After watching tonight's Flames/Sharks game, it's safe to say that I wish I was back in Calgary right now. This game had absolutely everything you could want in a playoff game -- a ton of early goals, big hits, JR and of course, a big time comeback.
And all of a sudden the San Jose Sharks, a Stanley Cup pick of many a hockey fan -- including this one -- is down 2-1 with another game left on the road.
The Flames went down 3-0 in the first three minutes of this one, with two goals from clutch performer Ryan Clowe. This led to an itch on Mike Keenan's trigger finger, as he pulled Miikka Kiprusoff after the stud netminder (and former Shark) made two saves on only five shots in about three minutes of play. Meanwhile, the CBC announcers tried to keep viewers interested by throwing out the usual lines and cliches. They talked about how a 3-0 first period lead is one of the most dangerous in hockey. Teams get complacent. Teams stop playing. No way, I thought. These are the Sharks. These are the Sharks on the road. This one is over and then some. The question of the hour was without a doubt, how high will this go? 7 goals? 8?
Whoa. As Lee Corso says, not so fast my friend. A few hours, four goals and 22 CuJo saves later, the Flames had pulled out an impressive 4-3 victory in front of the home fans at Pengrowth Saddledome. The Flames helped put the icing on a day that was by far the most entertaining of the playoffs so far. Three of the four games today were decided by one goal. Three of four were won by the lower seed. Two games went to overtime. It just didn't get any better than this.
And here's one more highlight reel play that made me jump out of my computer chair and yell incoherent sentence fragments... It's Calgary's Cory Sarich absolutely smoking San Jose's Patrick Marleau. This play took place early in the first after the Sharks put up three quick ones and it certainly helped to turn the momentum in favor of the home Flames. The hit left Marleau's nose and eye bloodied, the eye was injured earlier in the game, and when the telecast put a picture of the bloody Marleau on the screen, you knew the final 57 minutes weren't going to be as easy as the first three were for San Jose.
Thanks to illegal curve for putting it up on the YouTubes so promptly.