Calgary Flames: Brent Sutter Needs to Be Fired Immediately

Will JeffersonCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 22:  Head Coach Brent Sutter of the Calgary Flames watches as his team takes on the Columbus Blue Jackets during the third period on October 22, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  Calgary defeated Columbus 6-2. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
John Grieshop/Getty Images

Yes, it's Christmas.

Yes, his brother is his boss.

But how much longer must Calgary Flames fans wait before Brent Sutter gets the axe from what has to be, without question, the most underachieving team in the NHL?

How many more losses must Flames fans endure, one after another, to teams like Minnesota and Columbus—teams that, on paper, Calgary can and should beat?

True, the Flames aren't the only team in the league disappointed by its performance to date.

New Jersey's season has been a disaster; Chicago, San Jose, St. Louis, Buffalo and Los Angeles maybe had the right to expect they'd be doing a little bit better.

But when you factor in Edmonton's four games in hand and winning percentage, Calgary is dead last out of 15 teams in the Western Conference four days before the Christmas Break.

This is a team with one of the league's marquee forwards and team leaders in Jarome Iginla.

The Flames are backstopped by one of the league's top goaltenders in Miikka Kiprusoff.

The club has a superb trio on defense in Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr and Mark Giordano.

The overall forward group is a solid lineup, with a lot of two-way, all-terrain players that you can build a winner out of, without needing an All-Star cast of scorers.

On paper, this team should have plenty of secondary scoring, defensively-responsible attackers—guys that win battles and locker room leadership.

There is no reason Calgary shouldn't be in the middle of the playoff mix and at least pushing Vancouver to make the Canucks earn the Northwest Division title.

But it's not happening—not even close.

Six games from the half-way point of their season, no team in the West is further under .500 than Calgary.

Luckily for Calgary fans, only Detroit, Dallas and Vancouver have really managed to separate themselves from the pack. The other five playoff spots, at least, are still very much up for grabs. 

So the Flames are fortuitously still within easy striking distance of the playoffs where, history consistently shows if you make it, anything can happen.

Yes, the fate of the Flames' season is still in their own hands, but only if the team changes the M.O. it has displayed since the season-opening 4-0 loss to Edmonton.

The playoff gap is only eight points, but not even a one-point gap would be closed the way the team has performed under the current coaching regime.

At this point in the season, regardless of whether the performance to date has been Brent Sutter's fault, if the team has coachable players, then it becomes Brent Sutter's fault.

He needs to be fired now, while there is still time to salvage the season.

The Flames need to go into the New Year with a fresh voice behind the bench and a renewed source of hope for their fans that the team might do something exciting this season.


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