The Calgary Flames won 30 of 41 games at the Pengrowth Saddledome during the regular season.
On Tuesday they won a playoff game as the Sea of Red was out in full force. Players and coaches agree the fans in Calgary are making a difference on the ice as they defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 to get themselves back into their first round playoff series.
"We have the best fans in the National Hockey League. We have the hardest building in the league to play in. We take a great deal of pride in the partnership we have formed with our fans," said Calgary coach Jim Playfair.
"It is our responsibility to entertain them with a lot of emotion and energy. It's a good relationship that we have."
Forward Wayne Primeau experienced the Sea of Red while playing for the San Jose Sharks in 2004. The Flames downed the Sharks in six games in the Conference Final. He noted it was nice to be on the home side in the 'Dome.
"That crowd was pretty crazy," said Primeau, who assisted on Jarome Iginla's game-winning goal.
"If you can't get up for a game with them out there, there is something wrong."
"The crowd definitely was a big factor and it picked us up. It gives you a lot of momentum," said forward Craig Conroy, "You feel good. Hey, you know what, let’s make a push here. Give the fans a lot of credit. The fans, they were loud and lively. The fans are a big part of it. Say what you want, it definitely gave us a boost to start that game.”
The Flames held an optional skate and began preparing for Game 4, a game they know is just as important as Game 3 was on Tuesday as they look to even the series a two games apiece.
“Absolutely. It was great to be home. It was a good feeling coming back in our building," said forward Tony Amonte.
"The fans had a lot to do with it. It was nice to play in front of a crowd like that – be that emotional. It was a fun game to be involved in.”