Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No changes seen for Calgary

Tuesday morning, when the first of the trades finally begin to trickle out, don't expect to hear too many coming out of Calgary, as Darryl Sutter finds that he's content for the most part with what he has, and doesn't anticipate being very busy through the day.

As for the most mentioned of Flames over the last month, Darryl Sutter has said that Alex Tanguay is going nowhere, and has been taken off the trade list, if he ever really was on it.

Sutter said that he believes his team is good enough as it is, he likes the group of players that have been assembled, he likes the way they are pulling together and he’s quite confident that they’ll make an extended stay in the playoffs this season.

With all of that confidence, it’s hard to see too many change of address cards being taken to the post office after 1 pm Calgary time Tuesday.

Sutter’s Flames have been decidedly better in the last month or so, more consistent, more confident and more successful. Mike Keenan, notorious over the years for a short leash, has been rather generous at times with his team, dishing out praise, accepting feedback and generating ideas that seem to be paying off for Calgary on the scoreboard and in the standings.

With Miikka Kiprusoff beginning to return to the form that shut down many an opposition team in the last few years, the goal stopping is in fine shape.

The much discussed Tanguay has finally broken free of a slump and has made key goals at important times in the last couple of weeks. Captain Iginla continues to loom larger than life for the Flames, while Dion Phaneuf delivers the Flames calling card of late the crushing check.

Owen Nolan, has slowly begun to exhibit much of the leadership that Darryl Sutter had hoped to see when he acquired the former Shark In the last few weeks, Nolan has been an inspiration on the ice, playing the body, willing the puck into the opposition zone and providing an edge to the play that had been missing in the early part of the season.

Over the weekend the Flames pulled into first place in the Northwest Division, a spot which of course is subject to the whims of that night’s play but, first place for now has a Calgary address and that provides the Flames with thoughts of higher seeding in the playoff round.

With his team showing that their core group is more than up to the challenge, there probably won’t be much that Sutter will want to add. If a remarkable deal should present itself, he’ll no doubt consider it, but not at the expense of the chemistry that he’s built this season.

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