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From the gameday skate

by Kristi Hennessy / Calgary Flames

The Toronto circus comes to town just once a year.

And it is that time of year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in Calgary and this trip there is even more buzz as Dion Phaneuf will make his first return to Calgary since being traded to Toronto back on January 31, 2010.

"From playing with him and knowing that he gets charged up, you'll have to keep your head up and know when he's on the ice," said Jarome Iginla.

"There are a handful of d-men in our league that you do have to keep your head up when you're on the ice because when your head is down, they're coming right at you. I imagine he'll be extremely fired up.

"We're looking forward to this game to string back to back wins and to beat the Maple Leafs."

The Flames expect Phaneuf to be physical.

"I expect physical play, I expect nothing less than that," said Cory Sarich. "He's a competitor and that's what you'll see on the ice. He pretty much covers the whole ice surface so ya, I might have to have my head up and see where number three is."

"It's exciting to be back," said Phaneuf. "Like I've said all week, I've had a lot of really good times here. I started my career with this organization. I've got nothing but good things to say about the organization and to see some of the guys was nice. Saw Iggy this morning and got to have a couple laughs. I had a really good time here, spent a lot of time here and played a lot of hockey in this building. It'll be a special night."

Phaneuf, however, has put the Calgary segment of his career behind him and is concentrating on being the captain of the Leafs.

"It's a business, trades happen but like I said, I have no hard feelings and I'm excited about tonight. It's not me against them; it's the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Calgary Flames. They are big points for our team and I'm sure they're saying the same over there."

The Leafs started their western swing off on the right foot beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 Monday night at Rexall Place. They have won four of the seven games in December. After facing the Flames Thursday night, they will keep trekking West to play the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.


With Matt Stajan returning to the line-up against the Leafs, someone will have to come out of the line-up. The question is, who?

"I'll decide at warm-up," said coach Sutter. "We've been very careful because we've had guys who have been under the weather a little bit. We want to make sure that we have 20 healthy bodies which is why we dress 21 at warm-up."

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