After a rough first outing in the 2010-11 season, the Flames have been put through the paces by
the coaching staff in order to prepare themselves for the first home game of the year on Sunday.
On Saturday morning, there was a heavy focus on special teams. Most of the practice was dedicated to drills on both the power play and penalty kill. At one point, Jarome Iginla
and assistant coach Dave Lowry appeared to get in an argument when Lowry was laying out where he wanted the top line positioned.
Afterwards, Iginla shrugged off the difference in philosophy.
"It was just communicating. It's not personal by any means. It's definitely intense as we're definitely trying to get this righted right away and we know how important the power play is.
"We have a very good relationship. We've played together. He was captain here. No hard feelings and like I said, communication is very important and trying to understand where he wants me go and I am able to do some things too. The urgency is definitely there as we need to get this going right away."
The Flames captain said that he appreciates the back-and-forth communication the coaching staff has with their squad.
"Communication is huge and I think the coaching staff has been really good in that area. We as players know pretty much when they're happy and when they're not happy and what is expected.
"Sometimes, coaches don't even talk to their players. You don't know what is expected. Maybe you have a good game and the coaches aren't happy with the way your playing. I think the best way is to have out front and know what is expected and know if they feel you're playing well or if they don't."
Defenceman Mark Giordano
was quick to applaud his captain and the coaching staff for having an open exchange of ideas.
"It's just a dialogue between the two. I think they were just trying to sort things out, where certain guys want to be. Iggy's been around for a long time, Pie's (Lowry) been around for a long time - they were just discussing what they feel. It's not like it hasn't happened before and I think it's a good thing at the end of the day."Picking it up at home
One major issue from the 2009-10 season the Flames want to shore up is their home record. Last year, they went 20-17-4 in the Scotiabank Saddledome and while their record was about .500, the players expressed their dissatisfaction with their play in their own barn.
"We need to be a lot better at home in order to be a good team in the league," Iginla said. "To be a playoff team, you have to be good at home. Previous years we were - last year was a really tough year at home. We've got to focus on the types of things that make it hard to play here as far as skating, being physical and taking pucks to the net."
Robyn Regehr also expressed his displeasure with last season's record but was quick to point out it may be an anomaly.
"It's an area we have to get better at. If you look at the last five to seven years, that's an area we had been pretty good at," he said. "I don't think there was one thing you can look at. You can look at specialty teams, not enough offence ... there's a whole bunch of different reasons why that happened."
He also noted the club was aware of what factors have made them a successful home team in the past.
"I think when you look back at those teams that were successful here, with a good home record, we came out with really good starts. You hammer teams physically or you outskate them. You do whatever you have to do to make it difficult on them and I don't think that has happened as much as it used to. We have to get back to that."Quotable
"I thought they were talking about the CFL and some other things and got into a heated argument about their favoruite teams." - Regehr on the Iginla/Lowry conversation
"Brent has set goals for us. He wants us to be in the top 10 on the power play and the top 10 in penalty kill. The top teams that have done that over the course of the past years have always been successful teams and playoff teams." - Alex Tanguay
on the team's emphasis on practicing special teams
"We've been working on transitions since day one of training camp and I think we're going to try and take advantage of quick turnovers and trying to move the puck up as quickly as possible." - Tanguay on the Flames strategy when facing off against an offensive-minded blueline like the LA Kings