The Calgary Flames are coming off a one-sided 4-1 loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche on Saturday in Denver.
The task for the struggling Flames is no easier when they play host to the league-leading Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
“You’re not going to beat these teams with your B-game. We’re not beating anybody with our B-game right now,” Calgary forward Blake Coleman said. “For me, as a competitor and as a guy who wants to win and wants to compete, it’s easy to get up for these games. You want to compete and show these guys we are for real. I think we are.
“If you can’t get up for this game, something’s not right.”
The Flames, four points out of a playoff spot entering Tuesday, are struggling mightily to gain any traction. They have won consecutive games only twice since the calendar flipped to 2023 and have not cobbled together a three-game winning streak since early December.
Calgary is on a 2-3-2 skid, and players are well aware the organization could be a seller just as easily as it could be a buyer as Friday’s trade deadline approaches.
The schedule isn’t doing the Flames any favors this week, either, with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting Calgary on Thursday.
“At the end of the day, we have a really good team in the room here,” Flames forward Tyler Toffoli said. “We take a lot of pride and every one of us wants to win. Regardless of whether we make a move to get better or not, we believe in ourselves and just have to get the job done.”
The Bruins, who hold an 11-point lead over the rest of the NHL in the overall standings, extended their winning streak to seven games with a 3-2 victory over the host Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Making the triumph unique was that Boston’s top-five point producers combined for a single point against the Oilers, an assist for David Pastrnak. Instead of Boston’s big guns, Tomas Nosek, Nick Foligno and Pavel Zacha scored, while new defenseman Dmitry Orlov — acquired via trade from the Washington Capitals last week — collected a pair of assists.
Such a performance is proof of the overall strength of the roster built by Boston’s front office.
“I think we’re proud of our process and what it’s allowed us to do and be where we are, but I still think there’s room to grow,” Foligno said. “I still think there are little areas we can get better in. I’m not trying to sound tacky, it’s just the reality of our team. I don’t think anyone is satisfied here.”
The Bruins held the high-octane Oilers to eight third-period shots on goal in what was a goalless final frame.
“You win games in the third period. You understand that and you take pride in that,” Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman said. “That’s something that you want to keep as an identity for our team, and we just have a little bit more to give. We all know it, and it’s pretty special when we see it.”
Forward Taylor Hall missed the game and returned to Boston due to a lower-body injury. The Bruins also were relatively fortunate on Monday when Brad Marchand reportedly was cut by a skate on his leg. He missed most the first period while reportedly receiving stitches, but he returned to action.
–Field Level Media