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Contenders or Pretenders: Will the Real Calgary Flames Please Step Up?

Steve McSween@dansallowsSenior Analyst INovember 20, 2009

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 14:  Daymond Langkow #22 of the Calgary Flames skates in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 14,2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Flames won 5-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

They have shown they can beat Montreal.

They have shown they can beat St.Louis.

They have shown they can beat Edmonton.

But now it is time that the 12-5-2 Calgary Flames showed they can beat a good hockey club.

One who is above them in the standings; which is something they have not done all year.

Otherwise all this Stanley Cup contenders, and top team in Canada talk is just the regular premature hype that has surrounded the Flames since their 2004 playoff run.

Tuesday's game against the Colorado Avalanche should have produced better results, considering the Av's came into the game division leaders and had already beaten the Flames at home this season.

Now factor into the equation that Calgary was the only Canadian club not to beat the Avalanche on their western swing and you may need to ask the question.

Did the Flames fall victim to believing their own hype?

Now they face a Chicago Blackhawks club with an identical record at 12-5-2, a team that put them out in the first-round of the playoffs last season, and more recently overcame a 5-0 deficit to Calgary only to win 6-5, in what may have been one of the biggest collapses in franchise history.

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It seems to this point that the Flames season has all the makings of a Wayans brothers flic, in that there is nothing funny about it at all.

The problem?

Well I'm not a genius, I just play one on the Bleacher Report, but since Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff caught fire the rest of the team has gone into a funk worse than Lipps Inc.

In the month of November so far Jarome Iginla has 8 goals in seven games, while the rest of the team has chipped in nine. Take Iggy outta the line-up and the Flames have averaged a measly 1.28 goals per game.

It is a wonder they still boast the fifth best record in the Western Conference, and aren't in the Taylor Hall lottery instead.

For the Flames to be a genuine contender they need to simply want it more, otherwise it will just be one more season of disappointment and questions.

And I gotta tell ya as a Calgary fan, I'm looking forward to one more first-round exit about as much as I'm looking forward to my girlfriend making me sit through another episode of Cougar Town.

The NHL season started way back on October 1st, but as for the Flames their season starts tonight against Chicago.

So would the real Calgary Flames please step up sooner than later, because in the tight Western Conference another two points could be the difference between hitting the ice in late April or hitting the links.