Flames quiet regarding outburst

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

A shouting match could be heard from the office of head coach Brent Sutter after Tuesday night's loss to Colorado.

Good.

The Flames may have a 12-5-2 record, but aren’t firing on all cylinders. A bit of anger overflowing is proof the coaches won’t stand for anything short of expectations.

Not that Sutter wanted to delve into what happened Wednesday.

“What happens behind closed doors inside a dressing room is between the players and coaches and is no one else’s business. That’s the way it is,” Sutter said after his team’s optional practice. “There’s always intensity and emotions in games. That’s the way hockey is and what it’s all about. It’s people showing their passion and their caring. There’s not much more to say than that.

“Those thing happen and it’s nobody’s else’s business. It’s between players and players and players and coaches, everyone involved because everyone cares. It’s a high level of competition where there’s a lot of emotion and a lot of intensity involved, those things are going to happen at different times.

“It’s just the way it is.”

What actually took place is hard to decipher.

The few parties who heard the commotion can’t 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 didn’t say whether he was called on the carpet and echoed the thoughts of his coach.

“To be honest with you guys, what happens in our dressing room behind closed doors is our business, whether it’s with coaches and players or players and players,” he said.

“That’s all I’m going to say about that. Behind our closed doors in our dressing room is our business. That’s the bottom line.”

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.

“I’ve seen a lot of shouting matches between players and coaches, some behind closed doors and others on ice. It’s something that happens. Tempers flare and it’s an emotional game, so that’s what happens,” said defenceman Cory Sarich. “We’re all big boys and learn to work through stuff like that. Usually a day or two after, it’s water under the bridge.

“It’s like a little family here. Everyone has their scraps, but as long as you grow from it, that’s all that matters. If it’s done the right way and for the right reasons, we can all suck it up and know it’s for the ultimate goal, which is improving.”

Which is what people should expect from this incident.

“Sometimes coaches will challenge players, and that’s part of the game. When they do that, you have to respond,” Phaneuf said. “It’s part of the game, coaches will push players, and that’s the way it is.”


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