coach Brent Sutter said it’s out of his hands whether Feaster will pull the trigger on a trade.
“We’re both happy with the way our team’s been playing and the way the guys have put the effort in and the commitment to how we want to be as a team,”Sutter said.“We’ve had a pretty good run here and we want to continue it.”
Sutter said he looks at the Western Conference standings on a daily basis but doesn’t worry too much if the Flames fall out of a playoff spot.
“I’m not going to wake up tomorrow morning and put a gun to my head because a team has won that you wish would have lost,”said Sutter, adding all he can control is how he prepares his team for each game.“We’ve got to manage our time well between games and be as fresh as we can for the games because the games are going to happen very rapid here.
“That’s the same for every team.”
Calgary captain Jarome Iginla agreed with his coach.
“We’re just going to get ready for next game and keep going,”Iginla said.“We know it’s going to be tight right until the end.
“We’re just going to keep playing hard and playing with confidence.”
Following a 3-1 home loss to the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, the Flames (31-23-8) will return to action against the San Jose Sharks (35-21-6) on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Sharks have won five straight to climb to third in the Western Conference standings, just six points ahead of the Flames.
“We have a good test for us Friday,”said Calgary defenceman Mark Giordano.“They have a good team, but we know that we have a good team here as well.
“We’ve just got to bring our game and play hard right from the drop of the puck. We’ve just got to bring it. We’re a confident group in here and we’ve got to keep that up.”
Curtis Glencross, who’s riding an eight-game, point-scoring streak, said the Flames will have to play a smart game against the Sharks.
“We can’t turn pucks over and go into a run-and-gun game with them because that’s not to our strength,”Glencross said.“We have to get pucks in, get bodies to the net and create some havoc.”
While the Flames have moved into playoff contention with consistent play and hard work, Alex Tanguay still believes they can be better.
“I don’t think we’re doing anything extraordinary,”Tanguay said.“I just think we’re playing up to our potential.
“We’re playing good, we’re not playing great. We’ve still got another notch yet and we’re going to need to find it in order to be in the playoffs. It doesn’t seem like anybody loses ground. We have to win in order to move up and we’ll try to do that.”
Like Glencross, Tanguay is slated to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The veteran forward said Feaster has a lot of tough decisions ahead leading up to the deadline.
“It’s out of our hands,”Tanguay said.“I’m sure Jay’s trying to find ways to help our team.
“We’ve got two more games before Monday’s deadline. We’ll see what happens in between.”