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Fate of the Flames: Calgary Needs Wins and a Little Luck from the Hockey Gods

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 03:  (L-R) Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff #34, Jay Bouwmeester #4, Rene Bourque #17, head coach Brent Sutter, Daymond Langkow #22 and the Calgary Flames bench look up at the scoreboard during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on December 3, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Coyotes defeated the Flames 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Steve McSweenSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2010

They are on and off again like Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

More up and down then a song by Great Big Sea.

Which is why the Calgary Flames find themselves on the outside looking in, when it comes to the Western Conference playoff race.

Something that will take more of what we saw in the Flames last two games, along with a little help from the hockey gods, to alter. And it will start with tomorrow night's game against the Detroit Red Wings, the very team Calgary is chasing for the eighth and final spot in the West.

It is a must-win game for a club that probably hasn't been together long enough to control its destiny. All the Flames can do is continue to play hard, drive to the net, and pick up some greasy goals, which may be too tall an order against a Wings team that is finally getting healthy and looks poised to do some damage come playoff time.

This is a game to test just how good the Flames can be, and how far down they can dig in order to make a run, if they do indeed make a playoff birth.

It is highly unlikely it will be the Wings that surrender the spot, though, and the only other team Calgary can catch at this time would be the Nashville Predators.

The chance at passing the Preds definitely seems a little more likely, as they have dropped their last two games and lost a blue-line stud in Shea Weber who currently is day-to-day with a reported upper body injury. An injury that was suffered against those very same Red Wings that the Flames desperately need to beat on Tuesday.

The hockey gods are starting to do their work, the rest is up to Calgary.

It is hard to believe for a team that was amidst one of its most successful seasons in recent history, as the Flames were 25-14-6 on Jan. 11, before they began to fizzle and go 6-10-3 down the stretch.

But there may just be some positives, as the team has scored 10 goals in the last two games against opponents in New Jersey and Minnesota who usually pride themselves on defense.

That is no easy task.

Something that has to be good for a team that's confidence has been quite obviously shot down during their recent losing streak.

Something they need to build on, in order to turn their season around.

Like I said, it can be done, but it will take them winning games along with Detroit and Nashville losing.

What better way to put your destiny in your own hands than to beat that aforementioned Red Wings club tomorrow night, and leapfrog into eighth in the West?

Nobody said it was going to be easy, but nothing worth winning is.

If Calgary wants a shot at winning a Stanley Cup, it starts tomorrow.

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