Calgary Flames aim to prove naysayers wrong

T.J. Brodie and Mikael Backlund prepare for the 2013-14 Calgary Flames season. (DARREN...

T.J. Brodie and Mikael Backlund prepare for the 2013-14 Calgary Flames season. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/QMI Agency)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:16 AM ET

CALGARY - They know what the outsiders are saying.

Starting with Thursday’s clash in the U.S. Capitol, the Calgary Flames can — finally — let their play do the talking.

Considered one of the …ahem … favourites to finish dead-last in the NHL standings, the Flames will start their quest to silence the naysayers against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center in D.C. (5 p.m., TSN, Sportsnet Fan 960).

“We know what everyone is saying about us, and we don’t mind it,” insisted Flames defenceman Shane O’Brien. “No disrespect to the so-called experts, but there’s a reason why you play the games every year. It’s not just the best team on paper wins.

“We realize what people think of us and where they think we’re going to finish, and we’re going to see if we can surprise everyone and win a lot more games than people think we’re going to win.”

Thursday’s contest about a mile from the White House is the first test for the Flames in what is the first full year o


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