Blueline missing Leo's roar

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:40 PM ET

 Darryl Sutter wants more from No. 4.

 In fact, the Calgary Flames GM-head coach believes an improved Jordan Leopold is key to claiming the 2004 Stanley Cup.

  "We need Jordan Leopold to play better for us to have a chance to win this series," said Sutter during yesterday's press conference at the Saddledome.

 "With the injuries to (defencemen Denis) Gauthier and (Toni) Lydman, we can't afford to have anybody not maxing out their game.

 "I don't think he's played over 20 minutes in either game and we certainly need more than that."

 Leopold logged just shy of 21 minutes of icetime during Game 2's 4-1 loss to the host Tampa Bay Lightning.

 Defence partner Robyn Regehr saw nearly two minutes more ice, while playoff veteran Rhett Warrener broke the 24-minute mark.

 Meanwhile, Andrew Ference boasted a team-high 25-plus minutes for the second straight game in what's become an expanded role for him back on the blueline.

 "I think Andrew's given us all he can," said Sutter. "He's playing a lot of minutes and give him credit. He's a small man with a big heart."

 However, it's not enough to carry the entire blueline corps.

 "Our whole back end has to get better -- that's certainly the base of our whole play," said Flames assistant coach Jim Playfair.

 "And Jordan certainly has played much better before in the playoffs. He has to get back to playing his game."

 The sooner he does, the better the powerplay is likely to be.

 Leopold is the point-man for a Flames man-advantage unit that has struggled at critical times in the first two games of the series.

 Its efficiency is a sub-standard 11.5% throughout the entire playoffs. By comparison, the Lightning powerplay is running hot at 20.0%.

 Leopold was unavailable to the media yesterday but has likely already heard about being called out.

 "Everybody's heard it down the line," said Ference.

 "I've heard it. Iggy's heard it. Gelly's heard it. And when guys have heard it, they've responded. And that's the kind of attitude that has made our team successful."


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