The Calgary Flames, Calgary’s NHL team, are currently in a desperate push for this year’s play-offs.

A season that began strongly with a seemingly unstoppable march to the cup has now become a limp to a doubtful play-off spot. In November there was talk of championships and Stanley Cups but now the conversations are of whether or not the Flaming C will even be seen in the play-offs. A spring without post-season hockey is a sad prospect for Flames fans.

Whenever I get to shoot a Flames game I try to appreciate my position. Walking past the players in the bowels of the Saddledome before the game. Taking up a shooting position just as the anthems are sung. Using a 300mm lens to get one of the best views of the action. Sometimes sitting at ice level, literally feeling the boards shudder after a body check on the ice. Getting paid to hang out at, arguably, Calgary’s biggest show. It’s pretty cool.

However, it’s a little difficult to get excited about a game in January, the middle of an 80-plus game regular season. But now that we’re in April, every penalty incurred and every goal scored seems to have an extra significance, especially when considering the Calgary Flames’ current plight.

On Wednesday, the Flames beat the Phoenix Coyotes with a nervous performance. In the end they pulled out a 2-1 victory but not without some close calls. If I were allowed to over think my images, I’d say the photo of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff rolling around on the ice, unaware to the puck’s location, is kind of a snapshot of his team’s current situation – they’re not out of it yet, but they don’t seem to be in complete control of their fate.

But Calgary will not be without play-off hockey this season thanks to it’s second tier WHL team the Calgary Hitmen. On Monday I shot their final game of their best-of-seven series against the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Hitmen won comfortably in the end, despite being taken to the limit by the team from Saskatchewan.

It’s yet to be seen if the Flames’ millionaires can find their form and emulate the example laid by the kids.

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