Home away from home

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:04 PM ET


 Robyn Regehr would make for a good soldier to send across enemy lines.

 Asked if he and the rest of the Calgary Flames threw a changeup to their preparation plans by staying in a hotel Tuesday night, Regehr reacted as if it'd take water torture for him to divulge the information.

 "I don't know," he stated with pursed lips.

 Yup, all the assistant captain wanted to just give was his name, rank and serial number.

 "It's all speculation, I guess," Regehr added.

 Eventually the beans were spilled.

 "We can't keep anything from you guys," Craig Conroy said with smile.

 In an effort to provide the illusion last night's tilt was part of a road trip, the Flames decided as a group to go for a team meal and then be sequestered in a city hotel.

 They arrived en masse for the morning skate and then returned to the digs for afternoon naps and team lunch, just like a road game.

 They didn't want to say where.

 "It's the Cecil Hotel," GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said. "There's a bathroom on every floor."

 It's a plan that looks like it panned out.

 After all, by staying in a hotel instead of at home, players avoided a litany of distractions -- be it friends, family and errands.

 Having won only three of eight home-ice contests prior to last night's victory against San Jose, the Flames had to try something.

 After all, they've won eight of 10 road tilts in this post-season run, including all three in Silicon Valley.

 "You really can just focus and concentrate on hockey," Conroy said prior to the game. "That's the biggest thing. It's not a bad idea to do now. I wouldn't want to do it for all 82 games, though."

 It's certainly not a new idea. Scotty Bowman's successful Montreal Canadiens always went to a hideaway during the playoffs.

 It's a switch for the Flames.

 "They have had the option all playoffs," Sutter said. "Some guys stay in a hotel if they want. Some guys have family in here.

 "I know from doing it myself, some guys want to, need to, be alone."

 The plan was hatched prior to Monday's Game 5 win in San Jose, with the details finished up upon returning home.

 "We did things together as a team," captain Jarome Iginla said. "It's something that, for whatever reason, we've had success with those preparations the night before a game and just felt comfortable with that."

 Defenceman Andrew Ference just shrugged off the switch.

 "There's a couple of differences but it's all pretty normal to us," he said. "Playoffs are such a whirlwind, it's hard to keep track whether you're at home or on the road, anyway. It's not a whole big difference there."


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