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Flames vow for playoff improvement in 2020-21

Last Updated Aug 24, 2020 at 1:26 pm MST

Calgary Flames goalie Cam Talbot (39) reacts after giving up a goal, as Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn (14) and Tyler Seguin (91) celebrate Benn's goal during the first period in Game 5 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, in Edmonton, Alberta. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — It’s been a few days since the Calgary Flames were bounced from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the players say the sting hasn’t subsided.

Monday marked the team’s final media availability of the 2019-20 season.

“It’s frustrating to lose in the first round every year,” forward Sam Bennett offered. “We’ve got to definitely figure that out. We’ve got to find a way to change the way things have been going.”

READ MORE: Flames eliminated from playoffs after Stars rally to take Game 6

The Flames opened the NHL’s restart on a solid note, getting by the Winnipeg Jets in qualifiers.

That was followed by a Game 1 win over the Dallas Stars in the opening round. However, things began to unravel, with the loss of Matthew Tkachuk to injury, and a Game 4 overtime heartbreaker where the Flames were 11.9 seconds from going up 3-1 in the series.

“I felt like there’s those critical moments and different opportunities to grab hold of,” captain Mark Giordano recalled of the squad’s play versus Dallas.

“Our guys, we’re a tight group. We came a lot closer together as the year went on and through this whole process. There’s a lot of things to be proud of too.”

Another early exit has analysts and fans predicting significant roster changes by the time next season rolls around, and that’s not lost on long-time centre Sean Monahan.

“I’ve seen a little bit, obviously, and read a little bit, but honestly, I haven’t been tuned in too much on that stuff,” the seven-year Flame said of the rumours. “Whatever happens happens. That’s out of your control. I want to be in Calgary, and I want to win in Calgary. I feel like I owe it to the city.”

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General manager Brad Treliving will have his hands full, with over a half dozen free agents this off-season, including goalie Cam Talbot.

“As far as coming back to Calgary, we’d love to,” he said. “I loved it there. My wife and family loved it there. It would have to be the right situation for myself and for them, but we’d very open to coming back for next year and beyond.”