It served as the ideal place for a coach’s cop-out.
To mumble something about a moral victory. About taking out positives about finding silver linings. About his group taking manly strides — in a hostile environment in the first appearance of the regular season.
But Bob Hartley in the morning had insisted that he would not take the easy way out this winter.
And hours later he didn’t.
“Obviously disappointed with the result” the Calgary Flames coach said minutes after his team — which had led by three goals midway through the contest — fell 5-4 in a shootout to the Washington Capitals in National Hockey League action Thursday at the Verizon Center. “I told the boys that it’s one thing to play in the NHL (but) there’s a different way to win in the NHL. Don’t just be glad to be in the NHL. When you have a 3-0 lead you have to find a way to keep it.
“We not going to start after Game 1 saying ‘We’re young and that.’ No excuse.”
It’s certainly true that the Flames could not h