Extra attacker

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:03 PM ET


 Chris Clark was sporting a bright orange T-shirt and matching luminous runners yesterday as he strolled into the Saddledome.

 Loud, no doubt, but not nearly as mind-bending as tomorrow night's crowd lifting the lid at the same locale.

 "Joe Louis didn't seem as loud. I don't know, maybe they've been in (the playoffs) too many times and their fans are getting complacent with it until the finals," Clark shrugged as he looked ahead to Game 3.

 "It was definitely louder in Vancouver and Calgary is definitely louder than both places."

 Playoff-hungry, leather-lunged hockey fans -- more than 19,000 strong -- will welcome the Flames home tomorrow night for the first time since the team quieted the Canucks in Game 7 last Monday night in Vancouver.

 While they're expected to crank up the volume, defenceman Andrew Ference isn't convinced home ice is an advantage against the grizzled veterans in Red and White.

 "A team like Detroit's not going to be affected. They're veteran guys and have seen loud crowds. It's not like they're going to say, 'Oh, we're not going to play as well now.' That's just not going to be the case," Ference suggested.

 "It's good for us, it gives us a boost and gets us going but we're not relying on that.

 "The crowd's great, it's definitely a boost but I don't think we've been a team reliant on our home crowd. We've been fairly consistent (at) home and (on the) road and it's something we've been proud of."

 While the sound can be deafening, defenceman Mike Commodore said players need to guard against allowing the emotional fans to distract the team from playing smart hockey.

 "It's not going to be any tougher than against Vancouver," Commodore suggests. "With a full building, emotions are running high, especially here in Calgary. You just have to keep that kind of stuff in check. When you get excited, you tend to run around and not use your head."

 Another home-ice advantage -- last change -- isn't necessarily an edge against the Red Wings, whose lineup is littered with future Hall of Famers.

 "As far as last change, it's nice as well but if you get last change against four great lines, it's kind of a moot point after a while, I think, other than matching up certain forward lines," Ference said. "Just the words 'third line' and (Steve) Yzerman don't sound right together. He's a great player ... talented players are like a shark smelling blood."

 The crowd will doing its best to provide the Flames with a seventh-man on the ice, a possible edge after the Game 2 flop.

 "When we get in front of our fans, we'll be ready to go," offered Flames forward Matthew Lombardi.


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