Well hopefully we’re past those April showers and can look forward to the May flowers. Welcome to the month of May! This month I decided not to go with a theme so bear with the random posts. That being said, here’s the first bit of random you can expect from this month. I’m going to get really personal and tell you a deep dark secret of mine…. I am a stereotypical Canadian who likes – no loves – hockey.
This year was an exciting year as we made the playoffs again. Last time was two years ago and we even made it out of the second round – it was a really exciting time for us Calgarians because the last time we had a cup run was in 2004 (screw you Tampa Bay). Our season wasn’t great this year, but we rallied to secure ourselves a playoff spot. We ended up playing the Anaheim Ducks in the first round of the playoffs, which I was not entirely pleased with because Anaheim has our number. We cannot beat these guys at all. First game of the series and we had some things to figure out in how we should play them. We got that figured out by the third game of the series.
Now picture this, the Flames are playing well. We’re going into the third period of play in the third game of the series, the score is 4-2 in favor of the Flames. All of a sudden Anaheim scores, but the call has to go to review as a high stick may have scored the goal – which would make it a disallowed goal. So my family and I are sitting on the couch watching the same reviews that are going on in Toronto by the NHL staff. What we see is clearly a high sticking call from all angles except for one angle where it looks like it might have lead to a good goal, but just barely. The ref comes out to the middle of the ice and gives the final verdict: It was a good goal!
Cue my family and I giving weird, disbelieving looks at the TV. Then the swearing starts as the shock wears off because clearly, plain to our very own eyes, that was a high stick. We watch the rest of the period as the Flames, flustered by this ridiculous call, blow the rest of the game allowing Anaheim to score again to tie the game and then win it in overtime. Leaving the Flames trailing 3-0 in the series and facing elimination in the next game (which they lost).
The fans in Calgary and their devoted fan base on Twitter voiced their concerns adamantly for the rest of the night. Even former Flames and NHL players, who happened to be watching the game, stated that Toronto screwed up and allowed a goal that shouldn’t have been allowed. Theo Fleury, former Flames player, took to Twitter and said that they screwed up. (Here’s the link: https://twitter.com/TheoFleury14/status/854196877419462657)
Not only that, but in the two games prior to this one there had been some sketchy calls made that disadvantaged the Flames. Goals that have been deemed a no goal when it clearly was a goal. The Flames have been taking an unnecessary amount of penalties and when Anaheim has committed some offence the penalty is not called. It’s like the league does not want Calgary to advance to the next round. I do not agree with this for multiple reasons. I’d rather see Anaheim be kicked out and the Flames advance – for fan based reasons – but also because playoff upsets are fun. It’s not as fun when things are predictable. It’s not great when the same few teams win year after year even though they don’t really have the team to do that. This seems to be something I’ve been seeing more of each year. You’re seeing dirty refs who only call penalties on one team and not the other or that star players can get away with slashing off someone’s finger (which did happen this past season) and not facing disciplinary action for it.
Back in 2004 when Calgary made it all the way to the final game seven for the Stanley Cup. We were not the favorite that year to win the cup. We were a bit of a surprise and that made things all the more exciting here in Calgary. I think the NHL needs to get back to that style of hockey. Where it is based on passion and surprises – not what is going to sell the most tickets. Even for these underdog teams that worked hard to get that spot and get past those other rounds to the final, they’re going to be worth watching in the end. You’re still going to have tickets sold and viewers tuning in to see the magic that team is working to get to the end goal.
Until next week.