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READY TO REBOOT

The Flames winning streak is over - time to start a new

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / calgaryflames.com

Minutes after stepping off the ice following their first loss in nearly a month, Kris Versteeg took a stab at what made a 5-2 loss against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, ending a franchise-tying 10-game winning streak in the process, sting so much.

"You take winning for granted a lot," said the always-candid Flames forward.

"Each time you win in this league is really tough so you should be excited about it. You can dwell on certain things, but if you're winning you can't be angry. This is a tough league to win in and if you take wins for granted then it's going to be an awfully long year."

The Flames, who matched a team-best 10 straight wins set as the Atlanta Flames from Oct. 14-Nov. 3 two nights prior, had an evening to forget in what could've been a record-setting date with the visiting Bruins.

Part of it, coach Glen Gulutzan explained post-game, was inflicted by the group from Boston.

Part of it, he followed up Thursday, was the weight of such continued winning.

"Streaks take energy, an unnecessary energy," Gulutzan started.  

"The hoopla. You come to the rink feeling, 'I have to win tonight,' and to be honest with you, that's not the feeling. You have to come to the rink thinking that if we do these things then we're going to win, we're going to outwork the team, we're going to play our game and we're going to put ourselves in a good position to win this game.

"You get in these streaks and it's almost like you have to win, and you want it to be more about the process. That was a little bit of our talk about the rebooting. 'What are we going to focus on in our next game that's going to give us success?' and just in that game forget the streak.

"Basically this morning…I'm giving you bits and pieces…but it was about dropping the past and building to the next 12 (games)."

Video: Gulutzan talks about the health of his charges

It's a good problem to have, no doubt.

Calgary's 10-game jaunt pushed the Flames further into the Stanley Cup Playoffs conversation, to as high as second in the Pacific Division.

Currently, the homeside sits two back of the Anaheim Ducks for that spot, and one point up on their neighbours to the north for third. Calgary is well clear of the Los Angeles Kings, the closest team on the outside looking in.

"We acknowledged the streak here really is what we did this morning," Gulutzan said. "We acknowledged it for what it was, that it was a great run, it was a streak.

 "Now we're 0-1. For us, it was just to reboot. That was our reboot. We talked about the things that we're going to focus on now as we move forward into our last 12 games. We certainly acknowledged the position we put ourselves in and the job we did and that's part of getting past it and rebooting."

The reboot starts with welcoming the visiting Dallas Stars on Friday (7 p.m. MT; SNW, SN960), the first of 12 games remaining for Calgary in the regular season.

"It's all about the last 12 games," veteran centre Matt Stajan said.

"We know that everybody's battling for position. LA is still trying to catch teams. We've got to take care of our business and we've just got to focus on tomorrow night and try to get back in the win column as quick as we can and get back to the way we need to play on home-ice.

"That's what we talked about today.

"We've got to keep working towards getting an 'x' beside our name in the standings. We know we're going to have to play a lot better than we did yesterday to start winning some hockey games here.

"We regrouped today to be ready for tomorrow."

Start a new streak.

Get excited all over again.

"You can start talking about how you should win or the way you win and I guess some people can do that…I don't like it because it's a hard league to win in," Versteeg said Thursday. "Every night is not going to be perfect and there's a really good team on the other side playing with world-class players.

It's not always going to go your way. Every time you win you should be excited about it.

"That's the thing again today…you realize how tough it is to win in this league and you can lose anytime if another team comes in great. It's about giving us a chance each and every night to win. Tomorrow's one of those nights where we're going to have to give ourselves a chance to win.

"I think we're excited about how we've been playing and what we did, but now it's back to work again and ready to go."


 

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