The title of this blog is a quote that came about 30 seconds after the Cory Sarich hit on Patrick Marleau.
No, it wasn't Don Cherry or Pierre McGuire or any hockey expert. It was my drunken buddy sitting next to me in the 'dome. A die-hard Oilers fan who loves hockey enough to split season tickets to the Flames with me.
I laughed, mostly because he knows that I like to get on Sarich's case all the time and I kind of thought it was a back-handed, stick it in my face kind of comment. The kind Oilers and Flames fans throw back and forth all the time. But he was serious. And when Iggy tipped the Phaneuf shot into the back of the net shortly after that comment and I nearly lost consciousness due to screaming so hard... I thought maybe he was on to something.
In 2006, when the Oilers made their run... and I often bring up this incident to prove a point about the Sharks... They trailed, I believe, 2-0 in game 3 and also in the series to the Sharks. They were in desperate need to change the momentum, they were being dominated by a better team.
Enter Raffi Torres.
A chase for the puck into the Oilers end that saw Milan Michalek vs. Raffi Torres ended very badly for Michalek as Torres absolutely took his head off and just crushed him. Now, at the time, I was calling for a penalty as Torres clearly left his feet to deliver that vicious blow, and being the Flames fan that I am, I wanted the Sharks to put the game and the series away to end this "run" of the Oilers.
Exactly the opposite effect took place.
The Oilers gathered huge momentum from that hit, tied the game up and then took it in a long overtime... maybe someone can help me out but I believe that Ales Hemsky scored it; either him or Smitty. Regardless...
The hit completely changed the series and the Oilers absolutely dominated the Sharks the rest of the way, winning every remaining game and winning the series in 6. The Sharks disappeared off the face of the planet.
So, it's 3-1. The Dome is going crazy. Not since 2004 have I seen the Dome like this. And, on a side not... do people still not understand what the Sea of Red means? Now, there were only a handful of people not wearing red, but seriously, I don't care if it's a white Flames jersey, throw a red tee on... come on people.
Anyway, it's 3-1 and the guy sitting on the other side of me leans over and says, "If we pull this off, I'm getting a mohawk, you guys in?" We laughed, of course, and being about 10 beers deep, we obliged.
A questionable call later and another power-play goal and we're taking off our hats and rubbing our hair, the notion of a victory that seemed so distant earlier is now a reasonable conclusion. And after watching the way the Sharks came out to open the game, I now completely wonder where the heck they went?
The rest of the game is really a blur. I would love to watch a replay of the CBC telecast, although I'm sure Craig Simpson could still find numerous ways to criticize the Flames... but it doesn't matter, we all know how it ended. And to watch Owen Nolan play the way he did last night was remarkable. But he's been killing the Sharks all season long, why stop now?
The best Flame on the ice for most of the game, other than Nolan, was Alex Tanguay who played his best game as a Flame. He created chances every time the puck was on his stick and he couldn't be stopped. He controlled the puck and allowed for strong break-outs all game long. Another Flame who has to be given major credit for last night, Kristian Huselius. A very solid performance.
Last year, the loquacious Ron Wilson had the nerve to call the Calgary Flames a "one-trick pony" prior to the Sharks series with the Wings. This was his reason why the Sharks would beat the Wings and why the Flames didn't. I don't like Ron Wilson, never have. And this prompted me to bring up the Sharks last few post-seasons and also the Raffi Torres hit, etc.
Now, after last night's game and watching the Sharks completely fold like they always do. "Superstars" like Brian Campbell, totally invisible. Joe Thornton, anyone seen him around? Seems eerily familiar doesn't it Wilson. So, the same question needs to be asked of Ron Wilson, just as I did last year.
Who are the real One-Trick Ponies?
That's all for now... I guess I'm getting a mohawk.