French Flames popular

TODD SAELHOF -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET


 Shean Donovan is brushing up on his French these days.

 With the heightened media attention here in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, the language tutorial comes at no cost to the affable Calgary Flames right-winger.

 In fact, it's par for the course in these playoffs since more than just the local CBC French station have taken an interest in the team in recent weeks.

 On hand are reporters from RDS (French TSN), Le Journal de Montreal and a handful of other French-speaking media outlets all hoping to get a word or two from Flames players capable of speaking the language.

 "During Game 1, I was asked to do an interview after the second period, so I go out there thinking it's Hockey Night In Canada," Donovan said. "It was RDS. So I had to switch my brain a little bit because you do have to start thinking about talking French. It was a little nerve-racking but it was fun.

 "You're a little nervous after periods anyway -- trying to stay focused on the game -- so you're not really thinking about what you're going to say.

 "That was a little bit different. But, thank God, it came to me."

 Unlike teammates Stephane Yelle and Martin Gelinas and Chris Simon, Donovan doesn't communicate in French on an everyday basis.

 "I'm so happy I can talk two languages," said Simon. "With a little more interviews in the playoffs, I'm just trying to help out wherever we can with interviews in French."

 Added Donovan: "Because the interviewers can't go to (Jarome) Iginla and interview him in French, they get a little excited when they come around and realize a guy like me or Simon can speak French."


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