Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Expectations Higher for Calgary Flames after Surprising Run Last Season

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Expectations Higher for Calgary Flames after Surprising Run Last Season

Article excerpt

Flames outlook brighter heading into camp


CALGARY - Going into training camp a year ago, no one knew what to make of the Calgary Flames. There were too many unknowns to consider them a potential playoff team.

Expectations of the hockey club have swung 180 degrees heading into 2015-'16 after a 45-30-7 record and a season that lasted into the second round of playoffs.

The Flames said they had confidence inside their locker-room last season that they could be a playoff team. Now they've proven it, so there's belief outside it as well.

But forward Joe Colborne says the Flames would do well to continue to ignore their own press, lest they start to believe it.

"It's going to (be) a challenge to make sure we don't listen to much to it, just like we didn't listen when they said we were going to be bad last year," the 25-year-old winger said.

"It's going to be a battle I think right up until the end of the season again to see who gets in the playoffs. You can't afford to have a slow start. The start of the season is going to be huge for us."

The Flames reported Thursday to WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre for medical and fitness testing. Main camp gets underway Friday. Their first pre-season game is a split-squad contest with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.

The addition of defencemen Dougie Hamilton and forward Michael Frolik in the off-season, a healthy Mark Giordano, the continued advancement of young forwards Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Sam Bennett and the buy-in head coach Bob Hartley has from his team points to a promising run for the Flames.

"On paper today, if you look at our roster, we do look like a deeper, better team than last year, but we have to as players bring that now and prove it on the ice," said Giordano, the team captain.

One crucial issue to be sorted out at training camp is Calgary's goaltending situation. The Flames have three goalies on one-way contracts -- Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio. …

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