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Flames Update: High Hopes for Mile High

by Kristi Hennessy / Calgary Flames

After a solid effort in a must-win game last night over the Phoenix Coyotes, a handful of the Calgary Flames gathered at the ‘Dome for an optional skate looking refreshed and full of energy and excitement in anticipation for tomorrow night’s game in Denver. Spirits were high and the overall mood in the dressing room was electric.

Rene Bourque puts the pressure on Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson.

“The only people who wrote us for out for dead, were you guys,” Eric Nystrom said referring to the media. “We’ve always known we had a chance, when you’re two points or four points out, you’re never dead. We’ve won a couple of really big games but we have to keep climbing and keep digging and this next one is a big one.”

The team hit the road this afternoon to face maybe one of their biggest challenges this year to date. They will land in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado to face the Avalanche, trailing by two measly points for the eighth and final spot of the playoffs.

“This is game seven,” said Jarome Iginla. “It doesn’t matter who we play, we just have to win. It doesn’t get any more pressure filled than the last two because we still have the same focus.”
Last week, the Flames dropped two much needed wins to the Islanders and the Bruins but found a way to regroup and turn it around for a big win in Washington. The sense of urgency seemed to stretch all the way back to the Saddledome where the Flames continued their fight for a playoff spot.

 “Take it one game at a time,” said coach Brent Sutter.  “When you win you enjoy it, but you also have to keep it in the right perspective and start getting ready for your next game because winning is contagious.  If winning is going to feel like losing all the time then why are you doing it?”

The Avalanche have struggled to say the least as of late, dropping six of their last seven games. With that aside, they have ended up with the win against the Flames four out of five times. All five games however were tight 3-2 games. The Flames will have to pull out all the stops in tomorrow’s game if they want the two points and the huge opportunity to tie for eighth spot.

“We need to win games and tomorrow night is no different than the games we’ve been playing. We need a huge level of urgency and a huge level of commitment from every player and we need players to play at a level of excellence. Good is probably not going to be good enough.” said head coach Brent Sutter.

Author: Kristi Hennessy,

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