I delayed posting a blog after our overtime defeat because it would be ridden with grief and emotional outbursts. Tears are not rare when it comes to me and my beloved Flames. Needless to say I am struggling to find my way again, as I commit so much to the team and their journey.
However, this blog is for looking forward. I would love to be in Sutter's position right now, although most would not. He has many, many big decisions to make, the least of which is whether or not to keep Playfair around. Now, those of you familiar with my blog entries will know that I have been a strong advocate of sacking Playfair right from the start. The players will obviously not play for him, nor buy into his system. As he was the defensive coach the prior season, his system is probably as close to Sutter hockey we will get. I must admit that it is potentially a core player problem more than it is straight coaching. It has taken me a long to come to terms with that, but so be it.
The truth is that Playfair, in his first season coaching, had the best home record and was 13th overall, and had transformed an offensively lacking team into a scoring juggernaut (at least in the regular season). My inclination, now, is that he is kept on. I believe a few personnel moves and maybe a strategy session with Sutter is require, but Playfair should be given at least another chance.
This brings us to said personnel moves. With a slew of contracts coming due next summer, we really have only 1 more year to win the cup with our current core. Big names will be on the move, possibly even such hallowed ones as Iginla, so how do we set ourselves up for a run next year while bolstering our future knowing we will have a totally different look?
These are the questions facing Sutter this coming summer, and I am sure their will be at least 1 move made that will have the fans infuriated. I, for one, am looking forward to the upcoming months. My faith has never wavered, and I believe we will be the better for it. After all, we have the famous credo to live by.
In Sutter We Trust