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Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Habs

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames



FORMER HABS RETURN TO MONTREAL

For two former Canadiens, playing in the Bell Centre has two very different meanings.

Tom Kostopooulos, who played for the Habs for two seasons, returning to Montreal is a thrilling experience.

"It's definitely a special place for me to come back. I have a lot of friends here," Kostopoulos said. "I think, just as a player on the road, this building and playing in front of these fans is really exciting. Everyone is always excited to come here. The atmosphere is great.

"For us, it couldn't be a bigger game then tonight so it's a huge game for us and it's their home opener so it should be a heck of a hockey game."

For Alex Tanguay, it's the exact opposite. His time with the Canadiens is something he'd rather not remember as his single season with them only featured 50 games, 16 goals and 41 points thanks in large part to injury woes.

"I was here for a year and didn't get offered a contract afterwards," he summarized. "I'm from Quebec City, I've always grown up being a Nordiques fan so it's not hard for me to cheer against this team."

THE SUSTAINABILITY FACTOR

After excellent starts in their first two games, the Calgary Flames seemed to fall apart after scoring the opening goal. Tonight, they're looking to keep that energy level for a full 60 minutes.

"We know we need to just play better, start with one win," Jarome Iginla said. "It's Montreal's home opener, it's going to be a great atmosphere in here. We want to use that to our advantage.

"We come out, we just play hard and simplify. We've had good starts. We just haven't been able to sustain it."

Head coach Brent Sutter wants to see more desperation from his club tonight and hopes they'll take the lessons learned from mistakes of years past - not playing at their peak early on and then missing the postseason by mere points - and apply them now.

"Every game is such a big game right from the start of the year because you don't want things to nail you in the butt. At the end of the day, we missed the playoffs the last two years. We certainly don't want to do it again."

QUOTABLE

"It's a great atmosphere and it's great for both teams to play. It's going to be electric in the building, it always is here in Montreal. Especially with this being their home opener. We're definitely going to try to feed off the crowd as much as they will and play our game." - Tanguay on turning the momentum created by a boisterous Montreal crowd in their favour

"We're definitely upbeat. It is early and we have a chance here with two games - two Canadian teams - to really get some good momentum." - Iginla on the team's mindset after going 0-2 to start the season


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