CALGARY — The Calgary Flames are eager to make up for one of the biggest collapses in franchise history.
They’ll get their chance tonight (TSN, 7:30 p.m.), when they face Chicago for the first time since building a 5-0 lead, then watching the Blackhawks storm back to win 6-5 in overtime.
Calgary forward Curtis Glencross said redemption is squarely on his teammates’ minds.
“We just have to get on them early and try to not let them back in like last time,” said Glencross, who returned Tuesday night after missing the previous three games due to a suspension for a hit on Chris Drury of the New York Rangers.
“I’m sure that big comeback they had on us is in the back of our minds from a while ago.”
In their Oct. 12 showdown in Chicago, the Flames (12-5-2) scored five straight goals less than 12 minutes into the game, only to see the Hawks (12-5-2) storm back to win on an OT goal by defenceman Brent Seabrook.
“Obviously, it’s going to be probably in our minds and we want a little payback,” said Flames forward Fredrik Sjostrom, who had an assist in the game.
“We gave that game up more than they came back. They’re a heck of a team, but we kind of let ourselves down a little bit the last time we played them. We’ve got to make sure we have a strong effort.”
Calgary coach Brent Sutter said he’s not overly concerned about the Oct. 12 result.
“All I know is that we had an opportunity to win a game there and we didn’t win,” Sutter said. “We’re a different team now than we were a month ago in some aspects, in positive ways. They’re probably somewhat of a different team, too. I don’t get too caught up with what’s gone on in the past. Just a week ago everyone was saying we couldn’t win in Montreal. We went there and won a game. We haven’t won in Toronto in so long and we went there and won a game.”
Despite saying that the Flames “lacked emotion” in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Sutter added that his squad has the talent to rebound with a better effort against the Blackhawks.
“I know when we’re playing up to our capabilities and doing the things we can do and do well, we’re a very good hockey team,” he said.
The Flames held an optional practice on Thursday morning in which just 12 players took to the ice while others did some off-ice training.
After practice, Sutter answered questions about whether a shouting match took place between him and defenceman Dion Phaneuf following the loss to Colorado. “Things do get intense,” Sutter said, though he wouldn’t confirm reports of the skirmish.
“What happens behind closed doors inside the dressing room is between players and coaches and that’s no one else’s business.
“That’s the way it is. There’s always intensity and emotions in games, that’s what hockey is and that’s what it’s about. All it is is people showing their passion and their caring side. There’s not much more to say than that.”
Phaneuf also responded to the allegations.
“Well, to be honest with you guys, what happens in our dressing room, behind closed doors, is our business,” said Phaneuf, who finished with a minus-two rating against Colorado.
“That’s all I’m going to say about that. Behind our closed doors, in our dressing room, is our business and that’s the bottom line.”
Phaneuf said he’s more concerned that the Flames have to put Tuesday’s setback behind them and concentrate on the busy schedule ahead of them.
“Now we have to move forward because the way the schedule is in this league, you’re playing every second day and the points keep getting bigger and bigger,” he said. “It’s a tough loss for our team, one that we’re not happy about but now we’ve got to move forward and focus on Chicago.”