There were plenty of lowlights during Calgary’s 3-0 loss to the Kings at the Saddledome on Wednesday. But one in particular drew the Flames’ ire — a fan tossed his jersey onto the ice with less than a minute remaining.
The gesture infuriated forward Tom Kostopoulos, who threw the jersey back over the boards, slammed his stick against the glass, then refused to speak with reporters after the game.
By Thursday he’d cooled down enough to explain his actions.
“I was just a bit fired up,” Kostopoulos told the Calgary Herald. “I was just upset, I was mad. He’s entitled to his opinion. He paid for the seat. I was just upset. He threw his jersey on the ice — I just didn’t like that.”
The jersey toss was the final show of frustration that built throughout the night. Calgary was outshot 30-19 — recording just four shots in the final period — out-hit 17-14 and had 15 giveaways to Los Angeles’ two.
That said, players felt the jersey toss was too much.
“That was a little overboard,” Matt Stajan said. “That was disrespectful to the organization. [Kostopoulos] was doing what all of us were thinking. Obviously, we’re already down in the dumps at that point in the game. I think he handled it the right way.
“You don’t do that to this organization.”
Veteran center Alex Tanguay agreed it was disappointing, but tried to take it with a grain of salt.
“One guy out of 20,000, I’m not too worried about it,” he said. “I don’t know if he was trying to hit the referee or if he was trying to do something different with it. I have no idea.
“I know if we go out and manage to squeeze into the playoffs, [the fans] will be there. Then maybe we can give the jersey to charity and put it to good use.’’
The Flames sit three points out of a playoff spot heading into Friday, with just four games left in their season.