Notes, quotes and anecdotes from Monday's morning practice at the Pengrowth Saddledome...
Well deserved All-Star Break
The Calgary Flames have one match heading the NHL All-Star break, and according to Flames Head Coach Mike Keenan, a break is just what the team needs to refuel and recharge .
Although both Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf are headed to Atlanta for the All-Star game and festivities that go along with it, a number of players take the opportunity to get away, often to hotter climates. Others may head home to visit their families, while a few may stay in town and just lay back and take in their time off.
"We've worked our team hard and we haven't had some breaks that other teams have had. All teams need it, and it just happens to piggy back on the All-Star break for us," said Keenan of his team's seven days between games.
"It will give them some time to recover from bumps and bruises."
And then it's back to business. According to Keenan the team has an intense next couple of months starting at the beginning of February.
"There's a lot of travel, and I believe we have about 32 games in 66 days," added Keenan.
Don't sweat the small stuff
There's no use bringing up the past or looking back at harder times -- the Flames know that. They know they suffered and conquered a blip on their radar earlier in the season, but now they're flying high and taking it all in stride.
"The goal is definitely to try and make the playoffs, but also to keep trying to improve during the year and keep improving our game, and we've been fortunate," said Iginla.
So far, so good.
The Flames, who are currently tied for first in points in the Northwest Division know they need to keep the momentum going, but they're definitely keeping an eye on their competition at the same time.
"At this point you're interested in the standings, but as a fan too," added Iginla. "It's not in our control though, we have our game to do our thing."
Forward Matthew Lombardi agrees.
"I think when you're watching it, you take in what you can, but it's really out of your control," commented Lombardi. "So you just really work on what you can do and and what we can do to change that."
How they lined up
The Flames forward lines from practice on Monday looked like this: