SUN Hockey Pool

Flames savour spare time

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:36 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Robyn Regehr was donning a wig -- mullet -- and frying pan-sized sunglasses.

A disguise to ward off any fans roaming Michigan Avenue?

"No, it's my bowling outfit," laughed the Calgary Flames defenceman.

A well-deserved day off meant fun and games for the squad that lost Thursday night against the Blackhawks.

Sure, the Flames, who don't play again until tomorrow, have dropped two in a row.

But yesterday's scheduled practice was cancelled for a squad that played three games in four days, four in six and five in eight.

Which meant, as a team, a bowling excursion before dispersing into the Windy City.

That they were going bowling on Rhett Warrener's 30th birthday -- he is the most avid bowler on the team -- wasn't lost on anyone.

Nor was the fact he didn't bring his personal ball on the trip.

"Yeah, I won't get any strikes," he said.

Jarome Iginla wasn't able to join the fun, having spent a chunk of his day filming a commercial for Nike.

Too bad, he missed out a golden chance to laugh at his teammates, most of whom admit throwing strikes and spares isn't their forte.

Teammates such as Jordan Leopold.

"Oh gawd, I'm horrible," he said of his bowling skills. "I average something like 94 or 95. It's pretty ugly."

Roman Hamrlik wasn't expecting anything better of himself. "I guess I'm a bowler today," he said before heading off.

A two-day break couldn't come at a better time, seeing as the Flames are in a mini-swoon, Warrener said.

"I think we've been a little tight," he said. "It'll be good to get out and have some fun. We haven't played well but sometimes the best thing to do is relax and get back to it later."

Leopold agreed but said the free time was going to be used up by the usual road-trip time killers such as dinners and shopping.

"Having played that many games lately is not an excuse for not getting wins but today is a good day to look back, reflect and maybe get your mind off the game but stay competitive," he said. "It's also time to heal and recover and get ready for Sunday. It's still business."


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