A win in itself isn’t nearly satisfying enough according to the Calgary Flames.In fact, the club is demanding more of themselves. A lot more.
by Aaron Vickers
A win in itself isn’t nearly satisfying enough according to the Calgary Flames.
In fact, the club is demanding more of themselves. A lot more.
“We know we can get better,” declared defenceman Brad Stuart. “We’re not telling ourselves we’ve done anything special. We’ve won one game in a series and that’s not any great accomplishment."
But what Stuart knows is that it all starts with the first victory.
“It’s a start and we’ve just got to realize that in order to get back in this we have to get better. We can use some of those things that we did well and just try to improve on some of the things we need to improve on.”
“We played decent,” agreed veteran Tony Amonte. “We came away with a win. We still feel we can improve in some areas and get better.”
Like playing more disciplined hockey.
The Flames were forced to kill off a Roman Hamrlik roughing penalty just 4:05 into the game and had to contend with the powerplay of the Detroit Red Wings just a couple minutes later after a double-minor high sticking infraction on forward Wayne Primeau.
“I think our discipline was better yesterday and we still have to improve,” said Alex Tanguay. “They have an outstanding power play and hopefully we can stay away from penalty trouble tomorrow.”
Another area of improvement is generating more shots, according to Primeau. The Flames directed a series-high 28 shots at Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek after combining for just 35 in the first two games in Motown.
“I still think we need to get more shots,” Primeau said. “Obviously, coming out with the win, that was the most important thing.”
However the Flames aren’t out of the woods yet, facing a critical game four Thursday night which could see them even the series at two games apiece.
“We’re still in a desperate situation,” Tanguay admitted. “I don’t think we can afford to go down 3-1 with Detroit playing game five and game seven in their building. For us right now, we’re going to worry about what we can control and worry about tomorrow and hopefully we can be successful.”
“You know they’re going to step it up a notch tomorrow night and be ready to go and we’ve got to bring what we brought last night and more,” Amonte added.
A pair of ‘C’s could be the answer the Flames are looking for. Although not flaming, they are important keys to victory.
“Different guys stepped up and we’re going to need more of that,” said Montreal native Matt Lombardi, who scored the game’s opening goal on the power play in the second period. “We’re going to need more of that consistency and confidence as we move forward here.”
Focus is just as crucial, according to Amonte.
“We have to focus everything we have into this next game, play harder and smarter than we did last night and we’ll see where we stand,” Amonte said. “We have to put everything we can into this next game. We can’t go down 3-1 with this club and would love to go back there 2-2.”
A win Thursday night, as Amonte mentioned, and the Flames even the series. A loss results in an uphill battle to keep Calgary’s season alive.
“It’s not going to be easy,” centre Craig Conroy said. “We have another tough one tomorrow. That’s the thing though, you feel like you have a chance and you are back in the series.”
And it will all start with improving on the winning effort Calgary put forth in bringing the series to within one game.
“I think we just have to make sure we get ready for a bigger and better effort tomorrow,” said Tanguay.
“We have to play better tomorrow in order to be successful.”