“Yeah, I’ve been kind of waiting for it for a while,” he said, even allowing a slight smile. “It’s why you play, right?”

And why you coach, too.

Sutter has already waited six years. It has been that long since the now-unretired skipper was last standing behind the bench in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And come Tuesday, when the Flames open up a best-of-seven series against the Dallas Stars, he’ll be waiting another hour more than he was hoping for.

“I hate them 8 o’clock games,” Sutter told reporters after Monday’s practice at the Saddledome. “Just think, if you play at 8 o’clock tomorrow, you could still be playing at midnight. You could play tomorrow and the next day.”

This fan-base, collectively known as the C of Red, has also been waiting a long while for this one.

NHL Hockey Playoffs
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