A shouting match could be heard from the office of head coach Brent Sutter after Tuesday night's loss to Colorado.
The Flames may have a 12-5-2 record, but arenít firing on all cylinders. A bit of anger overflowing is proof the coaches wonít stand for anything short of expectations.
Not that Sutter wanted to delve into what happened Wednesday.
ďWhat happens behind closed doors inside a dressing room is between the players and coaches and is no one elseís business. Thatís the way it is,Ē Sutter said after his teamís optional practice. ďThereís always intensity and emotions in games. Thatís the way hockey is and what itís all about. Itís people showing their passion and their caring. Thereís not much more to say than that.
ďThose thing happen and itís nobodyís elseís business. Itís between players and players and players and coaches, everyone involved because everyone cares. Itís a high level of competition where thereís a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity involved, those things are going to happen at different times.
ďItís just the way it is.Ē
What actually took place is hard to decipher.
The few parties who heard the commotion canít confirm it was Sutter who blew a gasket with voices muffled by the door.
Nobody can provide certainty who all was involved. Defencemen Dion Phaneuf was seen leaving the office several minutes afterwards, which could mean he was the target of the wrath after a sub-standard performance. But it could be a case of later being called into the office and had a relatively quiet conversation amidst a stream of players brought to the office.
Phaneuf didnít say whether he was called on the carpet and echoed the thoughts of his coach.
ďTo be honest with you guys, what happens in our dressing room behind closed doors is our business, whether itís with coaches and players or players and players,Ē he said.
ďThatís all Iím going to say about that. Behind our closed doors in our dressing room is our business. Thatís the bottom line.Ē
After the loss, Sutter had the right to be upset at players.
It was a disappointing result against a division rival they could overtake for top spot in the Northwest Division.
Add the fact the Flames blew a lead with two goals just over a minute apart late in the second period, and naturally everybody would be on edge.
But nothing out of the ordinary happened.
Sutter and Flames captain Jarome Iginla admitted a couple of weeks ago they had a heart-to-heart chat about his play. Iginla has been much better ever since.
ďIíve seen a lot of shouting matches between players and coaches, some behind closed doors and others on ice. Itís something that happens. Tempers flare and itís an emotional game, so thatís what happens,Ē said defenceman Cory Sarich. ďWeíre all big boys and learn to work through stuff like that. Usually a day or two after, itís water under the bridge.
ďItís like a little family here. Everyone has their scraps, but as long as you grow from it, thatís all that matters. If itís done the right way and for the right reasons, we can all suck it up and know itís for the ultimate goal, which is improving.Ē
Which is what people should expect from this incident.
ďSometimes coaches will challenge players, and thatís part of the game. When they do that, you have to respond,Ē Phaneuf said. ďItís part of the game, coaches will push players, and thatís the way it is.Ē