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Pre-Game Quotes: Flames @ Panthers

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames


On the Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik line:

“I like the balance in our lines right now. Benny, Backs, Frols, lots of speed. Three guys can make plays, three guys can shoot. I really like them. Benny is playing with lots of spark right now, lots of energy. He’s just 19 years old. I think Backs at centre brings a balance, brings a balance both offensively and defensively. Frols, he’s a great up-and-down player. I think they compliment themselves very well.”

On Micheal Ferland returning to the lineup:

“We know Ferls. Bang-and-crash. Has a great shot. He’s still a young man. There’s still lots to learn, lots to move on, but he’s a heart-and-soul guy. He works hard every shift. On the forecheck, in front of the net, he’s going to be a big presence for us.”

“At the same time, we have two extra forwards now. There’s competition in the lineup. Those are tough decisions to make, but we wanted Ferly back in the lineup. The medical staff gave us the green light. It’s a matter of getting back. He’s going to be with Grant and Jooris. Again, I think that three young players that can really motor out there, they can skate, they can be very efficient defensively, and at the same time can score some goals for us. That’s what I said before. I really like the balance in our lines. You know that we’re going to be playing a desperate team and on our side, we’re starting a four-game road trip. Both teams want to win.”

On his team's mindset after their last two wins:

“The victories are the result, and they’re great, but I look at our last maybe four games. Chances against are going down; chances for are going up. It seems that our forwards and our d-men are back playing together. Instead of having three forwards and two D on the ice, we have a unit of five. You look at our forecheck, you look at our backcheck. It seems like there’s a rhythm between our forwards and d-men. That’s key. There has to be communication. There has to be trust. Right now that trust is coming back.”

On Frolik, who missed Monday's practice due to illness:

“I think he’s good. He’s a tough bugger. I know that he’s excited to play against Jagr and everything. He’ll find energy.”


On playing in Sunrise:

“I started here. It’s my first game here, first goal. It’s always nice to come back here. It’s good memories from here. It’s always a little bit special to come back here. It’s a good spot to be here. It was nice when I was here. It’s good. I think just get ready for a big game tonight and we do a good job.”

On facing Jaromir Jagr:

“I mean, he was my idol when I was growing up. It’s amazing what he’s doing right now in this age it’s unbelievable how he’s produced. He’s one of the best ever to play this game. It’s unbelievable what he’s still capable of. You just wish he’s going to be healthy. He’s still got a couple years left in him.”

On how Jagr is able to compete in his 40's:

“I think he’s single, he’s got no family so that kind of helps too, I think. He’s been kind of healthy. I know he’s got some small issues but nothing very serious. In this age, it’s very important that you’re healthy. I think he’s doing good at that. He knows what he needs. He’s just unbelievable. It’s amazing what he’s doing, still playing.”

On how he's feeling:

“I just had a little virus, I guess. It wasn’t fun. The plane was kind of hard. I think I feel better now. Maybe try to get something to eat and hopefully get some sleep and be ready for tonight.”

On his line:

“I think Benny, he’s a young kid and he’s got some skill. He can make some plays. He’s good. He still needs to learn a little, but if you talk to him he’s really good. Backs, he’s a two-way guy. He’s a good centerman. We just need to keep going and try to get better every game.”


On Frolik:

“In the lockout, I think it was 2004, he just started to play hockey in the Czech league and he was only 16 years old. Not many guys can play in that league when they’re that young. Also, he was playing for the World Championship when he was only 16 or 17. He was a big talent since he was young.”

“When he came here everybody thought he was going to score a lot of goals, a lot of points, and I think in Chicago they turned him into a more defensive player and he responded very well. He was a big part of the Stanley Cup (team) when they won in Chicago.”

On playing alongside Karri Ramo in the KHL and if that is an advantage:

“Yeah it’s a huge advantage. You’re going to see it tonight.”

On facing the Flames:

“With all due respect to the Calgary Flames, we have to worry about our game. We lost five straight. We had a good start and somehow let the games slip away. We had a tough road trip with a lot of traveling, three games in four nights. We have to make sure we play our best game today at home. We have a big stretch at home, a lot of games at home, I think eight of nine. We have to make up those points we lost on the road.”

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