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Flames Angry After Losing Another “Frustrating” Game

The Calgary Flames are in a real battle to make the playoffs but let valuable points to slip away in the Western Conference race.



The Calgary Flames are better than this. And they know it. 

We're well past the point of moral victories or hanging tight with top competition like they did in a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. The Flames expect to win every game. And they should have those expectations. 

On any given night, Jacob Markstrom could steal them a game. Dan Vladar, too. 

Shot volume suggests the Flames carry the play more often than not. And while they need to improve their shot quality, minor adjustments can turn that around. Between the frequency of their near misses hitting the posts or crossbar, and the fact Andrew Mangiapane's recent play suggests a slump-busting hot streak is just around the corner, the offence will come. 

Defensively, the team has been better the last month or so, but could certainly benefit from Oliver Kylington's presence. Sorry, no details about any imminent return on that front, but if his absence is going to extend beyond the trade deadline, there's little doubt Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving will look to add to the current mix there, in addition to his continued shopping for a scoring forward.

In the meantime, the players are well aware they are underperforming. Forget anyone else's lofty expectations. They were angry after the Jets game. 

"I think the feeling was a lot of guys are angry and pissed off," Calgary Flames winger and alternate captain Mikael Backlund told Flames TV. "That's a good thing. 

"Guys care in this room. We know we can play better and it matters a lot to the guys in here and that's a good thing. That's how we've got to keep pushing each other. Use that energy, use that emotion that we all want to win here. We all want to be a better team than we've been this year and we've got to keep striving for it."

Regulation losses sting more than ever. While it's possible for the Flames to string together a handful of wins and shoot up the standings, every point is important with the Western Conference standings looking like a game of leapfrog on the daily. So, yeah, a loss to the Jets that saw the Flames claw back from two separate deficits, only to allow the winning goal against a few minutes after Backlund tied the game, was disappointing.

"It's a frustrating loss," Backlund said. "I thought at times we were the better team for the most part.

"It was a tight game. Came all the way down to the end. It's frustrating. We've got to find a way to win this game. It's another one that we let go of or didn't find a way to win. This one and Edmonton — two games we feel we should have won and could have won. We find a way to lose instead."

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