Circle proves tough task

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

 The Flames have been stinking it up in the circle.

 Following up a sub-par 46% effort in Game 1, Calgary's centremen had an even tougher time in Game 2.

  Stephane Yelle, Craig Conroy, Marcus Nilson and Chuck Kobasew won just 33% of their draws as the Flames fell 4-1 in Tampa.

 They know that stat needs to improve drastically on home ice, where they'll have the advantage of being the last man to put their stick on the ice prior to the drop of the puck.

 "It's a little bit easier," Nilson said of the rarely discussed advantage. "You get in there last and get a good swing at it."

 Conroy led the team in Game 1 with a 51% success rate but fell dramatically in Game 2, winning just seven of 26 faceoffs (26%).

 Nilson was 4-for-15 (26%) while Kobasew was one of eight (12%).

 Nilson said his lack of experience in the circle has made it tough on him.

 "This is the first time, these last few months that I've played centre," the Swede said. "I need a lot of improvement.

 "You're playing against guys who have been taking faceoffs their whole lives."

 GM-head coach Darryl Sutter will likely try to avoid sending Nilson up against Vincent Lecavalier. The Tampa sniper has won 10 of 12 matchups thus far in the series.

 Nilson said he'll spend some time with the club's other centremen to figure out a better plan of attack.

 "Conroy and Yelle, we talk about it a little bit. All you can do is do your best."


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