In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, Darryl Sutter wasn’t shy to call out Johnny Gaudreau after the 28-year-old missed a breakaway late in Game 3. In other news, Dallas Stars defenceman John Klingberg wasn’t happy with Rasmus Andersson early on in the series and told reporters his teammates were going to target the Flames defenceman moving forward. Last but not least, Gary Bettman made it clear this past week that Calgary needs to build a new arena if they hope to host any league events moving forward.
Sutter Calls Out Gaudreau
With minutes remaining in the third period and the Flames down 3-2, Gaudreau found himself in alone on Jake Oettinger but was unable to solve the rookie netminder. That miss proved crucial, as the Stars scored an empty netter just minutes later to secure a 4-2 victory. After the game, Sutter threw a shot in the direction of the potential Hart Trophy candidate.
“Hard fought, close game,” Sutter said. “We had a breakaway with what, two- or three-minutes left? Those guys gotta put it away. That’s their job.”
While it is pretty unusual for a coach to call out a player like this, it is hard to blame Sutter, as his team has managed just three goals through three games. The one concern heading into the playoffs with this team was their core’s past struggles during that time of year, and while it is early it is hard to ignore what appears to be a continuing trend. They will look to bounce back and even up the series at two apiece on Monday night.
Klingberg Calls Out Andersson
At the end of the first period in Game 1, Andersson and Klingberg dropped the gloves moments after a fight between Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Raffl. Due to the fact that their fight started after another had already taken place, both players were ejected from the game. While that in itself had to be frustrating, Klingberg was more infuriated with the Flames blueliner than anything else postgame.
“I’m not saying I’m a tough guy, but he’s acting tougher than he is,” Klingberg told reporters. “I feel like he’s the one guy in the scrum who doesn’t have a guy. I’m standing there with (Blake) Coleman and he’s standing and shaking his gloves to me like ‘you want to go against me.’ Probably the least fighter on our team on the ice there. I’m skating over to him and dropping my gloves and I want to go but he’s just standing there two seconds and then all of a sudden he drops the gloves.
“He’s acting a little tougher than he is and we’re going to go after him.”
Since Klingberg has made these comments, there have been numerous Flames that have gotten in his face, but few Stars seem to have targeted Andersson any more than usual. Perhaps they are best to just worry instead about focusing on their game, which has heavily relied on shutting down the Flames’ top offensive threats.
Bettman Says Calgary Needs New Arena
It has been well documented for some time now that the Flames will need a new arena in the coming years. As good of a building as the Saddledome has been, it is nearly 40 years old now and is simply not up to NHL standards at this point. League commissioner Gary Bettman, who was in Calgary for Game 1 of the Flames Stars series, echoed a similar sentiment. (from ‘Demi Knight & Adam MacVicar: Bettman says for NHL ‘to hold any league events here,’ Calgary Flames need new arena’ , Global News, 05/09/22).
“If we’re going to hold any league events here, there needs to be a new building,” he said. “I don’t think that comes as a surprise to anybody.
“I think it’s a priority for the City of Calgary, I think it’s a priority for the Flames, I think it’s a priority for the people that live in Calgary and want concerts and family shows in addition to NHL hockey.”
Bettman has been vocal in the past about the Flames’ need for a new arena, so these recent comments don’t come as much of a surprise. It appeared that a deal between the two had been agreed upon, but it ended up falling through in early January. The hope is that they will be able to figure things out in the near future to get construction started on a new building.
Up Next for the Flames
As mentioned previously, the Flames are set to play in Game 4 on Monday night. It is a crucial one as this stingy Stars team currently holds a 2-1 series lead, something that very few had predicted coming in. Rick Bowness’ club has done a great job at giving the Flames almost no opportunities offensively, which is no easy task given how much talent their roster possesses. Based on how the first three games have gone, we should expect to see another physical, low-scoring affair.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.