Sunday, April 22, 2007

When it rains...

Well, not only did the Flames get blown out today, but Sidney Crosby officially declined to play for Team Canada at the 2007 IIHF World Hockey Championship. Incredibly disappointing for the team, but also understandable.

Remember how badly Dion Phaneuf played with a broken foot against Anaheim in the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs. Remember how badly Chris Pronger played with a broken foot in the 2006 Olympics in Turin/Torino?

Sidney Crosby was arguably the best player on the ice for BOTH teams in that series.

Dear lord, imagine him healthy.

He will be sorely missed by Team Canada, but as expected, Jordan Staal has accepted the invitation and will join his brother Eric. I'm not sure how well he could handle added ice time, but I wouldn't mind seeing the two play together on a regular shift. Interestingly enough, the last time Canada iced a brother tandem (Rob and Scott Neidermeyer) they won Gold (2004).


To give the Flames credit, they didn't get totally embarressed in the first period. They kept the game tight and could just as easily have gone into the intermission ahead as tied (or behind as well). But give full marks to a Detroit team that simply elevated their game.

Hell, props to Danny Cleary for getting back up. A hell of a game for the newfie (I say that term with affection for all my newf readers), and actually, a hell of a series for the guy. He's made an impact in every game so far, and his contributions may end up being the difference in the series.

Regarding Calgary's goonery. Well, I wholehartedly support it. I know I may be a dinosaur in terms of my opinion, but sometimes a team just has to do things like that. It's something that happens in every level of hockey, and it is not 'suprising' as my boy Pierre and the other NBC commentators tried to sell it.

It was interesting comparing the coverage of the game from the NBC crew (selling it primarily to Detroit fans and an American public thats pretty ignorant) and the CBC crew (selling it to primarily a Calgary crowd). The NBC crew tried to downplay the violence as dispicable, dire, and unmotivated by Detroit. The CBC crew tried to sell it as having utility and perhaps being a necessary evil. Of course, which side you agree with will probably depend on which team you cheer for.

Just a couple thoughts on the various incidents though:

Daymond Langkow - Good for you. I thought the hit you took was by far the most intentionally dirty play of the series, and perhaps post season (Burrows slash aside). You weren't near the puck, weren't expecting a hit, and definatley weren't expecting to get clipped on the knees. The irony is that your little sucker punch didn't do nearly as much damage as the boards did to the Detroit player's knee. That looked bad.

Jarome Iginla - Pierre asked what you were doing killing off a 5-3 with only a couple minutes to go, but I knew. You were there to start shit, and you did. I have no doubt that you gave Schneider a bit of a butt end, but it was a love tap. And yes, you deserved a penalty for that AND the crosscheck, but lets face it, the physics of that crosscheck were all wrong for him to fall that way. Another embellishment, but thats ok, you had to do what you had to do, and he had to do what he had to do.

Jamie McLennan - what more can be said? Obviously you were told to go raise some hell, I think you were trying to create room for Kipper, and quite honestly, I thought you gave Franzen a love tap. I saw Smytty get a real two hander from Turco to the FACE and he got two games, so either he got a severe underpunishment or you got an overpunishment. It really doesn't matter either way because you did your job and I'm sure the team is proud of you. Oh, and Don Cherry and the rest of Canada saw you take the jab to the neck which was a cheap shot too, so we know you were at least moderately provoked.

Marcus Nilson - well Pierre said you were unprovoked when you went after Drapes but we all saw the flying elbow he threw at you and missed, so I totally understand what you were doing. Hell, I would have done the same.

Other notes:
Kristian Huselius - your hands have turned to stone at the worst possible time.
Alex Tanguay - could you PLEASE stop taking offensive zone penalties? It's really a problem.
Rhett Warrener - hang on buddy, I hear your new hip is coming in soon!


Anonymous said...

Man, you must be blind.

leanne said...

I figured anonymice would come pouring out of the woodwork at this point...

Viper said...

Lebda's hit was not an intentionally dirty hit. Yes, it was a little too low. That is most likely result of Lebda's youth and inexperience. There is a reason not many people do hip checks, that is because it is very complicated to perform correctly. If Iginla was there to start shit, then why is he trying to start shit with Schneider. If the Flames want to start shit they know who to go after. Stop committing cheap shots and talk to Big Bert, otherwise they don't really want a fight. I don't know why every Flames fan thinks that the Wings are taking runs at Kipper. Pretty much any time I see someone from the Wings "taking a run" at Kipper is when they are pushed into Kipper by a Flames defenseman. Last time I checked screening the goalie was a legitimate part of the game.

Paul said...

figures classless Flames fans would come out and defend their classless team. the Flames gave the sport of hockey a black eye on national television, and acted like complete babies.

Paul said...

"Last time I checked screening the goalie was a legitimate part of the game."

It's obvious Canadians are homers (just look at Don Cherry) whose players can do no wrong, and everybody else is at fault.

Kyle said...

Anon: thanks for your deep thoughts.

Viper: I never said the Wings were running Kipper, and in fact, I don't think they are. If anything, Lombardi ran Hasek.

Why Schneider? Victim of circumstance basically. I can't even really remember if Bertuzzi was on the ice at the end, maybe Babcock was worried he would do something that would get him suspened for a season...

Unfortunately, you missed the point.

Kyle said...

Paul: Your team signed Bertuzzi ok? I'm not sure this is the place for moral righteousness.

Anyone who has watched hockey for more than a couple of seasons knew this was comming, and from a Flames perspective, knew it was necessary.

Of course your opinions arent suprising if you watched the NBC feed.

Paul said...

Kyle, you need to read other Flames blogs and learn what class and sportsmanship are. Fans like you are a disgrace, just like teams like the Flames.

Paul said...

"Paul: Your team signed Bertuzzi ok? I'm not sure this is the place for moral righteousness."

actually, you're wrong. what Bertuzzi did was a horrible thing and he apologized for it. that is class. the Red Wings organization is the epitome of class, and you can be 100% sure Bertuzzi will never do anything like that in a Wings jersey.

of course, trying to turn it around and say "I know you are but what am I" is just a continuation of your childishness. grow a sack and admit the Flames embarrassed themselves, the game, and their fans.

"Anyone who has watched hockey for more than a couple of seasons knew this was comming, and from a Flames perspective, knew it was necessary."

Nonsense. There are CLEAN, RESPECTFUL, CLASSY ways to play physical and "send a message". Anyone who has watched hockey for more than a couple of seasons knows THIS.

"Of course your opinions arent suprising if you watched the NBC feed."

The NBC guys are idiots. My opinion comes from watching hockey for 25 years and from knowing something about sportsmanship and class.

Kyle said...

I hate to tell you this, but lopsided affairs almost always end with brawls and cheap shots.

And to say the Bertuzzi apologized and is therefore classy, even though he willingly ended another player's career, and then to say he would never pull any cheap shots in a wings uniform...well, its obvious what colour glasses you are wearing.

Hell, to call the Wings organization classy? Didn't the Wings have a player proudly nicknamed Vlad the Impaler? What about Maltby's game in and game out effort? I love the guy, but he's a huge cheapshot. That's not to say I don't respect what he does out there.

Is a clean, repsectful and classy way to play physical low bridging a guy when the puck or play is no where near him? Is it throwing a wild elbow at an opponent at the end of the game? I have no problem admitting to what the Flames did. Do you have a problem admitting Detroit's infractions?

Like I said, I have nothing against the Wings organization. They would do whatever it takes to win, much like the Flames. All teams and players are willing to take cheap shots in order to win, or make other teams pay the price.

IwoCPO said...

Kyle, coloured glasses seem to be the norm in this situation.

Vladdie was a saint, as is Maltby. Didn't you know that?

Good luck tonite.

Kyle said...

Ha ha, thanks man, you guys are dominating us, so we'll need it.

duncan said...

Kyle: If it's possible, I agree and disagree with you at the same time. I was disappointed in the way that game ended because of its relationship with the way the Flames played in the game in general: Like shit. But a lot of fans are taking those five minutes and making them out to be among the worst of all time, and they aren't.

Anyway, nice work taking this on.

Kyle said...

Hey thanks Duncan, I don't mind being in the minority. I think if someone actually got hurt I would feel differently, but they didn't so I don't. I also agree the Flames played like shit.