Hey, I'm a Flames fan (you may have already guessed that tho).
I'm a fan of the team that has been lambasted and generally scourged by almost every media outlet for the past 24hrs and frankly I'm tired of it.
Perhaps this is the part where you gasp in surprise that I could even think to disagree that they deserved all this heaping on being done by the media but you know what?
This was all pretty convenient wasn't it? The game was on nationally, because the NHL bent backwards to please NBC and took it off of Hockey Night in Canada and made them play at odd hours.
From the reaction on NBC, you'd think that McLennan deserved to burned in effigy while the rest of the Flames merely deserved to have their names stricken from NHLPA rolls and for the rest of the League to forget they ever existed.
McLennan sure did such a horrific job on Franzen that Franzen admitted he doubled over more in surprise and having lost his breath than from actual pain or injury. Watching the blow (which was inexcusable and doesn't belong in hockey, I agree - don't jump down my throat just yet!) you could see he pulled it and didn't even attempt to put any real strength behind it. He also aimed for an area that wasn't likely to be injured due to the amount of protective equipment already there.
No excuses tho, McLennan deserved a suspension and he'd no doubt agree with that - he knows he's a role model and that that is not something he wants kids to imitate.
But does this mean the media should be able to crucify him and the team?
Do they deserve to be vilified?
Are there not enough stories out there that the media had nothing else to focus on than screeching about how Iginla apparently butt-ended Schneider (even tho he didn't)?
What about Daymond Langkow getting clipped at the knees by Lebda? Langkow was evil for giving Lebda a punch (that looked more like a face wash but that's trivial) yet no-one in the press seemed to call out the Wings player for trying to submarine one of the Flames' top players.
Then tonight when they lose, after playing into a 2nd OT, I turn on TSN for the Sportscentre wrap-up and get to listen to how the Wings deserved to win after McLennan's slash. The overnight ESPN radio guy is practically chortling in glee over the Flames losing because "they deserved it after what they did" (I mean the guy described the incident as one of the most outrageous pieces of video ever & it's not even close to being a shocking as Bertuzzi, Simon, McSorley or even Hextall). There are blogs on this site that seem to indicate certain media people (who I do respect) have forgiven the Flames their game 5 gaffes because they played so much more respectably tonight.
It might just be me, but there is a real undertone of "punishment being meted out and deservedly so" for an upstart team that dared to not lie down and die in the face of the mighty Red Wings - I mean look how badly the Flames were outshot!!! How dare they respond physically? I mean that never happens in hockey!!!
*cough* Nashville vs San Jose *cough*
I just don't think the media does any favour to our sport by pouncing on and making scapegoats of players or teams because it's politically correct to do so and it's just soooooo easy to do it too.
I don't defend what my backup goalie did - a punishment was needed and received. But I do not like the fact that it seems to cause the media no end of personal glee to rub it in and continue to sit on their high horse, castigating the team for something that had been dealt with already by the League - did it take the media to point out that the team deserved to lose their series just because of some chippy play at the end of the game before?
All I know is that this bothered me alot.....and not because the Flames lost.
The Wings deserved their win and the series ultimately I just don't like the celebratory tones used by the media in reporting it.