The Calgary Flames are officially on the ropes and Game 5 is suddenly a do or die situation. It’s not over until it’s over though, and just as head coach Darryl Sutter has stabilized the team and fanbase all season long, he’s doing his best to keep that mantra going down 3–1 to the Edmonton Oilers in Round 2.
The mood around town is actually more optimistic ahead of Game 5 than it was before Game 4, simply due to the fact that the Flames pushed the Oilers and almost pulled off the win two nights ago. Despite having their backs against the wall, there is optimism that if they can win Game 5, there’s a chance.
Sutter feels the same way.
His media availability following Game 4 was eerily similar to one from his past. All the way back in 2014, while coaching the Los Angeles Kings, Sutter made the exact same comments after falling behind to the San Jose Sharks 3–0.
Here are his comments in Edmonton following the Game 4 loss:
I like how we played. I know we’re in a hole but it’s like we were saying we had to win on the road, now we have to win at home.
We hung around tonight. We’re not going to go away easy. If they thought they were going to beat us easy that’s not, that wasn’t, the case.Darryl Sutter following Game 4 against the Edmonton Oilers – May 24, 2022
And here are his comments from over eight years ago on April 22, 2014 after the Kings fell behind 3–0 in their series with the Sharks:
It’s a tough hill, we won’t go away quietly that’s for sure.Darryl Sutter following Game 3 against the San Jose Sharks – April 22, 2014
That Kings team ended up winning Game 4.
The Sharks had scored at least four goals in the first three games, but were limited to just three in Game 4. Jonathan Quick, who had posted a 5.78 GAA in the series up to that point, posted a .923 SV% and allowed just three goals. Tyler Toffoli scored the game-winning goal and added an assist in the game.
The Kings then went on to win Game 5, Game 6, and finally Game 7 en route to a Stanley Cup championship.
The steady and stoic response from Sutter following the Game 4 loss was public for the press conference, but every player in the locker room knows the exact same thing. Now with literally nothing to lose, the Flames have everything to prove.
Are the 2022 Calgary Flames the 2014 Los Angeles Kings? No.
Well… not yet at least.