PHILADELPHIA - The devil is in the details.
In Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit, the Flames' failure to execute their gameplan led to the lopsided loss that kicked off their lengthy road trip.
But rather than dwelling on the negatives and letting that loss linger in their minds, the team is set on using that outing as way to get their game back in order.
"Things were going pretty well for us, we had won five of seven at home, but … we feel like we were a little loose defensively in a few of those wins at home," captain Mark Giordano acknowledged. "A game like that, we've got to tighten up. We've got to play for the 2-1, 3-2 games. That's our style. We have the guys in here to do it. Obviously we have a great team but we've got to tighten up. We can't be giving up goals and chances like we were the other night."
During an up-tempo 45-minute practice on Friday morning, head coach Glen Gulutzan ran through several drills focusing on parts of their game he felt needed to be cleaned up and get his squad in the right headspace for Saturday's matinee match-up against the Flyers (11 a.m., TV: Sportsnet One, Radio: Sportsnet960 The FAN).
"The message," he stated, "was pretty simple: there's areas of the game that we need to be better. We looked at some of the chances against; we looked at some of the chances for. But there was a message certainly … that we need to be better prepared for that game.
"We were just coming in to play it and there's a difference … you've got to come in on the road hungry to play and have a bit of … fear might not be the right word but it almost is. You've got to have a little swirl in your belly, that you've got to come in and play a real direct, simple game. That was our message. We didn't do that (on Wednesday). We just went out and kind of thought we'd play and win. There's a different mentality that needs to be had."
The Flames' put in some work on their specialty teams play on Friday, an area of their game they know they need to clean up in short order.
On Wednesday, five of Detroit's goals came with the man advantage. Another came while the Red Wings were short-handed.
"There's certain times off shots, rebounds and bobbled pucks where we've got to be more assertive and go and break up those plays," Giordano said of the team's penalty kill. "We'll clean that up. Our positioning has been good, we just haven't been executing on blocks and clearing pucks, making those little plays like we usually do. We'll have to clean that up.
"Just more aggressive - I feel like we have to take a more aggressive approach."