The Calgary Flames lost their final game of the Canucks Young Stars Classic tournament on Sunday, and Jay Feaster was none too pleased about it.
“Obviously, a difficult way to end,” the Flames GM said, as per the Calgary Herald. “I asked [coach Troy Ward], ‘Is it an organizational disease? What is it?’ We have to find a way to eliminate it. This has been the M.O. since I’ve been in Calgary — win a couple of games and then we decide we can just throw the sweaters out [on the ice].
“We played 20 minutes. We had a chance to leave here with three wins. That would have been good. For 40 minutes we just played shinny. And I don’t understand it. It’s not unique to this group. Unfortunately, it’s something that happens with the big club, too.”
But wait! There’s more..,.
“I’m trying to figure it out. Something in the water? Something in the sweater? What is it? Again, it just isn’t this group,” Feaster continued. “I’ve watched it. This will be my fourth season in Calgary.
“I’ve watched it for three years at the NHL level. We win a couple of games, then we decide it’s going to be simple, that everybody ought to quake because they’re going to play the Calgary Flames.”
This response comes just days after Feaster learned he had a new boss — Brian Burke, who was hired last week as Calgary’s new president of hockey operations.
While it might seem bizarre for Feaster to rip his team for losing a one-goal game in an exhibition tournament where the majority of the players will be sent back to junior, it might speak to a larger objective.
The fire-and-brimstone act is classic Burke. So too is talk of establishing an identity and changing team culture, dating back to Burke’s infamous “pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence,” quote upon taking the Toronto GM gig.
Feaster sounds like he took a page from the Burke handbook, though one wonders if it might’ve been a tad forced.