Calgary Flames Coach Bob Hartley, who has done a fine job getting to the second round of the playoffs guiding a team that wasn’t expected to qualify for postseason play, also has a talent for putting words together in a descriptive and amusing fashion.
The Ducks have an edge in leading the Western Conference semifinal playoff series, 3-1, with Game 5 scheduled for tonight at Honda Center, where the Flames haven’t won a game since 2006. But Hartley wasn’t conceding anything after his team’s morning skate.
“Elvis is dead, the Beatles have split and life goes on,” he said. “If we didn't believe that we could win, we would have stayed home.
“That's one thing. I won't coach a game in this league that I believe our team or our organization can't win. I will stay home.”
The team’s approach, he said, isn’t complicated.
“We can't win three games tonight. We just used a simple word in our team meeting. It is just win,” he said. “We can only go back to Calgary and force a Game 6 by winning tonight, so that's all that is on our plate.”
Game 6, if necessary, would be played Tuesday at the Saddledome. But first, there’s that long losing streak in Anaheim to be broken.
“I think that would be the best gift that we can give all the hockey moms in Calgary,” Hartley said. “We put ourselves in a good situation. It’s up to us to respond to it. We’re facing a great hockey club. We know what’s at stake. At the same time, our mind-set is about winning tonight’s game. That’s one thing our team, our players, have been able to do all year, focus on the moment, and the moment is just Game 5 for tonight.”