You’d think Glen Gulutzan would’ve been in a gleeful mood the morning after his Calgary Flames earned a 4-3 comeback victory over the division rival Los Angeles Kings.
When his players were lackadaisical at Friday’s practice, however, the Flames head coach lost his temper, chewed out his team with a tirade of F-bombs, and launched his stick with a two-handed toss 13 rows into the Scotiabank Saddledome stands.
“[Expletive] me. We’re so [expletive] good,” Gulutzan yelled sarcastically. “You checking the [expletive] standings? Let’s [expletive] go. Let’s [expletive] practise. [Expletive] captains, I’ve seen one good game from some of you [expletive] veteran guys. Let’s [expletive] practise. Let’s go.”
A calmer Gulutzan spoke about the incident to media following the skate.
“We weren’t as good as we needed to be here this morning,” he said. “I’m basically a guy who — I don’t like for you guys [the media] to see anything. … The players have seen me worse. We have a standard here and we weren’t at it today and we gotta get to that standard.”
It was a clear wakeup call to an inconsistent Flames team that sits three points out of a playoff spot.
Yet at the same time, for certain players in the room at least, seeing their coach send his stick into orbit was rather entertaining.
Forward Matthew Tkachuk said if he was an Olympic judge he would’ve scored the toss a perfect 10 out of 10.
“He deserved to be upset,” Tkachuk told reporters in Calgary. “We weren’t very good at practice. We need to be better. We need to have better jump and better energy. We were kind of going through the motions early, but after that we picked it up.”
Added captain Mark Giordano: “The intensity was right up there, 10 out of 10, but technique not so great.”
The Flames will look to extend their current winning streak to three when they host the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night and you can be certain Gulutzan’s message won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
“I think it was effective,” veteran centre Matt Stajan said with a chuckle. “If I’m going to score the toss, I mean he got it all the way to the [private] box so I think the message was sent. He’s right. We’ve got to bear down here. These are big games and we got the message.”