SUN Hockey Pool

Flames Av had enough of rivals from Denver

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Just a few nights ago, the two head coaches passed each other in the hallway.

Mike Keenan's Calgary Flames had just beaten Joel Quenneville's Colorado Avalanche for the first time in four tries this season.

But there were no long goodbyes -- they knew they'd be going head-to-head once again in a matter of days.

"It's funny, after the game I went by Joel Quenneville and he commented to me. He said, 'Jeez, we're going to play you guys again in another few days,' " Keenan said yesterday as the Flames prepared to face the Avalanche for a fifth time in two months.

"I said, 'Well, they're keeping us busy so we're going to be familiar with each other.' "

Going back to the final week of last season, tonight's battle at the Pepsi Center is the seventh meeting between these two teams in the past 27 regular-season tilts.

And while the schedule gurus may have their best intentions in the right place, Keenan couldn't help but chuckle about the situation.

"I think the schedule-makers are trying to get some rivalries built early in the season, but it's funny because now there's going to be a time lapse.

"After we go through all this divisional play, we won't see each other for a month or two months," said Keenan, whose Flames don't face the Avalanche again until Feb. 26.

"So I don't know if it makes sense."

Including a pair of losses back in April, the Flames are 1-4-2 against the Avs, and Daymond Langkow sees this final meeting before a lengthy hiatus as an opportunity for a little redemption.

"They've owned us this year, pretty much, other than last game," said Langkow. "We've got a lot to prove."

Before their last game -- a 4-1 Flames win at the Saddledome Tuesday -- Keenan said he sometimes looks at division games as a measuring stick.

"I think it's a good way to really ground your team and find out where you stand," he said. "How you measure up with the teams you play most often."


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