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Flames igniting their passion

by Jeff Clemens / Calgary Flames

Calgary, AB - Practice today saw the return to the ice of a few injured players and gave hope that the team will soon be closer to full strength.

Two forwards, Lance Bouma and Tim Jackman practiced with team this morning and defenseman Chris Butler also made it back onto the ice today.

The team has lost 344 man games to injury this season and is finally getting most players back which comes at a good time with the final road trip coming this week.

"This game against Colorado is a team we're fighting with and it's going to be pivotal in the standings," said recently returned forward Lee Stempniak.

"We have the speed to do things but we don't want to be trading chances on the rush so we'll have to be physical and slow them down."

The Flames are undefeated against the Colorado Avalanche this year with four wins in four games.

A game against a team that the Flames are strong against comes just at the right time for the Flames to move up in the playoff race.

"When we have the fire and passion we're a really hard team to play" said head coach Brent Sutter. "When we don't we're not that good."

This comes after back to back disappointing losses to the last and second last place Blue Jackets and Oilers.

"This game against Colorado is huge and the weekend is gone and we move onto the next game," said forward David Moss.

"Every point this time of year is huge and you want two points every night but we can't sit there today and wish we could have gotten them"

Players were looking forward to a chance to get a fresh week on the road to win those points needed to make it into the playoffs.

"At this time of the year you want to be on the ice and competing to give yourself a chance for the playoffs, it's an exciting time," said Moss.

"I think we'll be focused on the road, we only have one job and that's to show up tomorrow and be ready to play."

After a strong final two periods against the Blue Jackets on Sunday the team is ready to go to Colorado to face the Avalanche.

“Our play and emotional level has to be at a certain level and we need to make sure it’s there,” said Sutter.

“The stakes are back up tomorrow night and I expect our emotional level to be high tomorrow night simply because of the opposition we’ll be playing.”

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