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SAY WHAT: 'I BELIEVE IN THAT ROOM'

A rundown of what was discussed on locker clean-out day

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

MARK GIORDANO ON END TO THE SEASON:

"It's a disappointing end to our season, but when you win the Western Conference, I think we did a lot of great things this year and we would prove throughout an 82-game season that we can play with anyone. The message now from (GM Brad Treliving) and from our coaches is, 'How do we get better once the season is over and in playoffs?' That's what us as players have to focus on over the summer and bring that same intensity and style play that we had throughout the regular season. We've got to be prepared to wrap it up in the playoffs."

 

GIORDANO ON NORRIS NOD

"I think in a few weeks or a month it'll feel a lot better than it does now. To me, the feeling of the loss and how the season ended doesn't really feel too great. But I don't take it for granted. It's a big accomplishment for me, personally, but it's tough this week because of everything that's going on."

 

Video: "We feel like we have a really good team"

 

GIORDANO BIG SUMMER AHEAD:

"All you can do now is focus on the summer of training and putting in the work off the ice to get back to the level we were at during the season, and then even more importantly to bring it out the playoffs. Now is the time to put in the work. The feeling is not great. Obviously, it's not going to be good for a while. You reflect and you try and be better individually. But the only thing we can do now is get ready for next year and make sure we're doing the right things in the off-season.

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON BILL PETERS' IMPACT:

"He was very demanding, in a good way. We started off in China, so it was kind of different for everybody; not everybody knew each other. I thought that was good for our team to be kind of isolated as a group. I thought he did a great job with us right from the start. It's a lot different than some of the other coaches. Some games he'd really buckle down and only play two or three lines. That's what I noticed that was different from other coaches, the way he'd shorten the bench as soon as he wanted. I thought he did a good job."

 

TKACHUK ON PLAYOFF TAKEAWAYS:

"It's hard. It doesn't matter what seed you are. It doesn't matter what you did in the regular season. It's all a clean slate going into playoffs. We knew it going in, but once you live it, once you fail at it, you realize it more. I think you have to be playing well to get into the playoffs but you need to be playing well going into them as well. Colorado ended the season really strong. I'm sure they're going to be a tough out for their next opponent. It's frustrating right now. We're still watching the playoffs. If we would've won our next opponent would still be playing right now, too. … You can't be looking ahead like, 'If we win this game where are we going to be at in a couple of days,' or 'If we win this game we're on the road' - you can't think like that. You've just got to win the games. That's the biggest thing, you've just got to execute."

 

Video: "If this doesn't motivate you"

 

MIKE SMITH ON WHAT HE LEARNED ABOUT HIMSELF:

"You're always learning, but this league will keep teaching along the way and you keep learning along the way. As a pro, if you're not learning, you're not getting better. At this age you're still finding ways to improve and to deal with different situations. There were definitely times in the season where it was challenging. I feel like I finished the season off personally on a high note."

 

SMITH ON TURNING POINT IN THE SEASON:

"After the All-Star Break, I think I played some of my best, most consistent hockey I played all season. I think I didn't handle not playing as well as I should've. I probably wore it a lot harder than I needed to and it probably affected the way I played early on in the season. You learn along the way, and this year was no different. I knew we were going to be in the playoffs and I wanted to be playing my best hockey at the most important time of the year. I felt like I did that."

 

Video: "You win and lose as a team"

 

TRAVIS HAMONIC ON IF THIS TEAM CAN CONTEND:

"100%. Yep. 100%. I believe in that room more than anything. We're going to learn from this. We're going to come back extremely ready and hungry and excited for next year. It's going to be a long summer, unfortunately. This wasn't in our plans. I say that because we believe in the group, we believe in the guys inside of our locker-room. Everybody."

 

HAMONIC ON WHAT GIORDANO MEANT TO THE TEAM:

"Everything. I've been saying this for a long time - Gio's the best defenceman in the game."

 

Video: "We're going to come back extremely ... hungry"

 

JAMES NEAL ON TOUGH SEASON:

"I've got to get back to the play that I know I'm capable of. You can say this or that or blame whoever you want to blame, but to get better and get to where I want to be, that's just being honest with myself to come back and be better. … I've got a lot to prove. I know I can put the work in and get back to where I feel like I should be."

 

Video: "Just never got that traction from the start"

 

DAVID RITTICH ON BREAKOUT YEAR:

"it was one of the best groups I've ever played with. In my head, I thought we were going to get a longer run than we did. It's kind of stings right now because this year, with this team, the way we played, I thought we were going a long way."

 

RITTICH ON WORKING WITH SMITH:

"When I came here, I was so lucky he signed a deal with the Flames. I could see him in the net, in practice, in games. I remember I was watching him on TV he was with Team Canada. The way he was playing was unbelievable. I was so pumped. … He was like the sixth player on the ice. I couldn't imagine what he was doing with his stick. It's unbelievable. I'm not sure if anyone else could be like him."

 

Video: "You can always be better, no?"

 

MICHAEL FROLIK ON EARLY EXIT:

"It's disappointing and it's frustrating right now. It's going to hurt for a while for sure. But what I can say is that they just outplayed us. Coming to the playoffs, they had an impressive last couple weeks during the stretch (run). I don't know. Giving up like 60 shots a game, that never happened to us, and their first line was outstanding. (Nathan) MacKinnon seemed like he was on another level than everybody else. It's tough to swallow right now and it's going to sting for a while, but I think you can look at the positives, too. We had a helluva regular season and it obviously didn't end well, but we can be proud of what we did in the regular season and look up to it for next year, that we can learn from it and make sure that we can be stronger at this time next year and take lessons from it."

 

SEAN MONAHAN ON LONG SUMMER:

"This was a different year than the last couple, so I think it sucks. It's a bad feeling right now, obviously. You look bad at the steps we made as a team in the regular season and we didn't carry that onto the post-season. It's frustrating, but you've got to look at the bright side of it. There's a lot of great players in that dressing room who want to go there, who want to get past where we were this year."

 

MONAHAN ON PLAYOFF PRODUCTION:

"It's just hockey. You can't put up points every game. When you're not producing and you're playing minutes like I do, it's frustrating, at times. We had a great team and a lot of guys stepped up at different times in the season."

 

Video: "It sucks. It's a bad feeling right now"

 

RASMUS ANDERSSON FIRST PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE:

"It was great. A lot of fun. Obviously, we wish it went a little bit better, but it was fun to play in front of the fans here and the whole atmosphere. It was a good experience."

 

ANDERSSON ON ROOKIE SEASON:

"I got an opportunity early and I think I took advantage of that. Once you start getting more confidence and start believing in your game, that's usually when you have success. I think after the bye week I thought I played really well and really continued that play until the end of the season. I think one of my strengths has been my consistency. I thought I was consistent all year and that's what you have to do in this league. When I realized I was that consistent, that's when I started believing that I could be a good player in this league, too."

 

ANDERSSON ON OFF-SEASON PLANS:

"I'm going to go back home this summer. Just keep working hard. Last year was more of a learning experience, how to re-shape my life and how to become a better player on and off the ice. That's what I did. It's going to be a big summer for me. I want to come back in even better shape."

 

Video: "You don't take anything for granted"

 

DEREK RYAN ON LATE LEADS IN SERIES:

"Those are experiences we can learn from and grow as a group. Having a lead, in those games, you look at that. If we're able to close both of those games out, we come back home with a 3-1 lead. That's a big difference and that's how small the margin is in the playoffs and at this time of year. That's one of those new situations. I know some guys were more comfortable than others. We want to be able to lock those down."

 

Video: "I think there's frustration on a lot of levels"

 

MIKAEL BACKLUND LEARNING FROM FIRST-ROUND LOSS:

"I think you grow as a person and as a team when you're at your lowest, and when you go through adversity and tough times. I think every player on this team, their route hasn't been straight-forward. When you're really low and things aren't going your way, that's when you find out things about yourself and grow as a player and as a team."

 

Video: "I believe in this group ... really good core here."

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