Sutter Reaches Milestone As Flames Get Off To Promising Start

One game may not decide a season, but the Calgary Flames got their season started on the right foot with a 5-3 win over the defending champion Colorado Avalanche. In the process, they carried coach Darryl Sutter to a pretty incredible milestone: his 700th win behind behind the bench.

Not only was the win a historic accomplishment for Sutter, but for the franchise as well. It was the Flames’ first season opening victory since 2009, finally putting an end to their NHL-record losing streak, which was also the active record in North American professional sports.

Coming into the season, analysts had mixed feelings on the Flames’ potential. The team dominated the Pacific division last year off the backs of their two stars, Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, but then lost both players in the offseason. But the Tkachuk trade may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if last night is any indication. Mackenzie Weegar and Jonathan Huberdeau, the players received by Florida in exchange for Tkachuk, both had excellent games, with Weegar tallying two assists and being named first star of the game. The two made the Flames’ special teams units look unbeatable, scoring two powerplay goals and one shorthanded. Against a fearsome Colorado squad, the Flames looked superior, controlling possession and shot attempts the entire game.

For his part, Sutter doesn’t seem to be missing the scrappy forward too much. There were always questions of how the hard-nosed coach would get along with the “Rat”, and a preseason interview seemed to indicate there was little love lost between the two, at least from Sutter’s perspective.

There’s 81 regular season games to go, and fans won’t be satisfied with a poor playoff showing. But for now at least, the Flames have reason to celebrate. 

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