Takin' a lickin' but keep tickin'

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:35 PM ET


 Overcoming the mental roadblock of failing to close out yet another series will be more difficult to overcome than physical exhaustion.

 Coming off a gruelling 4 1/2-hour, triple-overtime loss Saturday night, the Flames shrugged off the notion anyone could run out of gas in a Game 7.

 "Physically, it's going to be fine," said forward Chris Clark, who forced extra time with his third-period marker in Game 6."

 "(The Canucks) went through the same thing, they have the exact same travel.

 "It's not as if we're coming off a triple overtime and they were sitting at home."

 Ville Nieminen, who also scored Saturday, said the club's current predicament is the reason for all the long hours they spend in the gym.

 "This is why we work in the summertime, for those types of games," the Finn said.

 "It's Game 7. I don't think anyone's going to be tired."

 Not if the Flames' staff has anything to do with it.

 Equipment manager Gus Thorson and strength and conditioning coach Rich Hesketh played a big role in keeping the players' legs pumping long after exhaustion set in.

 "I had to do a couple of pairs of skates during the intermissions," Thorson said.

 "The guys' equipment was getting really wet so they were putting their skates and gloves on the dryers.

 "But mostly, we had to make sure the players had fluids, power bars and oranges."

 Hesketh got out the blender and served protein shakes.

 "Between the fourth and fifth periods, we gave them protein shakes, something with a little more staying power," Hesketh said. "It was something that can be absorbed quickly in liquid form more so than regular food.

 "The liquids in carbs are primarily sugars which will spike your blood-sugar levels. You'll get a high but you'll also crash so the protein shakes keep their energy levels more even."

 The club's staff also ensured the players were fed immediately following the game, which sped up their recuperation.


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