SUN Hockey Pool

Fiery Keenan cuts celebrations short

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:36 AM ET

The words -- yelled out for all to hear -- certainly snapped everybody in the Saddledome to attention.

And we mean everybody.

"You won one game, big (expletive) deal! Do it right!" screamed coach Mike Keenan in the middle of the Calgary Flames practice yesterday.

The chastising was because a drill wasn't being done properly. The message was deeper.

The Sidney Crosby invasion may dominate the headlines when the Flames meet the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at the Saddledome, but for the hosts, the game isn't about that circus.

It's about building on their victory Tuesday night over the St. Louis Blues, their first in five contests.

"It's not about winning one, it's about stringing some together," said centre Craig Conroy.

"I think that was the major point, 'Who cares you won one, it's not breaking any records.' You're not gonna win two if you have a practice as bad as we had.

"He definitely let it be known it's unacceptable and be ready for (today). They're in a similar situation as us so it's gonna be a tough game."

So far this season, the Flames (11-13-4) have cobbled together two straight wins on only three occasions.

Not once have they won three straight.

Keenan said complacency was an issue with his team earlier this season, but he believed the bigger concern in yesterday's practice was too much relief from having snapped a four-game losing skid with Tuesday night's 3-1 win over the visiting Blues.

"Because it's so hard-fought for today, they want to take a bit of a relief, and that just doesn't exist in the NHL," he explained.

"Enjoy what you accomplish, celebrate that, but the celebration here is very short lived."

Keenan was animated making his point, but Conroy -- coached by Keenan in St. Louis several years ago -- has witnessed worse.

"I've seen him throw his stick in the stands and leave. Done," Conroy said. "It was in Toronto. 'You guys are so bad, run your own practice.' He was not happy that day."

Defenceman Robyn Regehr said he has no problem with Keenan's message, nor the manner in which it was delivered.

"You don't want to have any kind of emotional letdown or be complacent whatsoever. He got his point across," Regehr said. "We just haven't won enough. I would say it's more about consistency.

"We haven't been able to pull everything together."


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