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SAY WHAT: 'NEED TO BRING OUR BEST EFFORT'

The buzz around the locker-room ahead of tonight's divisional tilt with the Desert Dogs

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 / CalgaryFlames.com

 

GEOFF WARD ON THE CLASH WITH ARIZONA:

"Tonight looks a lot like a playoff game to me. It's going to be tight checking, there isn't going to be a lot of room in the neutral zone and the goals are going to be hard to come by. I anticipate everything you see in a playoff game to happen tonight. We understand what they are all about as a team - they are playing well right now. They are a well-structured group who work hard and we need to bring our best effort."

 

WARD ON THE PLAY OF ELIAS LINDHOLM:

"He's a dialled in hockey player and he does so much for us. He has a lot of confidence in his ability to score with what he's been able to do in the last two seasons. It's a part of his game and I think there is still more untapped potential in him. When you've been in the league a couple years, you understand what the league is going to offer you, what you need to do to be successful, once you learn that - you are ready for more. He arrived at the right time for us and now we've seen his game take off."

 

WARD ON THE REGULAR SEASON WINDING DOWN:

"You learn your lessons all year so that when you get to this time of year, you're playing your best hockey. You use those lessons to push your game to a new level and that's no different for us. There are lessons in what you do well and what you need to be better at. We have to look forward to games like this. If you are sitting here this time of year and you aren't excited, you probably haven't had much success. You can't be nervous during this time, you have to relish in them and be confident in our play."

 

Video: Coach on Lindholm's stellar play, and facing 'Yotes

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON THE TIGHT PLAYOFF RACE:

"I just checked the standings for the first time in a couple days this morning and, wow, it's crazy. Every win is important, especially against those teams that are behind you. You want to gain separation - you want to beat these teams to push yourself up and them down. Vegas is only five points ahead of us, Edmonton three and the rest of them are only two behind us. It's a logjam. Each game is very critical at this point of the year especially against your own division."

 

TKACHUK ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A QUICK START:

"Our start has to be way better. If you get behind against these guys, it's a very hard team to come back from and we don't want to get in that habit again. When you are playing with the lead you are able to play confident, roll all four lines and stay fresh. On the flip side, when you are behind, you're pressing, trying to do too much and that's just not a recipe for success. We need to get out to the lead and play with it throughout the game.

 

Video: 'Wow, it's crazy ... these ones are important"

 

JOHNNY GAUDREAU ON LESSONS LEARNED FROM LAST GAME:

"We need to get our game going earlier. We started flat-footed and coming off a road trip, those games are always tough. That's behind us now and tonight is a huge game. They're fighting for their lives and we need to come prepared. They aren't going to come out slow and we need to be ready at the jump."

 

Video: "Get going ... earlier, try not to start flat footed"

 

LINDHOLM ON BEING ONE GOAL AWAY FROM 30:

"It's a good number and something a lot of players dream of. I've had a lot of luck this year, they all haven't been pretty but rather being around the net at the right time. If you want to score goals in this league, that's a good area to go to. I keep going back there and try to not change too much in my approach."

 

Video: "When I was younger, had more assists"

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