The Calgary Flames have been done since April, but the spirit of the team is still alive in the playoffs. With only three teams left, the Flames and their fans have two options if they want to cheer on their alumni. Head coach of the LA Kings, Darryl Sutter, and left wing for the New York Rangers, Brandon Prust, are your 2011-2012 Stanley Cup Playoff Calgary Flame representatives.
With the Phoenix Coyotes eliminated last night with a dramatic OT goal, just three teams remain in the quest for the Cup and only two of them have former Flames, the NJ Devils do not have any Flames representation on their team.
On what could be the biggest turn around of the season, Sutter was brought in by the LA Kings in December to lead them to a 25-13-11 record which placed them 8th place for the Western Conference playoffs. Since then the team has gone 12-2, tying them with the 1970s Boston Bruins and the 1977 Montreal Canadiens for the best record and they will go on to try and tie the 1988 Edmonton Oilers record of 16-2. Whether it was Sutter who woke the team up or a general coming together of all the players, this unstoppable team is possible the best team in all sports right now.
On the East coast, the New York Rangers have a veteran winger in Brandon Prust (at age 28) who had three separate stints with the Flames over 4 seasons. As one of the oldest on the team, Prust has been responsible for setting an example for the younger players, while he has wavered in recent games (a one game suspension for an elbow) Prust still leads the team with enthusiasm and heart.
The lack of Flames on the Devils could spell disaster for the team. With the heart and skill that Prust and Sutter bring to their teams, the Devils are at a severe disadvantage this playoff season.