Struggling Calgary Flames Face Tough Schedule To Finish Out March

Calgary Flames Iginla

Russell LaBounty – USA TODAY Sports

Heading into one of the toughest eight-day stretches of their 2013 schedule, the Calgary Flames are on a two-game losing streak and have very few positive things to think about. Rumors about Jarome Iginla being traded continue to swirl, and even the return of star goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff hasn’t been enough to bring the team consistent wins. The Flames have lost six of their last eight games, and will now face some of the top teams in the Western Conference in their next five games.

Tonight, the Flames take on the surprising Columbus Blue Jackets, who have been one of the hottest teams in the league and have taken at least a point from their last 11 games. On Sunday the Flames will face the St. Louis Blues, who are sixth in the conference, then travel to face the league-leading Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday. Calgary returns home Wednesday night to take on the Colorado Avalanche, the only team they are currently (barely) ahead of in the standings. Their intense week finishes off with another meeting with the Blue Jackets on Friday.

At this point, there seems to be little chance the Flames will make the playoffs, and it seems a lot more likely that some major pieces will be moved before the trade deadline. With Kiprusoff struggling and backup Joey MacDonald not faring any better, the Flames face a bleak outlook for the rest of the season. If they can salvage a few points from the week ahead, maybe they can at least hang on to some of their pride before the rebuildig process for next season begins.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL blogger for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JKatje or add him to you network on Google.

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