ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks both said they will try to not let emotions boil over from their last regular season contest into their Game 1 first-round playoff match-up.
When the two teams hooked up on April 4, the game got chippy in the third period after Calgary captain mark Giordano took out the knee of Ducks all-star blue liner Cam Fowler. Giordano and Josh Manson fought and then Anaheim general manager Bob Murray and Calgary GM Brad Treliving got into a war of words after it was announced Fowler would miss the next 2-6 weeks.
Though some sort of physical payback may be on the mind for a few Ducks towards Giordano, the veteran laden group understands that greater retribution involves beating the Flames on the scoreboard.
“I think you want to be physical but you want to win more than anything,” Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. “Sometimes that’s taking a hit, taking a shot to the face, drawing a penalty and then getting a guy back when you can.”
This issue of discipline was such a big deal for the Flames that they had their veteran players who had been through deeper playoff runs speak to their teammates about the type of game they needed to play to be successful. This included not going overboard in being goaded into penalties.
“Just in our preparation, it’s exactly what we have talked about here – the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ is the exact wordage we’ve used,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. “The second day of our planning we brought in our veteran guys within our meeting in the locker room and each guy kind of spoke on their experience in the playoffs and what it takes and then we took that messaging and put it all together for them. So we’ve relied on our veteran guys, especially the ones with a lot of experience in the playoffs and have won Stanley Cups in our locker room and those messages seem to sink in a little bit better.”
Said Giordano, “The emotion thing has been talked about quite a bit. I think in the playoffs, in any series, there’s going to be emotions, but you have to use them in the right way and I think we have to be good at that. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you have to be able to control your emotions.”
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle stressed to his team that if it tries payback towards the Flames, penalties will be called and this could impact the series.
“We’re not going to fool anybody,” Carlyle said. “There’s none of the cloak and dagger. There’s no place to hide. Go out and do the job that’s necessary, do it the right way play the right way, play between the whistles, play a 200-foot game and let the winner be declared the right way.”
Still, hockey is a game that involves physical play. No matter what the teams say, big hits will be a part of this series whether they like it or not.
“I think it’s going to be a physical series, there’s no getting away from that. Every team is more physical than they are in the regular season,” Bieksa said. “These are two physical teams by nature. We’re going to be on the body. It’s part of our ‘MO’ and it’s how we wear teams down. As far as things spilling over that’s the big question everybody wants to know. I think the priority is definitely to win the series. Whatever we can do to win the series – sometimes showing toughness is taking a hit or taking a punch to the face to win a game or to draw a penalty.”
– – – – – – –
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS