Bob Hartley Likes Swagger of His Calagary Flames Players

Flames HartleyComments from Flames coach Bob Hartley in advance of Game 1 in Anaheim vs. the Ducks…

On how the history of Calgary has in Anaheim and how it affects his outlook on the series:

“Well it’s all about the start. Both teams are well rested and we just have to be sure that we get all four lines in the game as quickly as possible. I think it’s going to be a great pace, great hockey there’s lots of speed and great size. We have to use our speed to our advantage. We’re expecting a long series, we know we have to win at least one game in Anaheim in order to advance. We know it’s going to be a tough challenge but were up for it.”

On if the players are more relaxed going into round two:

“Yes definitely. Our body language has been good all year long. In the first round I liked our confidence, I liked the swagger that all of our players, including our young players, had. The more the series progressed, I could feel that there were some questions. Our veterans once again did a great job making it easy on our young players, especially with that big win in game six. I think we can draw a lot of confidence from that game and now we’ve had a few days to get ready and were excited.”

On if Drew Shore will be in the lineup for Mason Raymond:

“Most Likely. Decisions are not final, we have some nice options, but there’s a possibility Drew Shore might be in.”

On Johnny Gaudreau handling a lot of early attention in his career:

“As impressive as Johnny has been on the ice, I think he’s been better off the ice. The way that he handles pressure, the way that his progression went on and on during the season. We wouldn’t be here, there are many great stories on this team, but we wouldn’t be here without the progression of Johnny Gaudreau.”

On what to make of Jonas Hiller facing his former team:

“It’s always special when you play against your former team. Hills played a couple of games already this year. So yes he’s coming back to a rink where he has great seasons and to an organization that was really good to Hills, but its part of the business. Hills isn’t a kid, he’s a veteran. He understands what’s going on and we have a lot of trust in him. We have two goalies that are capable of winning big games for us. For Jonas the first time we played them it was very special. The fans love Hills here in Anaheim, it’s just a matter of willing to battle. He’s going to be battling against Andersen and Gibson. His job doesn’t stop, it doesn’t change. The beauty of being a goalie is just stopping the puck.”

On David Wolf being a part of the trip to Anaheim:

“Yeah the fact that our farm team in Adirondack are not in the playoffs, we have many bodies that we brought to Calgary. We brought Ramage and Wolf to this team, and this is a learning experience for those young players.”

On why more teams use two goalies more often:

“The game is so fast, there’s so much pressure on the goalies. All the crashing the net, those guys are very vulnerable. history has shown that you’re never deep enough in goaltending. We saw it against Vancouver. Vancouver played their two goalies, we played our two goalies. You need guys that can handle the pressure and win games. This time of the year it’s not about investing in a kid while the game is on, it’s about winning games. Look at the performance by Karri Ramo gave us in game 6. Were down two zip, we bring him on, and he gets scored on by the first shot. It was a perfect play, but at the same time, never got rattled, kept his composure and gave us a chance to get back in the game.”

On what adding Ryan Kesler to the team has changed for him as an opposing coach:

“Big body, great gritty centermen. With Getzlaf and Kesler and the kid Rakell, and now they have Thompson back, there probably one of the deepest teams at center. They’re big, they can win draws. Kesler was a big part of the Ducks success against Winnipeg. It’s a great acquisition, he’s definitely built for Western Conference playoff hockey, and it doesn’t get easier.”

On the leadership Jonas Hiller has offered:

“Hills and Rams, if you look up their numbers, they’re very similar. But if you look at their style and personality, they’re totally different. Rams is more about energy and go go go, compared to Hills who’s about position and being calm. You look at Hills and you don’t know if the score is 1-1 or 6-0, you see the same body language. There two different individuals who play a very effective game in their own styles. But he brings good experience and we have lots of confidence in him.”

On how Hudler and Gaudreau use their stature to their advantage:

“That line of Johnny, Monny and Huds, their chemistry is so good. Look what they did in game 6. Not only five on five, but also power play. They’re capable of logging big minutes, they’re responsible defensively. That’s why I don’t hesitate to go toe to toe with the other teams’ top lines. They can handle it, they can score big goals, and they can also defend very well. They don’t cheat the game for us. They play the right way, and I think that’s exactly what you want to get from every line. But when your top producing line is not a liability in your own zone, you win games.”

On the importance of grabbing a lead and finishing a game in this series:

“It’s important for both teams and it’s great for TV ratings because no one’s going to leave. There are two teams, unbelievable workers on both teams. They never quit. I believe in the last game Ryan Kesler in between periods basically called it and said ‘we’re going to come back and we’re going to win It.’ they have confidence that they can come back and we have confidence we can come back. We were down 3 zips on the bench and it was as calm as if we were up 3 zips. No one lost faith, everyone kept going. With records like ours and theirs in the regular season, even though it doesn’t mean anything today, that confidence doesn’t go away. If we have the lead well have to be at our best and if they have the lead they’ll have to be at their best. That’s playoff hockey, and every game is a totally different book.”

On the biggest change for him as a coach since he’s come to Calgary:

“I came to Calgary first, I was sitting in Zurich, and I had a few situations that I could have looked at. I was with Jacque Cloutier, and once we won’t the championships over there we went in for about four days by ourselves and on the boards we looked at several teams. This was a situation that was very important for me. I wanted to be in a Canadian market. After talking with Jay Feaster at that time, it was pretty clear in everyone’s mind, management, ownership, that we had to turn around. We had to go with younger players and bring new life to the organization. That was a challenge that I was really looking forward to. Having coached 6 years of junior and 5 years in the American league, I had so much fun teaching kids that I felt this would be a great challenge for me, the staff and the organization. That being said, I don’t think that you change, you just get better. It’s just like you guys, remember your first interview or first game on TV. And now your 5, 10 or 15 years on the job, you need to get better. You mature not only around your job but you mature in your life also. When I started to coach, my hair was pitching black. I don’t know if it’s because of turnovers or reporters but in white like a ghost. But at the same time it’s a great game, were in a great situation where we have a great community behind us and were just enjoying the moment.”

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