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SAY WHAT: 'THE WHOLE TEAM IS EXCITED'

The buzz around the locker-room ahead of tonight's critical game against the Predators

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

MIKAEL BACKLUND ON HUGE GAME TONIGHT:

"I'm really excited. The whole team is excited. It's going to be a great game tonight. It's a fun time of the year and there are a lot of exciting games."

 

BACKLUND ON HIS RECENT GOAL-SCORING TEAR:

"Obviously going back to my natural position definitely helps and made me feel more comfortable on the ice. Playing on the wing was fun, it was a little experiment and helped the team get a boost, so I'm happy that I could help in that way. But I want to be a centre and that's where I want to play, and that's one of the reasons why I've been playing better as of late."

 

Video: "We've been playing well."

 

ANDREW MANGIAPANE ON SUCCESS WITH BACKLUND:

"I think we all work hard. We all want to do well and do good for the team. That's important for us three. Every shift we try to go out there and do something positive. Whether that's being smart in the D zone or scoring a goal, always having a positive impact on the game."

 

MANGIAPANE ON TONIGHT'S 'BIG-GAME FEEL':

"It's exciting. It's going to be a fast-paced game. These are the ones that you want to play in. Both teams are going to be going hard against each other. They've got a good team, but we've got to worry about ourselves, worry about our game, play a full 60 and we'll be OK."

 

Video: "These are the ones you want to play in."

 

MARK GIORDANO ON POTENTIALLY RETURNING TONIGHT:

"I feel good. I feel ready. You get those touches, you get a couple more reps, a couple more days of practice. I feel really good and I'm excited, hopefully, to get in tonight."

 

GIORDANO ON TEAM'S EFFORT IN BOSTON:

"It was a great game. I thought, as a team, we had a good battle level, good compete, and good back-pressure all night. The boys played really well, got a big win, and we can keep it going on this trip."

 

Video: "Feel really good, hopefully get in tonight."

 

GEOFF WARD ON SURGING BACKLUND:

"His compete level is really, really high and as a result, he's moving both ways. He's not in between plays now. When we're competing, you're on top of pucks, you're tracking back on pucks. All those things become staples in your game and as a result, you're playing with the puck more. That's the biggest thing with him now is that he's playing with the puck in different situations. Because of what he's doing offensively and defensively through his compete and as a result, things are going in for him."

 

Video: "We understand the game is big."

 

WARD ON DAVID RITTICH'S GREAT PLAY ON THE ROAD:

"He seems - I don't want to say more comfortable on the road, but he's a guy that enjoys spending time around his team. I think it helps him get prepared and when we're on the road, obviously, he's around the guys a lot more and maybe that has something to do with it. ... For us, it's good that we're seeing him round back into his old form right now."

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