Darryl Sutter bag-skates Flames into oblivion during first practice

Kyle Cantlon
·2 min read

If there's been a bigger "on-brand" practice debut by a head coach than the absolute beauty Darryl Sutter just put the Calgary Flames through, I haven't seen it.

In case you've been on a bender or sleeping or just not really paying attention, Sutter is back behind the Flames bench as of last week, taking over from Geoff Ward who was axed after the team's 7-3 win over the Senators last week.

After watching the team's past two losses from afar since being hired, Sutter hit the ice Tuesday to lead his first practice session with the Flames in over 15 years and it absolutely, positively did not disappoint. The man needed a mere 35 minutes before deciding it was bag-skate time for his struggling group.

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Coming off a couple losses and an off-day, any player looking up at their calendar as Darryl ripped into town knew without a doubt that Tuesday was going to be a bagger. You wake up today and head to the rink knowing there's a good chance you will be tasting your breakfast twice.

For surreal competitors like most of these guys are though, these high-energy, no-nonsense practices delivered from a coach as decorated as Sutter are often welcomed with open arms and viewed as a necessary part of their turnaround.

Some of Calgary's top players echoed that sentiment after its short but exhausting pracky.

"Definitely the best practice we've had in awhile... It was very business-like today, there's no messing around," defenseman Chris Tanev said.

"All business, no messing around," forward Matthew Tkachuk added.

Assistant coach Ryan Huska acted as the team's head coach in their past two games versus the Oilers and Senators, both of which the Flames lost.

The Flames are sliding and Sutter has a monumental task in trying to turn this around in a hurry. Calgary currently sits in the six-hole in the North Division — four points back of the Canadiens for the final playoff spot, with two more games played.

Sutter signed a three-year deal — two seasons after this one — to return to the franchise he led to within a literal inch of the Stanley Cup title in 2004.

Sutter went on to win two championships with the LA Kings after departing Calgary the first time around.

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