Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom is congratulated by Matthew Tkachuk after shutting out the Detroit Red Wings at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

“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.

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