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BLOG: Hartley not looking back on last season's play in Vancouver

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

VANCOUVER, BC -- On Jan. 18, the Calgary Flames went into Rogers Arena with a 16-26-6 record and had lost nine of their last 11 games.

That night, they left Vancouver with their 10th loss - albeit a 3-2 shootout setback - in their previous 12 outings and all eyes around the hockey world were on them after a line brawl erupted after the opening face-off.

To make things even more dramatic, former Canucks head coach John Tortorella attempted to storm into the Flames locker room in between the first and second periods, all of which was caught on camera in the visitor's locker room hallway.

However, for many, that game is memorable for far more than it's in-game antics. After that shootout loss, the Flames went on to go 19-14-1 in their remaining games and looked like an entirely different squad.

But Flames head coach Bob Hartley doesn't put a lot of stock into the idea that Jan. 18's game will play some kind of role for his team this season. He wants his team focused on the present and not looking at past performances.

"As much as many people go back to this date, I honestly think it was more a coincidence than anything because I felt that we were starting to play real good hockey."

Like that stretch of losses heading into the Jan. 18 outing, Hartley and his coaching staff have liked a lot of elements in their team's game in recent weeks but the results haven't been there.

Tonight, they're hoping the hard work and dedication to ironing out details in their game will pay off against the Canucks.

"With our situation right now, obviously we had like an awful two weeks but at the same time, I think that it has been a fairly good season so far," Hartley surmised. "In our mindset, the playoffs are right there. We lost a few spots in the standings in the last couple of days but we're still in that mix."

The Flames are currently ninth in the Western Conference with a 17-15-2 record and 36 points. They are two points back of both the Los Angeles Kings and Canucks.

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