SUN Hockey Pool

Flames must make grit a part of their gameplan

Flames defenceman Shane O'Brien takes Kings forward Justin Williams into the boards Saturday night...

Flames defenceman Shane O'Brien takes Kings forward Justin Williams into the boards Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Victor Decolongon/Getty Images-AFP.

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:41 PM ET

CALGARY -- An emphatic shove after the whistle at a player in the face of a teammate.

A good old-fashioned facewash.

A retaliatory cross-check after a dirty hit or maybe even a wrestling match on ice.

As much as hockey can be a beautiful game with speed and skill, some emotion, grit and even nastiness — sometimes straddling the line or even crossing it — are just as important.

It’s especially the case for the Calgary Flames.

The Flames have plenty of winning ingredients lacking from their lineup, even with a full and healthy roster but definitely with the calibre of players who are currently on the injured list, so one element which can’t be in short supply is a we’re-not-gonna-take-it attitude.

It had been lacking of late, but they showed the kind of true grit The Duke himself would admire during Saturday’s clash with the Los Angeles Kings, and it was a factor in their 2-1 victory over the Stanley Cup contenders.


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