The Flames return home aware they let two solid opportunities pass them by. Regardless, the team remains undeterred, focused on Game 3, and confident the series has a ways to go yet. The team suffered from the same affliction through the first two games of the series, they could not manage a full effort for 60 minutes, and the aggressive Chicago team took advantage of their lackadaisical play.
Captain Jarome Iginla knows the team has to keep the pedal to the floor through all three periods.
"They're pushing back, we've got to find a way to respond... both teams are going to push, it's going to go back and forth. We've got to find ways, when they have a big push, to weather that and get back at em," said Iginla. "Unfortunately in both games we haven't showed enough composure, enough push back."
Despite their season-long frustration with the Blackhawks, the Flames know they have yet to offer up their best effort, a source of frustration, but also encouragement as they refuse to be downtrodden about the series thus far.
"The first period yesterday was probably the best period we've played, maybe in this year," said Iginla. "We've come out and we've played really well... Unfortunately when they've started to get some momentum back their way, we haven't responded well enough."
The team does not want to dwell on the last two games, but they are uniform in agreement that more consistency is absolutely essential against the resilient Blackhawks.
"We have to concentrate on what we have to do, and that's go out and play 60 minutes. If we had played 60 minutes for the first two games, we'd probably have two wins. But that's not the case, now we're down 2-0 and we need to go forward in Game 3," said Jordan Leopold.
"We felt like in both games we played pretty good, but we have to put in a full 60 like we did last night in the first," agreed Olli Jokinen. "Our focus is to win the next game. We showed in the last two games that we can beat that team."
"Whether you win or lose you have to move forward, you don't have a lot of time to dwelll over it. Are we happy about the outcome in Chicago, no. Did we learn from it, yes, and do we move forward, yes," said Dion Phaneuf. "Right now our focus is Game 3. That's all we're focused on in our room."
Playing at home with the passionate 'Dome crowd behind them should benefit the Flames as they try to get back in the series. The players know they need to feed off the crowd's energy in a similar fashion to their opponents, who were spurred on by an electric United Centre crowd in Chicago.
"It's going to be very important for us early, and for the whole game to maintain that physical side... having the home crowd behind us with their emotions and intensity is gonna be great. We've got to come out early and give em a reason to get excited," said Jarome Iginla, who knows it's up to the veterans on the team to direct the energy properly.
"It's emotional, it's intense times, it's the playoffs... as veterans on the team that's when we got to want the puck, and we've got to got down and play in their zone, and we've got to take that hit."
The team knows Chicago will not simply lie down for their two road games, and that the Hawks will display the same resiliency that brought them success in Games 1 & 2.
"I don't think they've been playing the level they're capable to play, they're going to play better, that's for sure," said Jokinen.
When the team hits the ice Monday night (7:30 pm, TSN, The Fan 960), they know the time will be upon them to perform to the absolute best of their abilities.
"It's playoff hockey, it's do or die time. We're back at home now and whatever you need to do for your team you've got to be able to do," said Leopold.