Ready if he's needed

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:22 PM ET


 Only a few inches separate Miikka Kiprusoff and Roman Turek.

 In the dressing room.

 Metaphorically, they may as well be light years apart.

 Kiprusoff is Calgary's golden boy, a hero for backstopping the Flames to their first playoff spot in eight years.

 Turek is the highly paid backup and the target of the fan's venom. He's the forgotten man.

 "I'm still part of the team," he said.

 "It's what happens. I missed half the season and Miikka came in a played so well. I understand. Some things you can't control. What can I do? When I have the chance to play, play well, keep my head up. I'm still here with these guys."

 Yet, the man they call Large is a big insurance policy.

 In 2001, he was the man between the pipes when the St. Louis Blues came short in yet another ill-fated run for the Cup. Through two rounds, Turek was called a Conn Smythe Trophy candidate. After being unceremoniously dispatched by Colorado, he was the goat, chased from the city.

 He'd want nothing more than to get another crack at the playoffs.

 "Whatever happens, I have to be ready," he said. "When I was down, these guys helped me build my confidence again. It's teamwork."


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