Full tank of gas

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:28 PM ET


 The glass is not half full.

 At least not in the Calgary Flames view.

 It's completely full.

 So is something else.

 "We'll have a full gas tank," said assistant coach Jim Playfair. "Hey, it's a good situation to be in.

 "It's an exciting time. Like Darryl (Sutter) said after the game, if we had a choice to play one game to win the first round, we'll take it."

 No matter what they say, the Flames weren't thinking the same when they awoke a couple of mornings ago.

 However, that's their situation going into tonight's Game 7 showdown in Vancouver against the Canucks.

 Sure, there's stress, anticipation, excitement -- but isn't this what they all dreamed about as youngsters?

 It certainly was in their heads when they played street hockey.

 "It is fun," said Chris Clark. "I grew up watching Stanley Cup playoffs and overtime and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning.

 "It's something I've seen and now something I want to do."

 First and foremost will be recovering from Saturday night's heartache.

 Down four goals halfway through the sixth game, the Flames completed an incredible comeback but ended losing 5-4 in triple overtime.

 Instead of clinching the franchise's first playoff series victory since the 1989 Stanley Cup run, they're facing a one-or-done tilt and all their supporters in the Stampede City are wondering is if they'll recover.

 To a man, they insist it won't be a problem.

 "It's not easy to shake off but I sat around in my beautiful hotel room, thought about it a while and went to bed. I'm all ready now," said Mike Commodore.

 "It's gone already," Marcus Nilson added. "Now we're just focusing on the next game. There's a lot of positives but the biggest is we know what we've got to do."

 How is it possible? After all, the Saddledome was hopping in anticipation of a party, a scene not seen for seemingly an eternity.

 "You get over it like you get over any other game," Clark explained. "It's a game and it's a loss but we have another one, that's why it's seven games.

 "It would be different if it was to lose the series but we have another life and want to get back in there."

 One thing this year's Flames squad has proven is the ability to recover after a defeat.

 Through the regular season and playoffs they've posted an impressive 22-9-2-2 record after losing.

 Two-game losing streaks were few and far between throughout the year and that gives them just as much confidence as they gained by the four-goal comeback.

 "Obviously you're disappointed when the game's over and you're drained but today's about recharging, refocusing and being ready to play," Playfair said.

 "It's about focusing on the next game and I think we've done a good job through the course of the season of moving on from game to game. We haven't gone on prolonged losing streaks or dragged one bad game into the next game.

 "There's no excuses, it's men being men playing for the series. There's no room for people to feel sorry about what didn't happen, it's about getting it done."

 Of course, they're hearing plenty about the losing streaks: No series wins since 1989, losing eight straight overtime playoff games and three straight Game 7 defeats.

 "I don't knows how you can compare," Steve Montador said. "It bugs me when you go back and say, 'Well, the last time the Flames played the Canucks in the playoffs' because it was 800 years ago.

 "If it was a Toronto/Ottawa, something recent and with 99 percent of the players still there I could see it but comparisons and advantages here, I don't see it."


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