The number five seed Calgary Flames opened the 2008-09 Stanley Cup playoff’s on the road against the number four seeded Chicago Blackhawks. All bloggers and sports pundits have chosen Chicago as the overwhelming victors in this playoff series, much to the chagrin of Flames fans (most of whom picked Chicago too.)
The wild card pundits didn’t expect, the return of a healthy Calgary lineup. In comes Glencross, Phaneuf, Roy, Bourque, and Eriksson (folks, he played solid, imagine if we could have brought more players up, we’d be playing St. Louis right now….)
What the sports writers don’t know is gain for Flames fans because the team had one thing, a great team coupled with experience. These things combined to give Calgary the edge in game 1, a surprise to most.
Calgary resumed their bread and butter intense forecheck and added extra body crunching hits and
relentless puck pursuit. The one thing the Flames could only solve once in the first period was the Bulin Wall.
David Moss scored for the Flames parking himself in front of the net. The Flames also benefited from a four minute powerplay but you know what powerplay do–nothing much.
Calgary put one goal past the Chicago netminder, but had chances to go up at least four times. Chicago had 5 first period shots, Calgary double that.
Things started to change in the second period as Chicago managed to sustain some pressure against the fourth line of Calgary. Cam barker had two cracks on net, the first blocked by Nystrom, the second a short side goal against Kipper who should have made the save.
Fast forward to the third, Cammalleri collected a nice pass from Langkow who was sent on a 2v1 thanks to Bertuzzi. The lead lasted until 5 minutes left when Martin Havlat tied the game after the second defensive breakdown.
The good news Calgary had only two defensive breakdowns, the bad news, Chicago scored on both.
Refs Blow Three Calls Late in Third
In the playoffs part of the run is watching hard hitting in your face hockey without the stupid penalties. Of course, blatant calls need to be taken care of. Instead three penalties were overlooked: one against Kipper who was tripped behind the play (dangerous play); another a trip in the offensive zone (stick stuck in the skates); and the final one running the goalie again.
Alas, it wouldn’t be playoff hockey if the NHL didn’t send a memo to favour American teams (just a shot at Bettman and his US agenda :P)
Overtime would be the name of the game, the first of this year’s playoffs.
Not 10 seconds into the overtime the THIRD goaltender interference infraction was made against Kiprusoff and again no call. A tiny bump by Leopold sent a Chicago player flying into the crease and instead of an easy save, Kipper was thrown off his skates and the puck went in. The top line got a minus yet again, but the point on the play was the non-call YET AGAIN for running the goalie.
Good news for the Flames, they dominated for 55 minutes and have shown Chicago how they can and will win this series. Let the fans jump back on the bandwagon.
Notes: The talk in the media was Cammalleri’s suppsed elbow to Havlat. HAVLAT IS A EUROPEAN. He embelishes everything. Cammalleri barely touched him, attributing that to Carcillo’s elbow is an example of how stupid you are and how little you know about hockey and using your eyes.