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C OF DREAD

Scotiabank Saddledome faithful spell bad news for opposing teams

by AARON VICKERS @aavickers / calgaryflames.com

Better than most, Glen Gulutzan knows that the 'C of Red' can do to the opposition.

He lived it two years ago.

As an assistant with the Vancouver Canucks, the now-Flames coach was on the receiving end of the Scotiabank Saddledome faithful.

"I'm looking forward to seeing it from the other side and I've heard a lot about it," Gulutzan said.

"Our guys are excited about it. I can really tell you that. If you watched a lot of our talks throughout the year or listened to a lot of our talks throughout the year guys were so excited and one of the biggest things is just the crowd and the atmosphere in the city.

"They wanted to be a part of that. It does help. It does help. It gives you a little juice. Especially the way we've been playing…the series is so close.

"The crowd definitely had an effect for Anaheim, and I'm sure it's going to have one here."

Gulutzan, then working under Vancouver coach Willie Desjardins, saw his Canucks go winless in three skates in Calgary before bowing out of the Western Conference first-round series in six games. His group was outscored 14-7 in the process.

No doubt the Flames, and their fans, will look for a similar result with their Western Conference series against the Anaheim Ducks shifting to Calgary for Game 3 on Monday (8 p.m. MT; CBC, SN960).

Because the boost is real.

"Our fans are into it," forward Sean Monahan said. "Calgary's a special place to play. Going through it two years ago…coming on that ice you get pretty fired up. It's an exciting time. We're looking forward to getting on the ice here."

Need a second opinion?

"I mean, it'll give us a little extra boost for sure," added Mikael Backlund, who had a goal and an assist in five home playoff dates when the Flames qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2015. "I thought we've played really well though. I thought we deserved better. It is what it is. We've got to move on.

"We're all excited to come back home and hopefully get a strong Game 3 and get a win."

 A return home is much needed.

Any lift will help a desperate Calgary club that enters the third of a best-of-seven trailing the Ducks 2-0. 

"I think every playoff game is like that," Monahan said. "You have to be desperate. You have to be ready to go. You have to be strong. It's a big game for us. To come back on home ice is pretty important.

 "Coming back here, going on home ice, we're looking forward to playing in front of our fans.

 "It's a big game here."

 The Flames, for the record, posted a 24-17-0 regular-season record at the 'Dome in 2016-17.

 Naturally, their lone win against the Ducks, an 8-3 drubbing on Dec. 4, came on home ice.

It breeds confidence.  

And, of course, excitement.

"We're going to have our home crowd behind us, which I know from the start of the year the guys are excited about," Gulutzan said.

 

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