Thursday, December 28, 2006

Calgary Flames Update December 13, 2006

Last night against Minnesota, the Flames set a team record for the longest home winning streak at 10 games. The longest overall winning streak is 10 games (Oct 14-Nov 3, 1978) and longest unbeaten streak is 13 games (Nov 10-Dec 8, 1988).

While grateful for the record, D Andrew Ference doesn't think it has any bearing on the team at all. "It’s great to be good at home. The building doesn’t have that much affect on what kind of team you are. You establish a certain type of play and attitude of your team. You take it on the road. It’s not like we have that much advantage because we’re playing at home."

RW Jarome Iginla appreciates the fans might play a small role, but his assessment of the team's success so far is as follows: "I think we’re coming. You look around the room and we’re finding ways to score goals. Our specialty teams are getting better on both sides. We’re disciplined. (Kiprusoff) is great but were finding ways to be more consistent in front of him.
Especially on this home stretch, we’re finding ways to be more offensive without giving up goals. Every line is finding ways to create chances."

D Dion Phaneuf gives a lot of credit to the top line. "It’s definitely a top line in the league (Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Daymond Langkow). They’re very skilled guys. They dominated and wore down the other team’s defense, took advantage of their opportunities, and buried them."

Coach Jim Playfair's assessment: "One of the things that we've been trying to do lately is get a lot more pucks to the net and get traffic in front of the net. I think that's an important part of our mindset and I think it's allowing us to get into positions on the ice where we're getting more chances to score." Regarding the home winning streak: "I think it’s great for the community. It’s neat for the organization. I think it talks to what we want to establish at the Saddledome – being a hard team to play."

Meanwhile, nobody in their right mind would want to be an engineer at the Calgary Pengrowth Saddledome right now. After last night's contest, the scoreclock was lowered to begin an intensive and laborous dismantling. However, it will have to be raised tonight and Friday night for the final two junior Hitmen games until after Christmas. The new Daktronics clock is to be unveiled on December 26. One look at the amass of purple wiring throughout the bowels of the Saddledome stand testament to how difficult a transition this will be, particularly with all the stoppages for events. Post Friday's Hitmen game, the crew can finally go to town and work around the clock to get the new toy ready.

Flames President Ken King: "After the game tonight (December 12), 35,000 pounds of largely obsolete technology will be lowered from our ceiling – the beginning of a very significant installation process that we’re going to do of the latest and highest technology equipment – the Enmax Energy Board being raised and unveiled at our December 26 meeting. We made a commitment to the fans in Calgary to enhance the game experience, to bring a winning culture, to provide the best form of entertainment you can find in Alberta, in Canada, and perhaps even North America. That’s not possible without support and partnership. It is literally an North American technology phenomena. It’s going to last us a good long while."

The new clock is transportable should the team cement a new arena. It needs five cameras to operate because of the additional video capacity, and King says the technical package is worth somewhere north of 3 ½ million dollars.


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