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In the Habs' Room: Allen makes a statement in debut 3-1 win over Oilers – Montreal Gazette

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“The goal for me coming in this season was to make Carey be the best goalie he can be,” Allen said. “When he’s on his game, he’s the best in the world. My job is to come in here and collect points as well. Points are crucial. My mindset coming into this year is no exhibition games is no excuse, it was just to build my game, keep building and find pieces of my game that are going to continue to get better. I thought it was a good start, but still a long way to go.”

Allen said the biggest challenge was dealing with the traffic in front of his net.

“That’s something you don’t get in practice,” he said.

Allen had to share the spotlight with the penalty-killing unit. The Oilers, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, had the best power play in the NHL last season but they went 0-for-7 Monday and 0-for-10 over the two games.

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Duhatschek: Darryl Sutter's assignment is clear – light a fire under the middling Flames – The Athletic

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A last desperate attempt to salvage a season going rapidly off the rails? Or a contemplative hire, based on the theory that if you can’t fire an entire hockey team, the next best course of action is to appoint a coach who will light a fire on the underachieving incumbents?

The decision on Thursday evening by the Calgary Flames to bring back Darryl Sutter to coach the team is probably a mixture of both. The Flames hired Sutter to replace Geoff Ward for the remainder of this season and two additional seasons, charting a new/old course for a team that’s been unable to form any sort of identity, with its current nucleus in place.

Make no mistake about one thing. With Sutter, there is never any ambiguity. Some people, once they reach a certain age, may soften around the edges. That’s not Darryl Sutter. That’ll likely never be Darryl Sutter. Sutter is blunt, hard-edged, hard-nosed.

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Wayne Gretzky's Father Walter Gretzky Dead at 82 After Parkinson's Battle – TMZ

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Calgary Flames fire Geoff Ward, name Darryl Sutter as new head coach – ESPN

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The Calgary Flames fired head coach Geoff Ward on Thursday night, replacing him with former coach and two-time Stanley Cup champion Darryl Sutter.

The Flames routed the Ottawa Senators 7-3 at home on Thursday night, but Ward’s fate was apparently sealed after going 11-11-2 to start the season. He was officially hired in the offseason after replacing Bill Peters on an interim basis last season.

Overall, Ward was 35-26-5 in his first NHL head-coaching stint.

Sutter has been a head coach for 18 seasons in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks, Flames and Los Angeles Kings. Sutter led the Kings to the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014, playing a puck-possessing system that made Los Angeles one of the league’s top defensive teams.

He has a career coaching record of 634-467-101-83, including 107-73-15-15 as head coach of the Flames from 2002 to ’06, leading them to the Stanley Cup Final in 2004. He also served as the team’s general manager from 2003 to ’10. Sutter has had winning seasons in 15 of his 18 years behind an NHL bench as head coach. His last NHL job was as an advisor to the Anaheim Ducks.

Sutter’s deal with Calgary is for three years.

This is the fifth head coach hired by general manager Brad Treliving since he took over the Flames in 2014. Calgary is two points out of the final playoff spot in the West Division, although the Montreal Canadiens — who fired their head coach last week — have two games in hand.

Ward held court with the media after the win over Ottawa and appeared unaware of his fate.

“We’ve got to get ourselves ready again for another hard hockey game,” Ward said. “We’re really not thinking about what’s happened in the past; we’re thinking about what we need to do to prepare ourselves [for] the next one.”

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