Coach’s Corner: Why the Flames came up short in the playoffs

Don Cherry knows a thing or two about heartbreak.

In both the 1976-77 and 1977-78 NHL seasons the Boston Bruins teams he was head coach of lost consecutively in the Stanley Cup Final.

As such, after seeing the Calgary Flames get eliminated in five games at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche, Cherry can sympathize with how hard this off-season will be for the Flames.

“The degree of winning is never the same as losing,” Cherry said during his ‘Coach’s Corner’ segment on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night. “The despair when you lose like that you never get over it. It takes you all summer to get over it.”

It’ll be an especially long summer for Calgary because the 85-year-old doesn’t believe the Flames were at their best because of how lightly they took things to end their regular season.

“The only thing I can think of with Calgary is that they coasted a little bit at the end,” Cherry said.

The Flames finished their season losing to the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers, the third- and second-worst teams in the Western Conference this season.

“[The Flames] coasted a little there at the end and when you do that it’s murderous when you get to the playoffs,” said Cherry.

Whether this is actually the reason why the West’s No. 1 seed was able to get upset by the Avalanche is one theory in the many that have been speculated about.