When a game starts going sideways, you wonder what it must feel like on the bench. The Calgary Flames saw a 6-1 lead crumble in the third period of a nerve-wracking 6-5 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon
Post-game, Flames players offered a little insight into that emotion.
“You see them coming and they've got the crowd behind them,” Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau told reporters in Dallas post-game. “We know what it is. We had a big lead but if they would have come back, that would have been crazy.
“But we stuck with it and won this game.”
By the thin bead of water under their skate blades, they did.
Dan Vladar came away with the win despite allowing five goals against. Six different Flames scored on the night. But it was close. The Flames never trailed yet the outcome was in doubt for the last 20 minutes.
Panic may have set in for those watching, but Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter suggested there was no anxiety in his end. His players knew what to do. Maybe it was an easier claim because if the outcome.
“I wasn't anxious. Anxious is usually if you're scared or don't know what you're doing,” Sutter said post-game. "I think our foot-soldiers — guys like Tanny, (Chris Tanev), Weegs (MacKenzie Weegar), Mikael (Backlund)'s line and Lindy (Elias Lindholm)’s line carried us the whole game.
“Had nothing to do with what the score was, quite honest."
No one can ignore the score. It hangs above the ice in massive numbers. But the worst thing you can do after scoring six of the first seven goals is sit back and freak out as an opponent steadily chips away, sensing panic and riding a wave of confidence —especially on their ice.
"It's the worst when you start panicking,” Huberdeau said. “That's when everything goes south. You can't panic in that kind of situation.
“We have a lot of mature, a lot of older guys, we've got to take that as an advantage and close these games out."