No quit in team

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:40 PM ET


 Most of us have seen the cartoon.

 The one with the frog about to be swallowed by a bird.

 With its head already in the bird's mouth, the frog has its hands clasped firmly around the bird's throat. The message: Don't ever give up.

 That little amphibian might as well be wearing a Calgary Flames jersey.

 Every time an opposing team seemingly has the Flames on the ropes, the locals dust themselves off and come out swinging.

 "It's been a rollercoaster of emotion," Craig Conroy admits. "I think it all started in Game 7 in Vancouver when they scored with five seconds left.

 "We had to go sit in the locker-room and regroup. That's what this team is all about, overcoming things and trying to move on."

 Head coach Darryl Sutter isn't shy about complimenting his team's refusal to lie down for anyone.

 "This is the most mentally tough group I've ever been associated with," Sutter says. "They've learned how to handle (the pressure), not letting anything on the outside bother them.

 "We made a deal back on July 1. We were not going to let anything be a distraction to us. The biggest thing is we're an even-keel team. I can't pick out a high or a low during the entire season."

 A win against San Jose in tonight's Game 6 would certainly qualify as a high.

 Blueliner Andrew Ference applauds the team's veteran leadership for keeping everyone focused on the task at hand, no matter the circumstance.

 "Guys feed off each other and the coaching staff," Ference says. "I think there's a lot of credit to be given in a lot of different places.

 "We have some great veterans who've been there before. They might not be the most outspoken guys but the things they do say are taken to heart.

 "There's a lot of respect within this team."

 D-man Mike Commodore says it's up to each individual to be mentally prepared.

 But playing in front of goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff certainly puts a lot of players' minds at ease.

 "We never quit and nothing's fazed us," says Commodore. "We've lost a couple of tough games but we've come right back.

 "A big part of that is Miikka. He comes back (Monday) night and shuts the door just as he always has. It starts with him and goes out to everyone else on the team."


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