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Flames need to dissect playoff undoing after young core's quiet series

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CALGARY – Perhaps the most telling moment of the Calgary Flames’ exit interviews came from a player who is unlikely to be here next season.

Asked if he thought the highly talented Flames core was capable of winning a Stanley Cup, Michael Frolik’s lengthy pause was noticeable.

“That’s a good question,” said the 31-year-old of the query that’s been bandied about ever since the Flames face-planted in five to Colorado. “I think all the potential is there. You see Johnny (Gaudreau) and Monny (Sean Monahan) and our first line had a good regular season, but the playoffs is a little different.

“I think the core is there, but you need to add a few little pieces – you need some more bigger bodies and the meanness and hardness to be in the playoffs.”

As it did two years ago when the Flames were swept by the Anaheim Ducks, the “core conversation” in Calgary is once again revolving around “Johnny and Monny.” In both series, the duo disappeared, prompting many to ask if they have what it takes to elevate when things get faster, grittier and more important.

“I’m not going to hang this on two players,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving, who prefaced his premature season-ending availability by insisting time was needed to take the emotion out of assessing what went wrong. “I think it’s really easy, at times like where we’re at today, to throw rocks. Our team underachieved from top to bottom at the most critical time of year and we have to figure out........

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