The boss, fairly clearly, was unimpressed.
The message was apparent: “your man tousled tonight, so that you go clarify this.”
Out got here Jason LaBarbera with the kind of deer-in-the-headlights-look one may anticipate, rationally explaining that whereas Jacob Markstrom wish to have had a couple of targets again, the solar would come up tomorrow and their Vezina hopeful would get again to work.
And whereas all this drama and message sending was happening, a gentleman sitting in his southwest Calgary house couldn’t assist however howl with laughter.
“Been there, executed that,” chuckled former Flames goalie coach David Marcoux as he answered the cellphone.
“Welcome to the jungle. Welcome to Sutterland.”
Marcoux is aware of first-hand how LaBarbera’s shock task got here to be, as he too was subjected to it whereas overseeing the membership’s netminding from 2003-2009 whereas Sutter was coach after which GM.
“Most likely annually, and generally it wasn’t in dangerous occasions both,” he stated, taking us behind Sutter’s iron curtain.
“The primary time I keep in mind he had different issues to do, so I used to be taking it extra as an expertise with the media. That point it wasn’t after a poor efficiency from Kipper (Miikka Kiprusoff).
“However there have been occasions it was the very same situation as tonight that he’d try this.”
And the message was crystal clear.
“I vividly keep in mind conversations proper after a recreation, when the warmth is excessive within the coaches’ room, he’d say, ‘Rico (Wealthy Preston), the facility play was terrible, you go reply them.’ Or if the defence struggled he’d ship Jim Playfair. If Kipper struggled, I might get the decision.
“He would shift the burden.”
Breaking into one other giggle on the reminiscence, he stated LaBarbera’s cameo was borne out of frustration, but in addition very calculated.
“Tonight it was like, ‘okay, you work it out Barbs,’” he stated.
“He’s taken it to a different stage.”
Simply one other software in Sutter’s software field.
“You’re bang on,” stated Marcoux, who now runs a goalie college in Calgary.
“Markstrom has been stellar for the entire yr, however now he permits too many and (Sutter) creates a bit of hype and pressure.
“Typically he’d go to you guys on the presser and he would say, ‘our goaltender was horse (bleep) tonight,’ and he would go proper at Kipper as a result of he knew the significance of Kipper.
“Then guys like (Rhett) Warrener and (Robyn) Regehr would say, ‘that’s not proper, we have to step up. It’s a workforce factor.”
It’s a thoughts recreation, which Sutter performs like a grasp puppeteer, sending messages each which manner and maintaining everybody on their toes.
It’s all good theatre, placed on by this season’s apparent Jack Adams winner.
In a recreation the Flames led 2-0 early on, it was a floater from the purpose Markstrom muffed late within the first to get the Sharks again into it.
Mikael Backlund gave the Flames a 3-1 lead early within the second earlier than Markstrom allowed a sharp-angled shot by Timo Meier from the nook to bounce in off him to make it 3-2 heading into the third.
The Flames ruined their 30-0-2 file when main after two when Alexander Barabanov and Logan Couture scored 28 seconds aside halfway by way of the third to take a 4-3 lead James Reimer wouldn’t let the guests relinquish.
Neither of the 2 late targets have been Markstrom’s fault, as each got here off turnovers that left the aim scorer alone in entrance.
However the injury had been executed earlier in a recreation that by no means ought to have been unsure.
A Vezina candidate who had been on a 14-0-2 run at house earlier than the loss, Markstrom didn’t assist his trigger by taking a late first-period slashing penalty in response to a Sharks participant placing the puck within the internet after a whistle
“It’s a protracted season, there are going to be ups and downs for certain however you progress previous it and get again to work tomorrow,” stated LaBarbera, who admitted afterward it had most likely been 10 years because the former NHL netminder had hosted a presser.
“He’s high quality, it’s one recreation. You progress previous it. You get up and the solar comes up. He made a number of huge stops at occasions but it surely’s simply a kind of video games the place, as a bunch, we weren’t at our greatest.”
As Marcoux recommended, the gamers have been fast to rally round their goalie, who had a tricky end to his earlier begin when he whiffed on a clearing go to arrange Buffalo’s time beyond regulation winner.
“Spine. MVP. Greatest participant on our workforce. No matter you need to say, it’s been that manner all yr,” stated Matthew Tkachuk.
“We did a reasonably horrible job in entrance of Marky tonight. We’re up 3-2 within the third and at house, that’s an excellent spot to be in. We permit a wide-open likelihood in entrance, anyone by themselves. We are able to’t try this. It’s mainly a 2-on-0 on the finish and that’s a aim on any goalie within the league.”
His personal harshest critic, Markstrom predictably owned the loss.
“Not good,” was his evaluation of a 34-save outing.
“4 targets towards at house. I assumed we saved the probabilities down, however you’ve received to cease all 4. That wasn’t good. I’ve received to be higher. That sucks after we rating three targets after two durations. We needs to be up 3-0, however we’re not.
“It gave them an opportunity to remain within the recreation and you may’t try this. Irritating.
“That’s what occurs while you don’t get goaltending on this league you lose hockey video games.
“It sucks and it’s not a very good feeling. However I’ve set to work tomorrow and the subsequent day and I certain as hell have gotten to be higher.”
As LaBarbera left the rostrum, he overheard somebody joke that his three-minute presser lasted longer than most of Sutter’s.
“Not as entertaining, although,” confirmed LaBarbera.