Playoff countdown continues for Kings' Sutter, Flames' Hartley

If Calgary beats the Kings in regulation Thursday, the Flames make playoffs for first time since 2009

Consider this a mini-mini-playoff series between the Kings and the Calgary Flames.

If the Flames win Thursday night in regulation, they are in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Yes, a long time ago. It was such a long time ago that Kings Coach Darryl Sutter was still the Flames' general manager.

You have to go flip through more pages in the record books to find the last time the Kings and the Flames really did meet in the playoffs. It was in the first round in 1993 as the Kings won in six games and went on to reach the Stanley Cup Final.

The current coaches - the Sutter and the Flames’ Bob Hartley – have a plenty of history, having met in the playoffs much earlier in their careers with other teams.

Hartley was in the hallway at the Saddledome on Wednesday finishing a long session with the media when Sutter came walking by the group a couple of hours before the Kings were scheduled to practice. Hartley stopped and went over to shake hands with Sutter.

“When I started in Colorado, Darryl was in San Jose, we played in the playoffs,” Hartley said later. “In the playoffs, as much as we compete against each other, like coaches sometimes, it can go either way.

“You develop either a bigger friendship and mutual respect or you get those dirty words flying around and it gets uglier. With Darryl, it was always played on the ice. Players decided it and as coaches, we did our jobs. I have the utmost respect for Darryl.”


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