The Flames need to face reality. Here’s what needs to happen next – [Update News]

A critical three-game segment can reveal a lot about a hockey club. And what we learned about the Flames this week isn’t great.

This week’s results have revealed that the Flames are no Stanley Cup contender after three consecutive losses to the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning. This is not the case at this point. They are not in their current state of construction.

If you don’t believe me, believe the coach.

“It’s a different level of team,” Darryl Sutter said after Tuesday’s loss to Florida. “We’re not there yet. We had some guys that couldn’t take the size and couldn’t take the speed of the other team. And we’ve seen it against other teams like that (this season).”

He added to that on Thursday too: “There’s a difference between them and us, that’s for sure,” Sutter said.

As small a sample size as three games is, it’s not just that — the Flames have now dropped seven of their last nine games. The Flames’ last three losses are the most telling — a 6-2 loss against Florida, a loss to Tampa Bay (4-1), and a loss to Carolina (6-3). That’s a combined 16-6 score in three measuring stick games against the league’s best.

Frankly, this shouldn’t be a big surprise. Not many people would have predicted that the Flames would be able to compete with such high-level teams four months ago. The Flames are not a team that is a guaranteed cup contender. This has been a team that has had its flaws.