The Flames Update is a compilation of notes, quotes, anecdotes, audio and video that keeps you in touch with your team. It appears several times each week, usually on non-game days.
| January 22, 2010 |
|Working out the kinks |
After dropping their sixth straight game on Thursday, it was another day of drills for the Calgary Flames.
The morning skate started out with lines, prompting the media in attendance to think a bag skate was on the horizon for Flames but head coach Brent Sutter decided the team needed another hour-long session of basic drills.
"Nailing down our details to our game," was his response when asked what the lesson of the day was. "It's not just about 'Yes, your work ethic needs to be where it is,' but it's the details of the game, doing the little things right, playing a smart game, being an intelligent player. That was the message today."
Players were put through the paces in various drills that emphasized the smart, detail-oriented style Sutter has been preaching all season. Every skater on the ice knew the coach meant business and made sure they skated as hard as possible.
Sutter said that the team needs to practice like this if they except to get results in games.
"You've got to play the game at a high pace. A lot of things happen very quickly on the ice and you have to be able to react quickly and when you react quickly to something, you've got to be doing the right thing when you do it. It's important to practice the way you play."
Craig Conroy isn't pleased that the team can't just get back work this weekend as their next game comes on Monday but said the team needs to practice hard all weekend.
"You'd definitely rather just keep going and playing but we had a good practice today. We know what we've got to work on. We've just got to be more tenacious on the puck and just move our feet. When we're doing that, that's when we're at our best."
Eric Nystrom saw a weekend devoid of any games as a positive for his team, saying that everyone would be able to get themselves mentally and physically prepared for Monday's contest with St. Louis.
"We're going to work hard when we're at the rink and we've got to make sure we're getting a lot of rest when we're away from the rink," he said firmly. "This is an opportunity for us to get some good, hard workouts in and get some good rest and get the legs fresh for our next game because we need everyone to play the style of game we want to play."
Despite the losses, the team said they're remaining upbeat as they head into next week's busy schedule.
"We've got to just look forward to that next game and move ahead." Conroy said. "If you dwell on the past it's going to eat you up. It's tough. We know the mistakes - we've watched them, we've seen them and now it's time to not make those mistakes and get ready for St. Louis and start putting a good stretch together. That's what we need, we need a good run here and get ourselves back in the playoffs."
Looking to score
Throughout their six game skid, the Flames have hard an extremely hard time scoring. They've been held to just two goals or less in five games.
The chances have been there - Conroy's shot ringing off the crossbar in the third period on Thursday night being a prime example - but the players know they need to be able to bury the puck.
"It seems like that's the way it's been going," was Conroy's answer when asked if the team seems to be hitting the iron more often latey. "They make their breaks and we're trying to make our breaks but you know what? They played well and they got in front of the net. You see that in the video and we're got to try and get a guy in front. They work hard to get in front and we're going to try and do the same. Hopefully, if we do that we're going to get one in off our foot."
Conroy pointed that even if the team is having a hard time finding the back of the net, they need to learn to play with the mindset that they need to shut teams down because they are only going to score one or two markers.
"With us struggling to score goals we've got to go in with that 1-0 mentality. That's going to have to be the mindset from here and until we start to get some. We're going to win that game 1-0 and believe in that. The only way to that is to stay out of your own zone."
Nystrom did admit it was frustrating when the chances are coming but nothing is going in the net but said the team can't dwell on that.
"It's frustrating. There's a bunch of us that haven't scored in a while. We've got to just shoot the puck and go to the net and that's something we haven't done enough of. We've just got to get back to that because there are some ugly goals that go in so there's no reason why we should shoot the puck."
Trade winds aren't a worry
Whenever a team is in a slump, trade rumors begin to pop up and the Flames are facing those right now. Every player seems to be on trading block according to fan blogs but the players aren't worried about getting shipped off.
"We can't worry about it," Conroy said firmly. "There's nothing we can do about it. We've got to win games and that's the bottom line. We have to find ways to win games."
"Our goal is to make the playoffs and try to win the division. Right now we're fighting for a playoff spot so we just need to play better hockey." - Daymond Langkow
"We haven't had an opportunity to get much practice time in because of the schedule. That's why now with these few days between games, three days here where we don't play, it's important to get a couple of them in that are significant and continue to move forward here." - Sutter on the team's plans this weekend