Yelle in familiar territory

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:10 PM ET


 Most of the Calgary Flames couldn't help but be in awe of the Detroit Red Wings.

 But not Stephane Yelle.

 He hasn't grown tired of meeting the Motor City legends but facing them in a playoff series has become old hat.

 "Nothing's different this year. What can I say? They're always hanging around," he said.

 Seemingly always meeting Yelle, too.

 This Western Conference semifinal against the Flames marks the sixth time the Wings have come across Yelle.

 "Sixth time, I didn't know that," said Calgary winger Chris Clark. "That's amazing. I'd like to have played six playoff series, let alone six against the same team. Maybe we should be asking him what went right when they won and what went wrong when they lost."

 Certainly worth a try but Yelle's not the type to come forward with information if it appears he's trying to be a know-it-all.

 "I haven't had to bring it up with the way the coaching staff prepared us for the playoffs," said the veteran centre, who'd collected a goal and four assists in 23 career playoff games against Detroit.

 "They've been preparing us all year for this time of hockey and this type of team.

 "There's some parts of the game I'll talk to guys about, if I see stuff or feel I need to bring it up, but it hasn't come yet this year.

 "If the time comes, I will."

 Not that he doesn't know plenty about how to beat the Wings' array of top-end talent such as Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan and Nicklas Lidstrom.

 After all, of his previous five meetings, Yelle and the Colorado Avalanche came out on top three times.

 In their last series in 2002, Detroit blitzed the Avs in Game 7.

 Still, Yelle said he's not looking for any revenge.

 "I'm a competitive guy and want to win but what happened in Colorado is in the past. I've moved on and the Flames are what I'm focussing on," he said.

 The Wings believe Yelle is a valuable player for the Flames, on the ice and off.

 "He's won a Stanley Cup (actually two Cups) and those guys obviously help," Kris Draper said.

 "They talk about the youth and inexperience of Calgary but they have guys that have been through the trenches of playoff hockey and come out on top."


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