When it comes to life in the NHL, the road can be long. With many a winding turn.
For two Sutter brothers – Darryl and Brent – the road led to Calgary. Darryl as general manager of the Flames, Brent as coach.
Things did not end well.
Last December, with the Flames on their way to a second straight playoff miss, Darryl “stepped down.”
But there was more to the GM’s ouster than the poor results on the ice. Somewhere along the way, the working relationship between the brothers had become untenable.
According to the Calgary Sun, the brothers didn’t speak to each other for more than a year after Darryl left — a period of silence that was “prompted by anger, frustration and personality clashes that dotted their working relationship as GM and head coach.”
The good news is that the healing process has begun. On Sunday, the brothers spoke on the phone.
“We had a good chit-chat — it was good,” Brent told the Sun.
“We talked about their team, about our team … never once did we talk about anything personally. We talked about the kids. We were all over the map with it. That was the first time I talked to him. It was nice.”
Darryl, of course, is now the head coach of the Los Angeles Kings. Brent is still behind the Flames’ bench.
Saturday in Calgary, the Kings will play the Flames.
They should totally play this song.
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Good news for the Anaheim Ducks, who trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-0 in their second round series.
Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen returns to the lineup Sunday for Game 3 — his first game since April 13, which was the opener of Anaheim’s first-round series with Calgary, because of an upper-body injury.
However, the Ducks will be without Kevin Bieksa, who is dealing with a lower-body injury.
The Nashville Predators have snapped their one-game funk in these Stanley Cup playoffs, taking back the series lead over the St. Louis Blues.
For long stretches of Sunday’s contest, the Predators kept the puck away from and stifled the Blues, including a stretch of almost nine minutes at the beginning of the second period in which St. Louis failed to register a shot attempt.
The Predators’ 3-1 victory in Game 3 was eventually secured on an unbelievably dominant shift late in the third period.
Joel Edmundson‘s (costly) turnover led to a dizzying attack from Predators, who had sustained puck possession inside the St. Louis zone for about 1:10.
By the end, Edmundson and Colton Parayko had exhausted themselves as the Predators tossed the puck around with increasing ease before Roman Josi halted the madness with a slap shot to the top corner, giving Nashville a two-goal lead.
That continues an impressive trend for the Predators.
They have scored nine goals in this series, with at least one defenseman contributing directly with either a goal or an assist on eight of those goals. Nashville’s group of blueliners — including Ryan Ellis, who has been on quite a productive roll throughout these playoffs — have combined for 11 points through three games in this series.
This series resumes Tuesday in Nashville, with the Predators leading 2-1.
VIDEO: Ryan Ellis continues his incredible postseason run for Predators
But Ellis has been a major part of the Predators’ blue line and he had a career-year in 2016-17, setting new personal bests in goals (16) and points (38) while matching his previous career high in assists (22).
He has continued that strong play in the postseason and is currently the team’s leading scorer after he netted his third goal of the playoffs (and eighth total point) on Sunday afternoon to give the Predators a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Blues.
You can see it in the video above.
After being held without a point in the Predators’ first playoff game, Ellis has now picked up at least one point in every playoff game since them and is now riding a six-game point streak.
The first half of Sunday’s game has been a defensive clinic by the Predators, by the way, limiting St. Louis to just 10 shots on goal through the first 34 minutes, and none through the first 14 minutes of the second period.
The Predators extended their lead to 2-0 in the second period when Cody McLeod deflected in his first goal of the playoffs to give the Predators some unexpected scoring depth. He had just five goals in 59 games during the regular season between the Predators and Colorado Avalanche.