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SAY WHAT: 'MEASURING-STICK GAME'

A rundown of the key storylines prior to Thursday's tilt against the Leafs

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

SEAN MONAHAN ON MOOD IN THE LOCKER-ROOM:

"Guys are getting confidence and there's a lot of energy. It's fun to come to the rink, it's fun to win hockey games, and lots of different guys are getting on the board right now, too. That's good for guys to get confidence and get the ball rolling."

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON PERFECT ROAD TRIP:

"It was important for us. Our record on the road until that trip - well, still - isn't necessarily great, but we wanted to beat two teams that are ahead of us in the standings. I thought that one in Arizona, in particular, was a big one and for us, now we're two points back of them and two points back of Edmonton. We've put ourselves in a good position."

 

TKACHUK ON FACING AUSTON MATTHEWS:

"He's a great player and he's one of my good buddies. I got to see him last night - we hung out a bit. So, it's obviously good since we only see them twice a year. He continues to elevate his game and is definitely one of the best in the league, so anytime you get to play him, it's a challenge and a little bit of a measuring-stick game for yourself, and the team."

 

MILAN LUCIC ON ALL-CANADIAN MATCHUP

"It's always fun when you play the Leafs. They get a lot of their fans in your home crowd and it makes for a good atmosphere."

 

LUCIC ON DEPTH SCORING:

"It's huge. It provides energy, provides emotion, provides excitement. It makes going into every game exciting, makes coming to the rink exciting. When you have that, things go well for you. You look at the Jankowski line last game. They come in on a back-to-back and have a huge game for us, especially going out there on their first shift and Fro getting that first goal. To see them start contributing for their hard work, it's great to see and it's (up)lifting for everyone. We're going to need contributions from everyone here tonight playing a good team like Toronto."

 

SAM BENNETT ON RE-JOINING PRACTICE:

"It's never fun being injured. ... I've been skating by myself for almost three weeks now. It's a great feeling to be back skating the guys again. Sometimes you really appreciate the game and being around all the guys, how much fun you have when you're not around them. I'm happy to be back."

 

MIKAEL BACKLUND ON SIX-GAME WINNING STREAK:

"The better you play, the more the group grows and you get confidence and trust in each other. When you're on a losing streak like we were, it's not as easy to play, obviously, and the trust and confidence isn't always there like it is when you're winning. It's night and day, to be honest. It's a lot more fun now."

 

GEOFF WARD ON DEFENDING THE LEAFS:

"They're a really good team. You look at what they do offensively, you have to be aware of what's going on all the time with them, and that's going to be a really good challenge for us. For us - we'll keep talking about it - it's all about what we do. It's all about putting our game on the ice. Certainly, we need to be aware of what Toronto does, but we're going to try not to focus on Toronto so much that we don't focus on ourselves. We want to go out there and put our hockey game on the ice and we'll see where it goes from there."

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