A POSITIVE MORNING SKATE
The Calgary Flames enjoyed a dominating 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday night, in front of a sold out electric crowd. They finally got the back to back wins that they have been hoping for.
They finally found the offensive capabilities that everyone has been looking for and asking about. Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen and Rene Bourque strung together three goals in just 57 seconds. This was the seventh fastest three goals in franchise history. The last time the Flames scored three goals faster was back on October 12, 2009 in Chicago.
They gathered at the 'Dome Friday morning for a positive practice in preparation for the visiting Minnesota Wild on Saturday night. The Flames are hungry for a clean home-stand sweep to string together three victories.
One main contributor to the exciting win was the energy and excitement that filled the Scotiabank Saddledome. Between the abundance of Leafs fans chanting "Go Leafs Go!" and the hometown Flames fans answering right back at the offensive explosion they were witnessing, the 'Dome was rockin’, and the players fed on this lively atmosphere.
"The biggest thing last night is was that it was a very very loud building," said assistant coach Dave Lowry. "There was a lot of emotion, and that benefits us. We channelled that energy that was in the building and we were able to go out and play a pretty solid game."
Tanguay couldn't agree more with the fact that the team fed off of the energy of the fans in the building and they'd love to see more of that.
"For the first time this year there was good atmosphere in the building," said Tanguay. "I've played here many times before but it seems this year I don't know if our fans are anxious or mad at us but last night they were into it and it certainly provided us with a lot of energy. Hopefully we can keep them happy and get them to give us the same energy on Saturday night."
The Minnesota Wild are not known to travel as well as the Maple Leafs or the Montreal Canadiens. With that said, the Flames will have to look past that and make sure they concentrate on their game, keep their individual emotions high and hope that their fans come out just as energized as Thursday night.
"We have to worry about our individual preparation and know where we sit in the standings and know the importance of the game,” said Lowry. “It's not going to change. We need to maintain the fact that we are a desperate hockey team."
JOKINEN SHOWING COMPETE LEVEL
With a three point game Thursday night against the Maple Leafs, Olli Jokinen has arguably played his best hockey over the last few games picking up five points in his last four games. The humble Jokinen says he doesn't look at it that way. He says that it has been a pretty solid team effort overall.
"I think we've been playing pretty good hockey the last couple weeks," said Jokinen. "In the last three games we've been able to get some results. We got five points out of a possible six as a team. We just have to win the next game and move on. It's the first time in a few months we've won two games in a row but we're not in a position that we can relax, we have to win tomorrow."
“Lately we've been able to play a pretty solid sixty minutes and that's what you need. You have to play hard every shift and we never stopped doing that last night. You can't really expect that every night, to score three goals in one minute, but you have to stay patient and play the same way the whole sixty and things will happen."
Assistant coach Dave Lowry commented on Jokinen's play after practice, stating that his compete level and the intelligence in his game has improved tremendously.
"When Olli is skating and he's stopping and starting, he's a very good player," said Lowry. "When he's out there circling and he gets lazy in his habits then he's not quite as effective.
Lowry added: "For Olli, the last few games, all he needed was a reminder to start stopping and starting. It changes the way he plays and changes his mind set. He's been rewarded by shooting the puck and getting pucks to the net as well."
Author: Kristi Hennessy- calgaryflames.com