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Calgary Flames

Sutter: Officiating “A Little Out Of Hand”



Ahead of Game 3 in Edmonton, Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter was unhappy.

Not about the status of the second-round series. Being tied 1-1 isn’t a bad position to be in. But an obviously agitated Sutter found ways to invoke the name of poor officiating into answers that weren’t directly related to the officiating in the series.

It was a bit of a throwback to when the Calgary Flames bench boss said he spoke to the officiating supervisor during the Dallas series about the unusual number of coincidental minors being called.

“The officiating will get better as the series goes on,” Sutter said on Sunday afternoon when asked about the Flames having hot starts but losing big leads.

When asked about what his penalty killers have been doing right, Sutter shared he didn’t believe either team is responsible for the volume of infractions being called.

“It’s been a little bit of endurance for them,” Sutter started before diving into the details that have been bothering him.

“Everybody’s talking about the Flames penalties. Well, the minor penalties in the series — you have access to all this stuff, I shouldn’t have to deliver it — minor penalties are 20-16. That’s a little out of hand, I’d say. I don’t think either team’s responsible for that.

“You think about it, that’s 10 per game, both teams. Thirty-six minors in two games. I mean how often do you see multiple double-minors. We should have pictures of the penalty box, see who’s sitting in there. Pretty unique, both teams.”

In Game 2, there was a somewhat comical moment where Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau and Tyler Toffoli were all parked in the Flames penalty box together.

Flames players need to do their part

Calgary Flames winger Blake Coleman spent four minutes in the box in Game 2. First for roughing with Evan Bouchard. Later for a goaltender interference call after a run-in with Mike Smith.

“You’ve got to have a short-term memory in this league and put calls behind you. Not get too wrapped up in it,” Coleman said.

“We need to do our part in staying out of the box. You can’t control what the officials are or aren’t going to call. It’s going to vary from guy to guy.”

Looking for consistency, Sutter spoke to a supervisor in Dallas. The same conversation seems to be on tap for the Battle of Alberta.

“I think that’s been the difference in the games, when you look at it,” Sutter said of the officiating so far. “It’s not the penalties itself, it’s the doubles and all that. That’s not normal.”

Asked if he’d be meeting with the supervisor again, he left his scrum with this:

“Protocol is you meet with the supervisor before every game.”