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SAY WHAT - 'I THINK IT MAKES IT AWESOME'

What was said this morning in the dressing room

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

MILAN LUCIC ON BATTLE OF ALBERTA:

"It's a big game. We look at our schedule with 31 games left, it almost feels like a football schedule now. ... You see the five teams that are battling for the three divisional spots to get into the playoffs, it makes these divisional games mean so much more. That's the main focus here tonight, is about coming out and playing and bringing our best and doing whatever we can to get a big win here."

 

LUCIC ON WIN BEING PARAMOUNT:

"Just approach it the way I've approached every game for the past 15, 16 years of my life. Ever since I've been in junior, you play to win, you're prepared to take hits ... and for me, personally, I've prepared to take care of myself and take care of my teammates and do whatever is necessary to do that. But like I said - I think the main thing, for us, after letting one point slip away last night, we want to get back in the win column and like I said, the preparation for myself and the team is doing whatever we need to do to do that." 

 

Video: "We're both fierce competitors"

 

LUCIC ON RIVALRY BETWEEN TEAMS:

"I think it makes it awesome, to be honest. I think it's great for the game when two teams that are geographically this close together are neck-and-neck in the standings, and I think it just adds to the rivalry. Like I talked about last time, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a Boston-Montreal rivalry where we were neck-and-neck in the standings so many years while I was there. Even the year I was in LA, us and Anaheim battled all year long for the top seed in the Pacific Division, so it's one of those things that just adds to it and I think it just makes it better. It's been a long time where we've gotten to almost February and the teams are only one point apart in the standings here in the Battle of Alberta, so I think it's awesome. I think it's awesome for fans of the Oilers and the Flames, I think it's great for the game of hockey, and I think Albertans are excited that it is what it is as far as the rivalry right now. As an athlete, as a competitor, these are the games that you want to be a part of, these are the games that you look forward to, and just go out there and do whateveer we need to do and try to get that win." 

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON TILT:

"I don't know who's watching. I don't know how many people are watching. I'm sure it's the same as any other game in Edmonton. The two cities, this is the game that they wait for; these are big games. Just being around Calgary, there was a lot of buzz about the Battle of Alberta - there always has been. Probably the 12 times I've played them so far in my career, both cities get up for this, and there will probably be a lot of Flames fans and a lot of energy in the building, I'm sure." 

 

Video: Matthew Tkachuk on Flames-Oilers hype

 

TKACHUK ON KASSIAN SITUATION:

"I don't know what a target on my back means. But I know, from my perspective, I'm going in to do everything I can to help make sure my team wins. We're trying to make sure that happens because we need the points now more than ever."

 

TRAVIS HAMONIC ON GAME'S IMPORTANCE:

"I think so. It's always good games when we play each other. Obviously the importance of the points at this point in the season, as close as both teams are to each other, it's an important game - as will Saturday's be. For us, it's business as usual. We'll go out there and play as hard as we can in a tough environment, but we're looking forward to it. 

 

Video: Travis Hamonic on tonight's Battle of Alberta

 

HAMONIC ON TKACHUK:

"Chucky's a huge player for us. He's a heckuva player, heckuva person, heckuva teammate. He's a huge part of what we do as the Calgary Flames."

 

HAMONIC ON TIGHT PACIFIC DIVISION:

"It shows two things. 1) How good the league is. And 2) How hard it is to win. When you've got teams that are slugging it out like we are in the Pacific Division, it's a grind every night. Maybe you don't have so many of those teams that are lighting it up, but it just shows how good our division is and how tough it is to win. When you get that playoff mentality, playoff grind, that playoff-feel of hockey pretty early on, it's pretty important down the stretch. You have to be playing with that mentality to try and get the wins."

 

MARK GIORDANO ON WHAT TO EXPECT:

"I don't think it's any different than the last two times we played them. We've go to try and bring the same game plan that we had. We're coming off a tough shootout loss last night, so every game's huge in our division now. Looking at the standings, day-to-day, you see how close it is in the Pacific. They're a team that, right now, has a couple of games in hand on us, so we can really make it count tonight with a regulation win and keep them behind us."

 

Video: "We can really make it count tonight"

 

GIORDANO ON TKACHUK:

"He has to play the game the way he always does. He plays on the edge and creates a lot of momentum for us, whether it's producing offence or making good plays. He's going to play the same way he always has his whole career, and again, that's how we need him to play. He's one of our top players."

 

MORE ON TKACHUK:

"He plays on the edge. When he's at his best... You get under the opponent's skin when if you're a good player, you're playing well and producing for your team and doing all those little things. And I think he does that on a regular basis and that's why sometimes he can be frustrating to play against."

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