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Dejected Flames question consistency

by Margo Consul / Calgary Flames
SAN JOSE -- There was a somber atmosphere inside the Calgary locker room Tuesday after a disappointing loss for the Flames, ousted from from the playoffs with a 5-3 loss in Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

“It’s disappointing at anytime, but especially tonight because you don’t get another crack at it,” defenceman Cory Sarich said while surrounded by silenced players following the loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Inconsistency was the theme of this series by both teams, but Calgary reflected on it Tuesday as the reason for the loss.

The Calgary Flames look on from the bench as fans cheer behind them in the closing seconds of a loss to the San Jose Sharks in game 7 in an NHL hockey Western Conference playoff series in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, April 22, 2008. San Jose won 5-3. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Said Sarich: “There was a shift in the momentum but we just plain and simple didn’t get the job done that we needed to. We killed one penalty and then killed another off and then allowed a goal right afterwards, just have to do a better job there.”

"I don’t think we were assertive enough," said captain Jarome Iginla. "We were up 2-1 and we were probably tentative and not playing as aggressive as we can. We had done it in the series earlier and this game, there’s obviously a lot on the line, and everyone is excited and adrenaline is pumping and we were probably a little nervous at the same time.

"They managed a big flurry, kept coming and got a little space in 10 minutes or five minutes or whatever it was and that won the game."

The Sharks, trailing, 2-1, scored four straight goals in a span of 8:49 to take control of the game and, ultimately, the series.

Although starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was pulled in the second period, the team credits him for their success this season.

“We believe in Kipper. He had a great series. He had a big flurry in the first period and he was the reason we were 1-1 in the first period, and we had a chance when we were up 2-1. That is not our decision, but absolutely we believe in Kipper and he is the reason we got here to Game 7,”  Iginla said.

Iginla also acknowledged Curtis Joseph for his leadership in the game, and the series. Head coach Mike Keenan pulled Kiprusoff from Game 3 and the Flames staged a comeback win. Iginla said the coach was trying to create the same reaction in  Game 7 by putting Joseph in the line-up.

“Cujo had a great series for us also and he was a big part of that comeback win. When we are at the point when we are...playing our hardest and we believe in both of them,” he said of the Flames goalies.

As Iginla’s interview came to a close other players finished their post-game interviews and quietly packed their bags for the last time this season.

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