BREAK THE DISNEYLAND CURSE
The Flames woes at the Honda Center have been well-documented.
Calgary has been held without a win in Anaheim since the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs and their last regular season win at the Ducks barn came on Jan. 19, 2004.
Now, on the brink of elimination and faced with a Ducks team that is gunning to get into the Western Conference Final, the Flames must find a way to overcome that history and win Game 5 in Anaheim.
The best way to break what has become known as the Disneyland Curse? Don't think about the past and dial in on what they can control right now.
"No one is worried about what happened in the past," Lance Bouma said. "We’re just focused on tonight. That’s the biggest thing. It doesn’t matter where we’re playing. We’re just focused on that one game and we’re going to go from there.
"Everyone knows what’s at stake here. Everyone knows the situation we’re in. We’ve been doubted by a lot of people all year long. We have to worry about ourselves and just have fun with it."
The Flames were loose in their media availability -- not showing signs of being too tight heading into a must-win game -- and they want to maintain that attitude Bouma keyed in on.
Rather than stressing out and end up gripping their sticks too tightly, they want to enjoy the moment and leave everything on the table in Game 5.
"Definitely relax," Johnny Gaudreau stated. "We’re in a tight spot right now. We all know that. We’ve been talking as a team and we should take it one game at a time and worry about this game in Anaheim and try to get the next game back to Calgary."
Brandon Bollig, who won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, has been in this situation before. He knows the path to get to the third round won't be easy but he knows teams can come back from a 3-1 deficit.
"The year I was lucky enough to win the Cup we were down 3-1 in the second round. We ended up winning that series and winning the Cup," he said. "By no means do we think it’s going to be easy. We know it’s going to be hard. We know we have a lot of work to do but it’s exciting. There’s no use in being down about it.
"There’s no other approach than saying we might as well leave it all on the table and see what happens because we know we’ve been getting better and better each game and we know if we keep playing that way success is going to come our way."
While it wasn't the result they wanted, the Flames felt they played their best game of the series on Friday. Bob Hartley is hoping his crew can build off that performance and carrying momentum into Game 5.
"I really liked the pace that we had to our game. In the three zones I felt that we had great reads and we had great reactions and it just slipped away from us."
The Flames held an optional skate this morning. Hartley did not disclose if he would make any lineup changes.
Karri Ramo gets the start in net. The Finn is 2-2-0 in the postseason with a 2.85 GAA and a .895 save percentage.
FAST FLAMES FACTS
- Calgary and Anaheim are the only teams in the league with more than one win when trailing at the second intermission (both have three).
- The Flames lead the NHL in takeaways with 123 and their 196 blocked shots are best in the West.
- Calgary is the only team in the postseason that have not lost a game when they have an equal number or more shots than the opposition.
"There’s no use in complicating things and putting pressure on ourselves that we have to win three in a row. We focus on the short-term goal and that’s winning tonight and playing a hard game. I think we’ve progressed every game and played better and better so we just have to continue to do that and come out of here tonight with a win." - Brandon Bollig
Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Ducks will be broadcast on Sportsnet (TV) and Sportsnet 960 The FAN (radio). Game time is 8:00 PM MT.
The Calgary Flames official Twitter account (@NHLFlames) will be live-tweeting the game and providing pre and post-game content. Fans can also follow along on the Flames official Instagram account (@NHLFlames) for exclusive, behind-the-scenes content.
The Calgary Flames official app is another way to follow along with the action, with goal and period summary notifications. The app is free and available to download on iTunes and Google Play.