Home is where the heartache is

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:51 PM ET


 Don't take it personally but last night the Calgary Flames couldn't hop a plane out of town fast enough.

 Despite all the hype about the Thunderdome, Sea of Red and seventh man, Cal- gary's hockey heroes inexplicably prefer the cold-shoulder reception they get on the road.

 The Flames boast a 7-2 record in opposing teams' rinks during these playoffs, far more impressive than the paltry three wins they've posted in eight Saddledome appearances.

 That includes back-to-back losses to the San Jose Sharks after claiming the first two games of the series in California.

 "It's back to Square 1," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson about heading home tonight after being booed off the ice at Game 2's conclusion. "Obviously, we have to win a game at home.

 "I bet you a lot of people in San Jose didn't think we'd be coming back and having an opportunity to play (tonight).

 "So just show up and be able to support us. Our team really showed the heart of a lion coming into a tough place and winning two games and relatively convincingly (tonight)."

 "So we do have some momentum but the crowd can be a factor and hopefully they will be supporting us (tonight)."

 Wilson said home ice isn't a deciding factor as much as who hits the scoreboard first.

 "It's not so much that, it's who scores first wins," Wilson claimed.

 "I think (tonight) we have got to play our home game ... We have to hope they don't get any sniffs and we get a good start."

 Who knows what the Flames' problem is at home?

 Too excited? Too nervous?

 Too eager to please by putting on a show?

 Flames defenceman Mike Commodore suggests his team needs to play a gritty road game like it did in Vancouver a month ago, winning Game 7 in overtime.

 "We just have to regroup," Commodore said.

 "It's a similar thing to Vancouver ... We came up big then, too, and I think we can learn from that and come back and be better (tonight)."

 "It just came down to penalty killing and the powerplay and we had a lot of chances and they did, too.

 "As much as we wanted to be up 3-1 after today, now it's 2-2 and nobody said it was going to be easy. San Jose has a great team and it's going to be a battle."


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