Martin Pospisil says Calgary Flames have to be harder to play against in final stretch of games.

Photo credit:Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
3 months ago
On Tuesday night, the Flames gave up the lead quickly and never saw the scoreboard go back in their favour.
Despite winning the shots battle 39-24 and out-shooting the Blackhawks 34-12 in the final 40 minutes, the Flames fell 3-1 to the doldrum-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks, not really challenging the Chicago netminder Petr Mrazek to make big saves.
He made a few big saves, as all goalies have to in close games, but the vast majority of shots he saw were rudimentary for a professional goaltender.
Martin Pospisil addressed the lack of challenge the Flames gave not only the Blackhawks in the first period, which saw them go up 2-0 after a power-play goal and a two-on-one rush goal, saying that they need to get back to how they were playing in previous games because there was a certain kind of feeling opposing teams had, and that was: the Flames weren’t going to make it easy on anyone.
“We’ve got to go back to how we played before,” Pospisil said following Wednesday’s practice in St. Louis. “The last couple of games have been pretty tough, but tomorrow is a new day, a new game, and we have to be way harder to play against. It also starts with me. I’ve got to bring it even better than the last couple of games, so I’m excited for tomorrow.”
When it comes to what being “harder to play against” looks like for the team and for Pospisil, it includes going to the dirty areas and in front of the net, just as Posipsil did on the only Flames goal of the night against the Blackhawks, a shot from up top by MacKenzie Weegar with Pospisil screening in front.
“I think that’s a part of my game to be in front of the net,” Pospisil said. “I think we just have to score a couple of more goals. We had a couple of really good chances to score, so hopefully we will score tomorrow.”
Burying opportunities has also been a theme for this Flames team as they enter the final stretch of their regular season (and, more than likely, their 2023-24 season as a whole). Of course, that’s easier said than done at the end of the day, but scoring goals in the hard areas is done by getting there to begin with, which the Flames have not done over their last few outings.
The 2023-24 NHL season has not only given young players in the Flames system an opportunity but also given them the chance to shine next to a good core of leaders. Pospisil has been one of said young players (although, technically, he is on the older side at 24 years of age), playing on a line with another young gun, Connor Zary, and the veteran Nazem Kadri.
Pospisil hasn’t wanted to reflect on his season with the NHL roster, but he mentioned multiple times postgame that it’s special to be playing in these games with his teammates.
“It’s pretty special,” Posipsil said. “I still don’t really think about it. I just play games, and probably after the season, I’m going to realize what really happened. I’m enjoying every day and every game with the boys. Yeah, I just have to keep playing and keep enjoying it, that’s the most important [part].”
The Flames still have some games to play before the season comes to and end, and the hope is that the Flames will offer a more fun product for their fans and a more challenging product for their opponents to play against before the curtain closes. And you can bet that Pospisil will be leading the charge in the physicality department, just as he has done almost all season long.
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