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FROLIK INTEGRAL IN 3M LINE'S SUCCESS

Michael Frolik's 'underrated' style of play has bolstered he and his linemates' offensive production

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

No one's as yet come up with a catchy nickname to latch onto, a la Mikael Selke. 

There are no unique, oddball visuals setting him apart. A mouthguard, say, incessantly bobbing up and down, side to side, in and out, hither and yon, to and fro, the way a doting grandfather shuffles around his false teeth to delight the grandkids.

Michael Frolik, then, can be considered the Jose Carreras of the Calgary Flames' most consistently effective line.

There's Pavarotti, Domingo and, c'mon … you know … the other guy.

That 'other guy' possessing a pretty fine set of tenor chops himself.

When people think of the vastly-influential 3M Line, Frolik's is invariably the third M that pops to mind.

No matter.

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VERNON KEEPING TABS ON ELLIOTT'S RUN

Mike Vernon is hoping to see Brian Elliott set a new franchise record on Tuesday in Washington

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, the man on the verge of being vanquished will switch on the flat-screen TV to Sportsnet to watch a final assault on his place in the local history books.

 And perhaps even mimic an old pal, Peter Maher - "Yeah, baby!" - should Brian Elliott amp his personal goaltending win streak up to an even dozen.

"Do I mind?'' repeats Mike Vernon. "Hell, no. I won't be losing any sleep if he passes me. Not one wink. Good for him, I say.

"Records are made to be broken. That's the beauty of sport. The game's different, new guys step up.

"That's what's exciting."

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SHUTTING THE DOOR

Flames are downright deadly with the lead after 40 minutes

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

These guys are closers. They can bring the heat, mow down the heart of any batting lineup in order in the bottom of ninth innings.

How good?

Think 30-0-1 after two periods good.

Think Mariano Rivera good.

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FLAMES EXTRA - THE NEW GUYS

Tkachuk just latest in long line of stellar Flames rookies

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Surrounded by cameras and inquisitors armed with voice recorders, interlopers brandishing microphones, Matthew Tkachuk hung in as resolutely as he does in front of opposition nets.

Another goal, a helper and raised his usual rumpus as his Flames had just trimmed the Dallas Stars 3-1. Shook off a wicked shot to the back of the neck in the bargain.

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THAT'S SICK!

Elliott turns in solid performance in win despite still battling flu

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Stopping for a post-game TV chat just outside the double doors leading into the inner sanctum, Brian Elliott looked roughly the same shade of green as the St. Patty's Day tie worn by Sportsnet game host Roger Millions.

"Wasn't easy,'' conceded the still-ailing netminder softly, after making it into the dressing room and stripping off his pads. "But the guys made it a lot easier on me. When you get up three goals it's pretty nice as a goaltender to sit back there knowing you have a little bit of a cushion.

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IG-STATIC!

Jarome happy for new lease on life after joining Darryl and the Kings

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

Back in black (and silver).

"I'd heard rumors, possibilities, different things you read or hear, fits that might work,'' Jarome Iginla is saying, on the phone from L.A.

 "But nothing concrete, by any means.

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STAYING THE COURSE

Despite early season struggles, Gulutzan never waivered and that approach paid off

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

The realization, reckons Brad Treliving, reminds him of the multiple Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe as John Nash, Nobel Laureate in Economics.

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GIORDANO DRIVING THE FLAMES' SUCCESS

The Flames captain has been instrumental in the team's ability to turn things around and climb up the standings

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Competitive example. Emotional fulcrum. Professional conscience.

Mark Giordano, back to his very best. As good at it gets.

Captain Complete, at your service.

"You know when I knew I'd made the right choice about taking this job?'' confesses Calgary Flames' coach Glen Gulutzan, in his office on an off-day down at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"After my first conversation with Mark Giordano."

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HISTORY LESSON FOR PLAYERS

Fantastic shootout win equals 40-year-old mark

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

The last and only previous time this franchise put together such a run it was located in another city. Heck, in another country.

Laverne and Shirley had the No. 1 Neilsen TV ratings slot, the Bee Gees were burning up the Billboard charts with Stayin' Alive. An average house price was $54,000, Roger Staubach led the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl and Gordie Howe, Mr. Hockey, was still lacin' 'em up with the WHA's New England Whalers in his second-last season

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CENTRES OF ATTENTION

Flames face formidable task in containing Crosby and Malkin

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / calgaryflames.com

They are, in their way, of their era, Magic and Kareem, Mess and Gretz, Montana and Rice, the Iron Horse and the Bambino.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Pain and panic.

Death and dismemberment.

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