Yes, it's Christmas.
True, the Flames aren't the only team in the league disappointed by its performance to date.
But when you factor in Edmonton's four games in hand and winning percentage, Calgary is dead last out of 15 teams in the Western Conference four days before the Christmas Break.
This is a team with one of the league's marquee forwards and team leaders in Jarome Iginla.
The Flames are backstopped by one of the league's top goaltenders in Miikka Kiprusoff.
The club has a superb trio on defense in Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr and Mark Giordano.
The overall forward group is a solid lineup, with a lot of two-way, all-terrain players that you can build a winner out of, without needing an All-Star cast of scorers.
On paper, this team should have plenty of secondary scoring, defensively-responsible attackers—guys that win battles and locker room leadership.
But it's not happening—not even close.
Six games from the half-way point of their season, no team in the West is further under .500 than Calgary.
So the Flames are fortuitously still within easy striking distance of the playoffs where, history consistently shows if you make it, anything can happen.
Yes, the fate of the Flames' season is still in their own hands, but only if the team changes the M.O. it has displayed since the season-opening 4-0 loss to Edmonton.
The playoff gap is only eight points, but not even a one-point gap would be closed the way the team has performed under the current coaching regime.
At this point in the season, regardless of whether the performance to date has been Brent Sutter's fault, if the team has coachable players, then it becomes Brent Sutter's fault.
He needs to be fired now, while there is still time to salvage the season.
The Flames need to go into the New Year with a fresh voice behind the bench and a renewed source of hope for their fans that the team might do something exciting this season.
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