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Flames Today: 29.10.10

Tough skate after tough loss to the Avalanche

Friday, 29.10.2010 / 5:08 PM / Flames Today
- CalgaryFlames.com
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Flames Today: 29.10.10
JOKINEN'S FIRST
 
It was announced, at first, as Olli Jokinen's goal.

But upon review, it was actually Niklas Hagman who scored the Flames first goal against Colorado on Thursday.

In a very team-like gesture, Jokinen immediately went to officials to let them know that he had not touched Hagman's shot as it approached the Avs net.

Considering that Jokinen was in his 10th game of the season without a goal, the gesture was even greater.

"I saw that it hit something in front of the net but I wasn't sure," said Hagman, the day after.

The puck did hit an Avs defenceman on the way through. But good things come to those who are good. In the second period Jokinen did register his first goal of the season, giving the Flames a 4-3 lead.

"It was nice to see that he got one later in the game," said Hagman.

ONE TOUGH PRACTICE

The Flames had a very up-tempo, competitive practice on Friday following the
6-5 loss to the Avs.

There were plenty of battle drills and the obligatory skating of the lines to end the session.

The message?

"All we did in practice was played our third period today," said coach Brent Sutter. "We haven't played well in our last period at home in the last two games and we want to be a team that is a 60 or 65 minute hockey team. How we do these things comes from having good habits and being a real strong, heavy work ethic type team.

"Today was a good day where we were able to do a video session where we went through some things last night that we could be better and some things that we were good at and we wanted to get out and have a really good practice today. It was short and crisp and there was battles but it's the way it works. It's not that big of a deal."


"We have had good first and second periods. In the third period we have been letting down. I think it was a message to keep that battle level up," said Jarome Iginla.

"I think the message is that we have to work for an entire 60 minutes," said Brendan Morrison.  "We played a pretty good game up until the end of the second period and the same thing happened with Edmonton we gave up a late goal and last night we gave up two late goals and it came back to bite us in the third period.

"It's just a work mentality and if we can do that for a whole practice then we can carry that over for a whole game."


MORRISON FACING OLD TEAM

Brendan Morrison played 74 games as a member of the Washington Capitals in the 2009-10 season. He recorded 12 goals and 30 assists and finished with an impressive plus-minus 23.

"They are the most explosive team in my opinion," said Morrison of his old Washington team. "They're probably not playing as well as they'd like to right now but they are dangerous and they have a high-powered offense and a really good power play.  I don't know if they are clicking on all cylinders right now but we don't want to get them clicking tomorrow night. We have to find a way to minimize their chances and make them play a hard game.

"They're going to get chances. They are a good enough team where they're going to generate chances. We have to minimize the quality of the chances. We can't give up odd-man rushes. With these guys, a couple of their lines live off the rush."

Morrison is all too familiar with the hockey icon Alexander Ovechkin. He commented that you have to be focused at all times while Ovechkin is on the ice. You can't let your guard down for even  a couple seconds or he'll take advantage of it.

So is there a key to slowing Ovechkin down?

"If you know, let me know!," chuckled Morrison. "With him like any great player, you just have to try to take away his time and space. He's so good where he can make something out of nothing a lot of times. You have to expect the unexpected with him."


GIORDANO SIGNS 5-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION

The Flames announced Friday that Mark Giordano has been signed to a contract extension through the 2015-16 season. The contract effectively begins next season and takes Giordano, who would have been a sought-after unrestricted free agent, off the market.

"To sign a player like this before the July 1 deadline for free agency was a top priority. And it has been identified as a top priority some time ago," said Flames assistant general manager Jay Feaster. "It's a good day for the organization."

Giordano said the decision for forego free-agency and sign with the team that gave him his NHL opportunity was not difficult.

"In the back of my mind I always felt there would be a deal in Calgary," said Giordano. "My first priority was to sign here. I didn't want to wait for next year. It's obviously easy for me. It was something that they felt, and I felt, was a good fit. I wanted to be part of this team and this city for a long time."

"It's a great group. Everyone cares, from the players on out. The fans are passionate. The city is great," said Giordano.