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After Theoren Fleury's fairy-tale finish to Thursday's game, where can the Flames possibly go?
The answer is east, to the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Sask., where the Flames take on the Islanders in a return engagement Saturday at 7:00 pm (The Fan 960).
While the Flames will be hard pressed to recreate the magic of Thursday's comeback performance where Fleury, in vintage form, won the game in the shootout, Saturday's contest should offer two teams playing with the intensity wratcheted up to mid-season levels already, and Dion Phaneuf couldn't be more pleased with the level of play.
"That's the way you want it, you want to use these games to get ready for the real thing," said Phaneuf, who rocked Kyle Okposo in the second period with a massive hit.
Following the game Phaneuf was relieved to hear his opponent was doing well, but he made it clear the Islanders, and all other teams, that they better pay close attention when he's on the ice.
"You don't like to see guys get hurt, but if it's there, I'm going to step up," said Phaneuf.
For Fleury, as good as Thursday's game felt, he now has to move on and focus on what it will take to continue suiting up in the Flaming C.
"I thought I played OK (Thursday). I thought our line played good. We didn't get into trouble. You have to play within the system and when you get a chance to you go on the offence," said Fleury.
With three games in three days management will have an opporutnity to give all the players remaining in camp a solid look.
With the Abbotsford Heat, the Flames top affiliate in the AHL, opening training camp Saturday as well, lining up against the Islanders may be the last chance for some Flames hopefuls to make an impression moving forward.
Between the player's thirst to remain with the big club, and the established animosity from Thursday's contest, hockey fans in Saskatoon should expect a fired-up Flames team and an Islanders crew eager to settle the score.