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"http://twitter.com/mslepp"
Okotoks, AB • Canada • 27 Years Old • Male
I have to say, with all due respect to Caps fans, I would rather lose like we did, than lose an absolutely heartbreaking game in OT... at home. Yeah, we all hope for a good game, but a good game means a close game and those are so much harder to get over.

But what makes this pill easier to handle is to watch the way the Sharks handled themselves after the game, in the handshakes and in front of the media.

Pure class.

Watching the CBC broadcast and the anti-Flame rhetoric (i still don't understand why it's like that) going on all night, it took the Sharks players themselves to just bring up how good the Flames played in the series and that they deserved credit too. Craig Simpson, Mark Lee and Steve Armitage were so busy fawning over Joe Thornton that they forgot the other team was the Canadian team and that they are a publicly funded broadcaster. I thoroughly enjoyed when the CBC lost their feed and they switched to Versus, which is crazy, I know...

Anders Eriksson. Do I even need to write anything other than that. If you go back in the archives of my blog's you will find several regarding my feelings towards the Swedish defenseman. Inlcuded in that was a tally where I was keeping track of how many of his gaffs led to Flames losing points in the standings. So Eriksson gave us a nice bookend to the season... think back.

Eriksson coughed up the puck on opening night in Cowtown to Daniel Breire who proceeded to bury the game-winning goal. It was a sign of things to come, and after I saw Eriksson cost us in excess of about 8-12 points in the standings all by his lonesome I thought we wouldn't have to put up with him in the playoffs. To my dismay, he was in the lineup tonight... I started preparing for the loss right then. Brutal penalty led to the first goal, and a horrific clearing attempt set up JR for his second goal, which Kipper may have still saw had Eriksson not recovered quick enough to park his butt right directly in Kipper's view of the puck.

Kipper should have been pulled after the second goal. It was clear his head wasn't in the game. I thought he couldn't let in a worse goal than he did in game 2, he showed himself up.

I hope we haven't seen the last of Owen Nolan. And I'm not just saying in a Flames uniform, obviously I want him back for next season... but if he's not, I still hope he doesn't retire.

Good luck to the Sharks the rest of the way. They were my original pick to represent the West, which I since rescinded and replaced with the Wings. However, if it ends up being a Sharks/Wings semi... I give the upper hand to the Sharks, they showed a lot of poise in never backing down when their backs were to the wall in this series, something we hadn't seen from them before and have never seen from the Wings. Dallas is a good draw for them as they won't be able to hit them like the Flames did. Nabokov is playing well enough to get this team to the Finals.

Just to elaborate on the class thing... watching that handshake line, even after a loss, was awesome. To watch these men shake hands and look each other in the eye and pat on the chest is why we love these teams and our players so much. To see them give such respect to Owen Nolan and to Jarome Iginla and even Joe Thornton singling out Dion to give him some words and a pat. Simply amazing. Martin Brodeur may win 3 more Vezina's before he retires, but he'll never have the class that the players on the ice showed us tonight and for that, Flames and Sharks fans can be very thankful.

Are we Proud?
Filed Under:   Flames   Sharks   Thornton   Nolan   Iginla  
April 23, 2008 1:38 AM ET | Delete
Always Proud!
April 23, 2008 2:41 AM ET | Delete
Wow slepp, you're a lot more to the point than I am with your post season rants...lol. I agree with you on every point. This game was a disgraceful effort, although I give full credit to the Sharks too. It's going to be a long offseason, and I don't just mean in the physical sense. Glad to see someone finally agree with me on the homer CBC announcers. And for the love of god, why Sutter refused to sign Giordano to a one way contract and signed that complete pylon Erikkson to a 2 year deal is undoubtedly one of his worst decisions the past few years. I guess I agree with you on the loss itself, though; I'd rather be disappointed and frustrated than heartbroken, but the loss is completely bitter nonetheless. I'm still proud I guess, as at least the Flames didn't disgrace the league like they did last year in the Detroit series.
April 23, 2008 10:46 AM ET | Delete
One word to sum up the Flames' problems: Keenan.Fitting that in Game 7, the coach pulls a "Keenan" with the goalie switch, creating short- and long-term repercussions.Live by the sword, die by the sword.
April 23, 2008 12:24 PM ET | Delete
Great seeing Roenick and Nolan in the handshake line. Notjust a shake, but a word or two for each guy. There is sliding through the line to get to the dressing room as fast as possible and then there is sincere appreciaiton and respect and taking your time with each opposing competitor. Roenick and Nolan showed the way I much prefer.
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