It was a little less than 24 hours from Tuesday’s trade deadline but the feeling around the Flames is that their roster is pretty much set.
GM Darryl Sutter acquired Craig Conroy, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau in trades earlier this month and was said to be pretty much out of the trade market. He might go after a depth player but there didn’t appear to be a shakeup on the horizon.
It’s not a luxury that every team gets to enjoy at this time of year.
“We’re just focused on playing games and getting wins,” winger Kristian Huselius said Monday. “If you’re out of the playoffs, you always know something might happen.
“But I think we’re in a little different situation right now.”
The Flames entered Monday’s games against Phoenix sitting eighth in the Western Conference standings.
However, they’re eyeing a jump up in the standings with a solid finish to the season. Calgary could reasonably catch four teams before the post-season.
Free of the distraction of trade rumours, the Flames are instead focusing playing a more consistent game. Calgary is the league’s best team when it plays at the Pengrowth Saddledome and is among its worst on the road.
“We have to win,” said defenceman Robyn Regehr. “I think it’s very important for us to realize what makes us successful in here.
“We have areas to improve on.”
Calgary’s current position is a testament to how strong the Western Conference is. The Flames are among the league’s top-scoring teams, have a solid defensive group and boast the reigning Vezina Trophy winner – Miikka Kiprusoff – in goal.
It’s that befuddling road record that has held them back.
To that end, it doesn’t appear that there are any miracle solutions floating around on the trade market. The Flames just have to be stronger as a group.
Don’t count on any of the Calgary players spending all of Tuesday in front of a television set, waiting to learn about his fate. The deadline hardly seemed to be on their minds at all.
“Whatever happens is going to happen,” said winger Tony Amonte. “There’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s out of our hands. You just have to go out and play and concentrate on where you’re at.”
Added forward Daymond Langkow: “We can’t worry about it. Right now we’re battling for a playoff spot and that’s our No. 1 focus.”