Plenty of prep time

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:41 PM ET


 Whether or not the Calgary Flames wanted it, they have time on their side.

 Five days off, to be exact.

 Between Martin Gelinas' overtime goal Monday night and the start of the Western Conference final Sunday, the Flames will have plenty of time to prepare for the San Jose Sharks.

 Plenty of time to rest and relax during the playoff grind.

 And plenty of time to help heal the bumps and bruises, concussions and sprained knees plaguing them in the dressing room.

 "It's really important to our team," said Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter of the rest.

 "Every day we have off, it helps somebody. We had guys that played in the playoffs that wouldn't have played in the regular season, so this helps those guys, too."

 Still, there's the theory a game every other night is routinely positive for a club during the playoffs -- especially for a team running as hot as the Flames.

 "Soon as we can get it going, it'd be happier by me," said Flames assistant captain Craig Conroy. "We heard (Tuesday), we might be going (today). That might have been the best thing for us.

 "But if the guys can get a little healthier, that's great, too."

 Chris Simon, out with a suspected knee injury, gets a few additional days to regain his health. Expect him to be ready for Game 1.

 And Toni Lydman can only benefit from the extra days off, although a suspected concussion is likely to keep him out of the playoffs.

 "Simon and (Stephane) Yelle and (Dave) Lowry -- just to let those guys recoup and get ready to go again is probably actually a good thing for our team," said Conroy.

 "But you'd like to get it going a little bit quicker. Especially for the NHL when the second round is over, it seems like they'd want to keep it going -- keep the momentum going."

 The Flames are good at adapting, though.

 "I think all season we've dealt with different situations -- time off early in the year and having a lot of games at the end of the year," said Flames defenceman Steve Montador. "So, I think we're capable of dealing with both (a short turnaround or a long rest) and that's what you're going to have to do in the playoffs. You don't have a say in the schedule. You just have a say in the games."


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