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Promising Flames know time is now to make good on contender potential

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DENVER — The narrative is simple. The task, as they know, isn’t.

The Calgary Flames have the talent and depth to be a Stanley Cup contender. The ingredients are all there, as they proved by dominating the West last regular season.

The question hanging over them is whether they have the moxie and mindset to elevate their game come spring.

“It’s such an exciting time for us in Calgary,” said recently re-signed Matthew Tkachuk, alluding to a highly skilled roster with eight core pieces locked up for the next three years.

“We know how good this group is and we know we have a chance to do something really special here.”

Like, now.

Problem is, they’ve got 82 games to play before they can attempt to answer the real queries dogging this franchise.

The Flames roster was largely untouched since the lads opened the playoffs by losing in five to Colorado. The top two lines, all six defencemen and their best goalie are all back with a hunger — a promise — to atone for the upset loss they insist they’ve learned plenty from.

A team built for today’s game with an emphasis on speed and skill, the Flames were clearly outskated by a surging Nathan MacKinnon and his Avs squad that had the Flames on their heels throughout.

After a summer of contemplation, reigning Norris Trophy winner Mark........

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