Flames players said Tuesday they’re counting on fans to generate a lot of energy and provide an emotional lift as the team returns home after losing the first two games of its Western Conference semifinal playoff games to the Ducks at Anaheim.
“The two games here is going to be huge for us. We know how excited these fans are and the city is for us,” left wing Brandon Bollig said after the Flames completed their morning skate in preparation for Game 3 Tuesday night. “We know how excited we are for the challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
Bollig said the Flames hope fans’ enthusiasm can launch them to a strong start Tuesday night. “It means a lot. That’s why home ice is so big for teams, especially playing in a city like Calgary, and a rink like this,” he said. “We know how advantageous our fans can be for us and we know how much excitement they bring to us. We know how jacked-up they get us. And that’s great for our momentum and emotion and we can only hope to keep using it to its fullest potential.”
Sounds good, but the Ducks did a good job in the first round of feeding off the energy of the hostile energy in Winnipeg. Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler were jeered repeatedly but both players said they used those emotions to their advantage.
Can the Ducks do that again, in Calgary? “I think so,” left wing Matt Beleskey said. “As an away team it’s always fun when you play in that hostile environment. It kind of feels like everyone’s against you. It works both ways. I’m sure they build off it, but we do as well.”