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World Cup returnee Frolik looking for fast start

Michael Frolik is hoping his World Cup experience will help get him off to a quick start this season

by Aaron Vickers @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

CALGARY, AB -- Michael Frolik is hoping his World Cup of Hockey 2016 experience can give him the jump on his NHL season.
 
He's hoping that his jump can help his Calgary Flames get off to a faster start, too.
 
"I think it definitely helps right now," said Frolik, participating in his first on-ice session with the Flames this season after representing the Czech Republic at the World Cup.

"Who knows how the start is going to be, but hopefully it's going to help. As a group, we're going to look for a big start. For me personally, it can help. I've played six games already and have been on the ice for a couple weeks. First day today felt better than it used to be. I felt good there.
 
"Hopefully it gets better and better."
 
Frolik is returning from a disappointing -- but satisfying -- stint with the Czech Republic at the World Cup. The 28-year-old had one assist in three games before seeing the Czechs bounced from the World Cup after the round robin.
 
It was memorable nonetheless.
 
"To play for the Czechs, have that logo on the jersey, is always a big honour for me," Frolik said. "It was a great experience. I know we didn't do very good, but at least I had the chance to be there and playing for the team.
 
"I think the atmosphere and the games … you play against the best players in the world. The game against Canada shows they were really good. That stands out … the atmosphere and everything.
 
"You jump right away to the playoff kind of mood. It's quick. You lose one game, and you have to win the other two to advance. It's a quick tournament, but I think the pace was very good. It was fast.
 
"Hopefully it prepared me for the season right now and I can have a better start here."
 
He and the Flames.
 
Calgary kicked off the 2014-15 campaign by slumping to a 2-7-1 start. Frolik himself went those first 10 games without scoring, though he did have five helpers along the way.
 
A World Cup warm-up should change that in this go-around, figured Frolik.
 
He's already noticed a difference.
 
"It definitely feels more natural right now than stepping into the first day of training camp," said Frolik, who finished up his first season in Calgary with 15 goals and 32 points in an injury-riddled 64-game season. "I've been on the ice for a couple weeks and playing some games. The comfort level is a little better than it used to be. I think it was good.
 
"Hopefully it gets better."
 
The first step is to get familiar.
 
Frolik is returning to Calgary to a revamped coaching staff that features Glen Gulutzan at the helm, with Paul Jerrard, Dave Cameron, and the returning Marty Gelinas. 
 
Gone are Bob Hartley, Frolik's first Flames coach, and assistant Jacques Cloutier.
 
Getting used to new faces is the first objective.
 
Getting used to the new system is the second.
 
"It feels good," Frolik said. "[Gulutzan] seems like a good guy. I've been in a few meetings. The system looks pretty good. I like it. I've got a few meetings today so we'll see. I like it. I like the coaching staff. The practice was great today."
 
Getting off to the quick start is the third.
 
And, for Frolik, the most important. 
 
"We need some changes this year…a new coaching staff," Frolik started. "We'll see how it's going to click. Hopefully it's going to click quick. I think we're going to learn from last year from the start. We had a bad start and it kind of cost us the season.
 
"We want to have a good start and we want to put a couple wins together right away so you can feel more comfortable. We're just focused on that.
 
"We have new faces so we want to make sure we get the system right and make sure we're on the same page."

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