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SAY WHAT: 'THESE ARE PLAYOFF-TYPE GAMES'

A rundown of what was discussed in the dressing room ahead of a huge, four-point tilt with the Oilers

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

 

MARK GIORDANO ON DEFENDING MCDAVID/DRAISAITL:

"They are who they are for a reason. They're putting up the numbers that they are because it's hard to defend them. Our game plan is not going to change as far as systems, but I know when we're out there, stay above them and when we can, the goal is to play offence when they're on the ice. Obviously, they're two elite guys that are tough to contain, but we'll try and stay above them."

 

Video: "It's an exciting game to be a part of"

 

ANDREW MANGIAPANE ON BATTLE OF ALBERTA:

"It's always a good game when you go up against these guys. It's always hard, tight, and fun. This is going to be a good one here. Three days off, a little break, so we've got to get our legs underneath us early on. The first five, 10 minutes will be big for us."

 

Video: "It's always a great game going up against them"

 

MATTHEW TKACHUK ON MILAN LUCIC:

"He's probably the toughest guy on both teams. He was obviously a force when we played him last year and was the previous three years. You never want to play him. He's a force. He gets up for these types of games. He's a playoff-type player and these are playoff-type games."

 

TKACHUK ON LUCIC'S LEADERSHIP:

"It's everything. Every day there's something at the rink; something on the ice, something off the ice, but he's been there, he's done it, he's won a Cup. We all look up to him in this room. He's very well-respected and somebody that we love to have. … We're lucky to have him."

 

Video: "We're all rejuvenated, we're all ready."

 

TKACHUK ON FINALLY SEEING THE OILERS:

"They have a game in hand and I think we're one point behind (them), so this is huge. Both teams are coming off three days off, so it's going to be about the team … makes the least (number) of mistakes that will come away with the win. We know what they've got over there. Especially, they've got the best player in the world over there, and another guy who's pretty good as well. It's kind of the engine of their team, those two guys, so we've got to try and take that away. They're playing well right now and have played well for most parts of this year, so it's going to be a test."

 

LUCIC ON RETURNING TO EDMONTON:

"I talk about that first year [with the Oilers], about being in the playoffs and being one win away from being in the Conference Final, so there were some good things and positive things from my time here. … I take away more of the good than the bad. I think there's a lesson to be learned from every experience that you have, and I learned about myself and the team, being an older guy, leadership and mentoring. There were a lot of positives that I can take from my experience here."

 

Video: "There's going to be a little extra to it."

 

JAMES NEAL ON FACING THE FLAMES:

"It's a little more weird than anything. It's one of those games that you want to get up for, but it's a little easier when you're at home and going through your normal routine. It's a little different when you're going to the other rink and you walk in all the different sides. I've done it before, but I don't think it gets any easier, that's for sure."

 

Video: Neal, Nurse and McDavid on facing the Flames tonight.

 

LUCIC ON ROLE WITH THE FLAMES:

"When I came here to Edmonton, signed a big contract and you come in to play with Connor McDavid and you're expected to score all these goals and all these points and be this big-time producer. Then when I came to Calgary, right off the hop, you start on the third line and play more of a bottom-six role. Big difference. There were a lot of expectations when I came here to be that winger and all that type of stuff for Connor McDavid and here in Calgary, it's providing leadership, providing strength, power, forecheck, all that type of stuff. There's a lot less emphasis on me to score in Calgary than there was in Edmonton. So far, I've enjoyed my role here in Calgary. … I put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to all those outside pressures. Maybe I got caught up too much in it at times."

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