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Calgary Flames enter ‘make-or-break’ phase of marathon road trip

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WASHINGTON — For their prized trade acquisition, they ensured it was a happy homecoming.

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A team feast was planned for American Thanksgiving, and they were going to have a happy holiday.

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The Calgary Flames are now determined to create a happy ending by wrapping up their longest road trip of the season with back-to-back matinees.

The Flames have scored 5 of 8 points so far in this grueling six-game getaway. If you can increase that total to 8-9, it will be considered a very successful stay.

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“I think it’s been a good journey so far…” said Flames defenseman Mackenzie Wieger. “But I don’t think it’s a great trip by any means.”

yet.

But it could be.

“Obviously, if we win the next two games, it’s going to be a great trip,” Wiger nodded. “Washington and Carolina are two tough teams, both playoff teams. It’s not easy, but I think we have the group here to do it.”

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Historically, being in the postseason perch on Thanksgiving in the United States bodes well, and the Flames woke up Thursday at the 9-7-3 mark in the NHL’s Western Conference first wildcard slot.

They were especially grateful to backup netminder Dan Vlader as they hit the ice for their upbeat, uptempo Turkey Day practice in DC. Pittsburgh Penguins.

“Obviously we want to have a better game in front of the goalkeepers tomorrow,” Flames forward Blake Coleman said of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (noon MT, SportsNet/SportsNet 960). He spoke in anticipation of the Black Friday showdown with Fan). ). “But on the road sometimes you have to find a way to score points. So far we’ve done a little bit of that.”

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The Flames began their journey with a loss in Tampa, but rebounded for an emotional shootout win in Florida. This was a special occasion as Wieger and Jonathan Huberdeau faced their old team for the first time.

They scored two more points at Philadelphia and a single at Steel City.

Washington and Carolina, the site of Saturday’s showdown with the hurricanes, are the two remaining stops on this extended excursion, ending with 11 nights in a hotel bed and nearly 10,000 kilometers in the air. will be

There were many positive things along the way.

“I think to some extent we’ve settled on some lines that we can get used to,” said Coleman, who has skated with Michael Backlund and Huberdeau. Chances need to be limited, especially dangerous and special teams could improve but I think there were a lot of stepping stones. , make or break our road trips.”

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Indeed, 5 out of 8 possible points is a good start.

However, 5 out of a dozen is not enough.

“We are in the right place for a successful road trip, but the final two games will be key to making sure that happens,” emphasizes Flames defense call Dennis Gilbert. Did.

“If you play hard and play the right way, you’ll get what you want,” added acting captain Chris Taneff. “But what we need to have is that mentality. We need to play like the second and third round[Pittsburgh].

It looks like it’s on the rise, but Weegar believes it’s capable of more.

“I think we’re all waiting for something great to happen,” he said after Thursday’s practice at Washington’s Capital One Arena. I think we need to go one step further and really push instead of being satisfied with being good.

“We’re scoring points. It’s a big thing. But we all know the expectations are a little bit higher here.”

wgilbertson@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Wes Gilbertson

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Calgary Flames enter ‘make-or-break’ phase of marathon road trip

Source link Calgary Flames enter ‘make-or-break’ phase of marathon road trip

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