FanDuel - WFBC

June 07, 2004

It is SO over. Lightning win.: Tampa bay has won in an unbelievable seven games. Brad Richards wins the Conn Smythe. Gelinas scored the goal that wasn't (in game 6). Will the controversy ever end? Dallas has won before, but what does it mean for hockey to have a team from Florida win? Finally, what do you think the odds of a lockout are now?

posted by insomnyuk to hockey at 09:57 PM - 55 comments

Even though a team from Florida won, it was a native from Ontario who was the first to hoist the cup this year.

posted by insomnyuk at 10:00 PM on June 07

Congrats to Dave Andreychuk...finally gets one after 22 years. Congrats to John Tortorella...first American to coach a game 7 winner. Congrats to all of the Lightning...no matter where the team plays, everyone has equal chance to win 16 games, and they did it before anyone else did. And finally, congrats to the Calgary Flames. You boys made a run at it, and there's nothing to hang your heads about. Relish this series folks...it's likely to be a long time before we see another NHL game...

posted by MeatSaber at 10:05 PM on June 07

what does it mean for hockey to have a team from Florida win Not much, given that last year a team named after waterfowl nearly won it. But I loved seeing stuff like this....I imagine Floridians looking for Calgary on a map while watching the game.

posted by Salmonberry at 10:24 PM on June 07

Fucking fuckity fuck....I was pulling so hard for the Flames. Relish this series folks...it's likely to be a long time before we see another NHL game... F'ing F'ity F again.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:25 PM on June 07

The worst part of this is that I now fully agree with Sutter. The NHL has turn its back on its mother country, and is still convinced that it can make more money in the States. Which is a non-issue compared to the total idiocy that will be the CBA fight; idiocy on both sides. Why must such assholes be in charge of such a beautiful game?

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:44 PM on June 07

Don't get me wrong: I don't feel that it's wrong that a team from Florida should win. (I should know; I have to put up with too many Leafs fans who have that attitude towards Carolina.) Just... everything else. That crappy five-on-three in Game 4. The clutching and grabbing that slowed the game to a crawl after Tampa Bay's first goal tonight. Bloody Bill McCreary and Kerry Fraser. Bloody obstruction. Bloody pathetic excuse for hockey.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:48 PM on June 07

Well, I was pulling for the Flames. They needed to come out firing for game 7 but didn't really get it together until the third. Alas, too late. Congratulations to both teams for a hard-fought and entertaining series. I agree with Sutter (and DrJohnEvans) that the refereeing was crap. Utter crap. And the League is fucked as long as Bettman's in charge. Isn't there an ambulance he could be chasing or something? As far as labour relations go, I think it's likely that the players will cave early. Goodenough (sp?) is no Marvin Miller.

posted by alex_reno at 11:01 PM on June 07

There's too much complaining here. That was a great seven-game series, and players like Andreychuk, Richards, Khabubulin and -- especially -- St. Louis deserved to win after the way they played. I don't think I've ever seen a top player work harder than St. Louis did this series. I can't believe he was once picked up off the reject pile by a franchise many would have pegged as the NHL's worst at the time. This game proved once again that there's no sport that does a better championship celebration than the NHL. The first sight of the Stanley Cup always gives me goosebumps. As for the lockout, weirdly enough it brings pro hockey closer to me. Well, semi-pro hockey. Jacksonville's going to get one of the WHA teams that will try to sign NHL players if the league doesn't come back next season. I'm proud of my city for once again living up to its reputation as one of the places that joins every one of these no-hoper pro leagues. Anyone remember the mighty Jacksonville Bulls.

posted by rcade at 11:05 PM on June 07

I missed the complaining by Sutter. What was his beef? The high-stick by Ference on St. Louis with a minute left? The ref called it charging, but it was really high-sticking. Stick in face, blood on ice, instant penalty, no decision to be made. UNLESS YOU ARE WAYNE FUCKING GRETZKY AND HIGH-STICK DOUG GILMOUR IN OVERTIME IN GAME 6!! YAAARGH! /1993 Maple Leaf flashback Why Ference felt the need to run at St. Louis like that, I'll never know. All he had to do was go in and push him over and take the puck. He didn't need to go for a killer hit right then. It's the same mental-fuckup that Nimmenen had when he charged Lecavalier in game 4. That third period was amazing action. If that's the last NHL game I see for a while, it was pretty damn good. The real tragedy about a lockout is that it might put a hold on me threepeating in the SpoFi Yahoo Hockey Pool! I was pulling for the Flames, but I was happy to see Andreychuk get his holy grail after 22 years.

posted by grum@work at 12:42 AM on June 08

:.( good run by calgary but I will remember that they lost this series as much as tampa won it. Calgary gained almost every advantage they could get - winning the first game on the road and having a chance to go up 2-0. winning game 3 and having a chance to go up 3-1. winning game 5 and having a chance to clinch the cup with game 6 at home (which is something that happens in like never). having a second crack to gain the cup in game 7 (the only game where home ice advantage really means something it would seem). they really seemed to come out flat. given the urgency they displayed in the last 12-15 minutes of the game... where was that team for the fisrt 45 minutes! i thought the call on ference, well, i didn't see it as a high stick but i suppose martin st louis with his head down is putting his head at chest-level of most players. if that was an open ice hit would they have called it? had calgary rushed the other way with st louis dazed in the corner they might have been able to pull the goalie and make it 6 on 4 and that would have been wrong. still, the cup was not lost with the gelinas non-goal or the ference hit. oh well. had vancouver cashed in a goal in OT in game 7 at home in the first round i wouldn't have had a chance to jump on the bandwagon for my old hometown team. the better team won. the thing I don't like about it is that a title would have meant way more to way more people if the other team had won it. and good luck keeping that lightning talent together for very long (based on this season each of st louis, richards and lecavalier would be THE GUY on most teams in the league). I guess the CBA will sort out the chances of that happening.

posted by gspm at 02:32 AM on June 08

Just in case anyone didn't catch it during the NBA Finals game 1, the owner of the Lightning, Bill Davidson, also owns the Detroit Pistons. This could be a very good two weeks for the man (not to mention the WNBA Detroit Shock team, which he also owns, that won the WNBA championship last year).

posted by hincandenza at 02:33 AM on June 08

DrJohn and Alex_reno, I agree that the refereeing sucked, but the good news for everyone is that it sucked for both teams involved. The penalty that the Flames scored on tonight was iffy, at best, and I thought that the Flames got the better of the decisions (or non-calls, mostly) in game seven. In other games, though, the calls have been in favor of the Lightning. The only people that lost because of the refs' bad decisions were the fans. Every team in the playoffs got screwed multiple times by bad calls this year. I thought this was the most entertaining Stanley Cup finals I can remember, and I don't think officiating had anthing to do with the outcome. The Lightning won, but I bet if this series was played ten times, the Flames would win five of them - and most of the time the series would go to seven games again. In any case, this playoff year showed that heart can beat skill. And that was really cool to see. Who would have guessed that Calgary could run through the teams they did? The Canucks AND the Redwings? No way that should have happened. The Flames just played their asses off. And I would have figured the Leafs or the Bruins or the Sens would have come out on top of the East. Maybe even the Flyers. The Lightning just outworked everyone, and played smart. I have tons of respect for St.Louis, Iginla, Richards, Conroy, Lecavalier, Regier, Kubina, and too many others that just went above and beyond during the playoffs. I wasn't emotionally invested in either team, which was kind of sad, but I believe this was one of the best finals ever. No kidding. I had a great time watching it, and if this is the last hockey I'll see for a while, I'm glad it was played well by both teams. Sorry about the long post. I have trouble sleeping sometimes. Oh, and for the record, that "Canada's Team vs. the USA" thing was bullshit. No one in the Northeast of the U.S. cared about Tampa Bay, and no one in Toronto or Montreal should have cared about Calgary. That is all. P.S. - Having said that, USA! USA! USA! P.P.S. - (Pre-emptively) Yes, I realize that the Bruins still sucked.

posted by Samsonov14 at 03:08 AM on June 08

judging by the TV ratings in the States it is evident that a good chunk of the Northwest, Southwest, Middle, Side, Bottom and Top of the US didn't care about Tampa Bay either. and some prespective David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel: "But if Tampa needs a reality check, it just needs to look north to Calgary. Losing the Cup will haunt those fans for the rest of their lives. It would have bothered most sports fans around here until Bucs camp opened." Grrr. The Hockey Gods put the Flames in the final, ruin my sleep patterns for a week and then put the Cup in Tampa. Then here comes the labour implosion. Hockey Gods I hate you!

posted by gspm at 04:22 AM on June 08

Just in case anyone didn't catch it during the NBA Finals game 1, the owner of the Lightning, Bill Davidson, also owns the Detroit Pistons Actually, it's Bill Davidson, owner of the Pistons, also owns the Lightning... =D I've been saying that Billy will only win one championship this month...I pray the basketball gods are more forgiving than the hockey gods are known to be...go Pistons... =D

posted by MeatSaber at 07:06 AM on June 08

and good luck keeping that lightning talent together for very long Well, considering the CBA uncertainties, I'd suggest reserving judgement, but I'd also point to the Canucks, who have built a solid core of talented and hard nosed players with a budget tha allowed the team to be profitable. I don't know the specifics of the contracts or when they expire, but from St.Louis's comments last night, I'd be willing to wager that if management approaches the players in an appropriate way, that extra mill the agent pushes the player to go for might evaporate, in favor of playing with the same bunch of guys.

posted by garfield at 08:38 AM on June 08

Great series...great game. The officiating was no better and no worse than in any of the other 14 playoff series this year, so Sutter and the Calgary fans just need to get over it. Congratulations Tampa. Congratulations Andreychuk (fellow Hamiltonian). And goodbye to NHL hockey for at least a year.

posted by rocket88 at 08:43 AM on June 08

Oh yeah...does Tampa winning mean that the "curse of the Habs" has been lifted?

posted by MeatSaber at 08:52 AM on June 08

Best analysis I've seen of the series so far is from the Toronto Star: A Flames victory would have not only given the Stanley Cup to the biggest underdog in NHL history, it would have been a triumph for Canada and the millions of true hockey fans that have endured a decade-long absence of the Cup on home soil. But true hockey fans should not be melancholy at all. Not only did the Lightning outnumber the Flames in Canadian-born players by a 12-10 margin among those who dressed for last night's game, their victory was a triumph for hockey. Their victory was a reward to those who believe that the most talented team, and not the one that drags the game down to the level of a crawl, should be the last team standing at the end of the season. The Lightning embodied their "Safe is Death" motto to the end and if that forces other NHL coaches to be less defensively consumed and more risky, then the game will be the biggest winner. I have to admit, in retrospect, that the Flames did have a few ugly moments: Fedotenko getting his face slammed into the boards, Lecavalier getting hit from behind (helmet attached or no, inexcusable), and then at the last moment, Ference high-sticks St. Louis in the face. Perhaps the most talented team won. This series was played with a lot of intensity. I remember watching (I think it was game 3) and Lecavalier and Iginla got in a fight. I was shocked. Two of the youngest, most talented forwards in the league throwing punches. Not only was it fun to watch but it underscored the physicality of the play. This series was very fast-paced, and with so much hitting, it made the brilliant moments of finesse play stand out even more (remember Lecavalier's final assist to Fedotenko when he did the spin and then between the legs of the D). Most importantly, at least to me, it shows that you can't simply spend your way to winning the cup. It's a lesson teams like Toronto should heed carefully.

posted by insomnyuk at 08:55 AM on June 08

Okay, some follow-up after I've had some sleep, some coffee, and some long calming-down periods. SAFE IS DEATH. Calgary lost the game because they didn't follow Tampa's golden rule. They came out slow and cautious, got burned, and couldn't get back into the game until it was too late. Yesterday's first two periods saw a Calgary Flames team that wouldn't have made the playoffs. Tampa Bay stuck to their game and it worked. OFFICIATING. Yes, it sucked; yes, it sucked on both sides. This is more of a universal problem than one specific to this series. Call the damned obstruction penalties: nobody wants to see a clutch-and-grabfest (with the exception of the people who salivate at the thought of a Toronto-Philly series). That was the one problem with this series; as soon as the first goal was scored, the ice seemed to turn to mud because of it. And regarding the Calgary penalty with a minute to go: I honestly didn't see it, because I turned the television off in disgust as soon as I saw the ref's hand go up—not disgust at the penalty, just at the entire game. CANADA's TEAM. I laughed it off the first time I heard it. It seems silly—the Lightning have more Canadian players than the Flames. But hell, Canadian players have been winning the Stanley Cup for decades. Practically half of Team Canada won it with the Wings in 2002. But it's a fan thing, not a player thing. We've seen the NHL practically abandon Canada in its search for lucrative US dollars, and we sometimes feel kind of hurt by it—like we're now secondary participants in our own game1. I'm sure the whole inferiority complex plays a significant role. Nonetheless, Alberta is part of Canada (provided Ralph Klein is thoroughly disregarded), and the idea of a Stanley Cup in Canada is big. Huge. Pants-wettingly huge. Of course, this wouldn't apply if the Leafs made it to the final, which is getting far too deep into the fabric of Canadian culture for this early on an offseason morning. Maybe you just have to be Canadian to understand. 1. Yes, I can see the minor irony in what I'm saying just as well as all you Atlanta Flames fans.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:56 AM on June 08

Oh yeah...does Tampa winning mean that the "curse of the Habs" has been lifted? Maurice will not be pleased.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 08:58 AM on June 08

I also liked how the ink has been spread around the Tampa stars. Vinnie, because he's Vinnie, St.Louis all this year, and then Richards taking the Smythe. way cool. and just a broadcasting note to ABC.....Fire that dumbass play-by-play guy. He sucks. Sorry, but its the truth. If you actually know what is going on and try and make sense of his babbling, its painful. An example from last night: a color guy explains how Iginla was focusing on winning the cup in game 6, rather than the process of winning the game. The play-by-play guy's response "So he over-prepared then?"

posted by garfield at 09:05 AM on June 08

The high-stick by Ference on St. Louis with a minute left? The ref called it charging, but it was really high-sticking. Stick in face, blood on ice, instant penalty, no decision to be made. Yeah, that was an instant penalty. I think the issue is that the tripping penalty in the first was bullshit (led to a TB goal); and that there was another freaking high stick by Fedotenko before he scored goal two. In all fairness, the Pratt penalty in the third which led to a Calgary goal was garbage too -- but with these and that two-man-advantage in the other game and the non-call on the trip that led to the OT goal in Calgary, I think Sutter does have a case. UNLESS YOU ARE WAYNE FUCKING GRETZKY AND HIGH-STICK DOUG GILMOUR IN OVERTIME IN GAME 6!! YAAARGH! Funny that. It was the same ref! Kerry "Hair" Fraser. I hate that guy. He admits it was a missed call too... so maybe in a decade, he'll have some confessions for this series.

posted by mkn at 10:03 AM on June 08

Anyway, the Countdown is on!. And I have a feeling that Iginla is going to be wired for that tourney.

posted by mkn at 10:05 AM on June 08

Tampa played a good game, and Calgary simply didn't have anything left. Specifically Iginla simply could not produce another game 5. If Calgary played the entire game like they did in the last 10 minutes the outcome would have been different. Full credit to the Bolts. They played a hard fought series and came out on top. I was one of those people saying they didn't have it in them at the beginning of the playoffs. Boy was I ever wrong. A couple of comments: "The Trap" - I will argue that the Bolt's 'Safe Is Death' mantra is a crock. As soon as they took the lead in this series they fell back and played trap / obsruction hockey. Both teams did, but for some reason people only ever complained that the Flames played this way. It's the finals, and teams will do whatever they have to to win. If the league lets them they how can you really blame them. "Officiating" - See mkn's comments on the calls during game 7. I however disagree with the 'high stick' by Ference. St Louis was cut after he was hit and on his way into the boards. Hence Fraser didn't call it high sticking. It certainly wasn't charging either. It was a brutal call to seal the game for the Bolts. "The CBC" - As much as the ABC team may suck Cole and Neale on the CBC are a joke. I can't count the number of mistakes they made. You figure after 6 games they would get the players names right, but they can't even do that. They don't offer any insight on the current game but will gladly tell you about about a game from the '78 playoffs. Greg Millen looks good compared to those guys. All in all I still think this was a great series, and a great playoff. I hope something can be worked out and we actually have hockey in Sept. I'm really looking forward to the World Cup this August. It should be a great tournament.

posted by camcanuck at 11:02 AM on June 08

It would have been good for hockey for a Canadian team to win, and good for one of the runtiest markets in the league to bring home the Cup. However, I'm already tired of the perception that Tampa Bay fans are undeserving of a Cup-winning team and don't care about winning it as much as other places. The franchise is 13 years old. Fans have endured years of misery -- the only good run they ever had, prior to the last two years, was a single playoff season followed by one of their star players getting diagnosed with cancer. Five years ago, they were called the worst franchise in pro sports. There are some Day-1 Bolts fans out there who've been through all of this and made it to the promised land. The arena was packed inside and out, and at home, they averaged 1,200 more fans per game this year than Calgary.

posted by rcade at 11:04 AM on June 08

Man, I wish Team Canada really did have three Maurice Richards on it. Of course, having eight Lester B. Pearsons skating might slow us down a notch, and Lady Byng would probably be a healthy scratch.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:13 AM on June 08

I remain steadfast in my belief that the problem with the reffing in the NHL is not with the refs themselves, but in the fact that they have been allowed to call the game based on a list of unwritten rules. And it has been going on for far too long. The decisions discussed here and everywhere are almost all defendable based on all of the factors that go into every call. Pratt's penalty last night, perhaps not, but more leeway would be given if it errors were based on mistakes rather than an unpublished list of addendums for calling clear infractions. This problem lies above the refs. Someone needs to eliminate all of those standards that go into making a call and throw their fist on the table while doing it. You cannot sit in a league office while coaches bemoan their small-market, Canadian-based luck and then review tape after tape of officiating and not see that the problem is based on consistency and that it is a huge problem for the sport. When coaches in the Cup Finals start questioning the credibility of the league you don't sit back and just fine them. You fine them for the classless act and then you address the effing problem that allows him to say these things a keep any semblance of integrity. Otherwise, you end up in the NBA where the integrity of the league is seen as more myth than fact. I don't care if the standard is "call everything" or "call nothing", but you can't allow them to get wishy-wash on things, change their minds based on a timepiece, hop back over a fence for the most severe incidents, then swallow a whistle with it all on the line. You need to be in charge and tell your refs to call whatever it is you decide to have called. And then you need to tell them to call it every single time it happens. Gary, stop your little head-shaking smugness, get your hand out of your pocket, take your short-ass to the head of officiating and tell him the this is how it is going to be. And then tell him that if one single ref alters from prescribed formula you will personally put an illegal curve and a waffle-board up his ass. No press releases. No ulterior motives. No talk about the exciting brand of sport this will generate. No caving to pressure at the first sign of discontent. Make a decision, tell them, and stick to it. In the end, we'd all appreciate it and it would go a long way towards removing seeds of ridiculous doubt springing up in Alberta, in Canada, and in every other city that has ever had a meaningful call go against their team. I've written this here before. I'll likely write it here again. Every now and then I need to vent. And the problem never gets fixed.

posted by 86 at 11:26 AM on June 08

it would go a long way towards removing seeds of ridiculous doubt springing up in Alberta, in Canada, and in every other city that has ever had a meaningful call go against their team. Wait a minute - Isn't Canada the capital city of the state of Alberta? Aside from your typo, I agree with you completely. I hope to see some changes in officiating whenever we get to see hockey again.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:52 AM on June 08

amen, 86, amen.

posted by garfield at 12:05 PM on June 08

FWIW, from that same attendance chart the Tampa Bay Lightning operated at 90.2% of capacity while the Flames were at 96.6%. Flames set a franchise record with an average attendance of 17,877 which included 30 sell-outs (a record that suprises me somewhat given that the arena capacity was about 20,500 or so back in the early 90s when they were good). Tampa also started the season with a Division title to defend while there was little optimism in Calgary. Plus the Flames were drawing 15000 or so fans to the watch the away games on TV at the dome in the finals. Plus Tampa was offering free beer to encourage season ticket sign ups - doesn't topping the Eastern Conference work? Deservingness or not, hockey in Tampa is more of a niche attraction than in Calgary. I wish the franchise success and all but would it have really hurt the hockey gods to have let the Flames score in OT in game 6? The Lightning have a team that should be around for a few more years. The Flames made a miracle run that they will probably not repeat. Tampa paper mistakenly runs an editorial lamenting a game 7 loss. If only.

posted by gspm at 12:11 PM on June 08

Sorry for the typo, but it has taught me that Canada is a city. Sorta. And I may just have to visit for their Canadian Days celebration in August. That sounds like a rockin' good time.

posted by 86 at 12:35 PM on June 08

Flames set a franchise record with an average attendance of 17,877 which included 30 sell-outs (a record that suprises me somewhat given that the arena capacity was about 20,500 or so back in the early 90s when they were good). I believe the Saddledome has some sections with obstructed view seats which they made unavailable for years, although they did open those sections for this years playoffs.

posted by Stan Fields at 12:38 PM on June 08

I looked to see if Calgary was filling its barn every night. Something close to 100 percent would put Tampa Bay's 90 percent to shame, but I don't know if they deserve props for six percent better relative attendance. Besides, if the Saddledome has been configured to hold 17K instead of 20K, as you suggest, it isn't really 96 percent at all. I don't think Calgary deserves a special dispensation from the hockey gods. The Flames won it all in 1989, and Tampa Bay was not a big-market, high-revenue team. The Bolts had a lower payroll than the Flames and are unlikely to be able to afford all of their stars, regardless of a new collective bargaining agreement.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on June 08

I believe the 96 percent reflects the new figure because it has been years since the capacity has been reduced. It was more than just closing off some of the seats in the corners since a rennovation reduced capacity by increasing the size of some seats (if my not following the Flames by that time memory allows me to recall correctly). I was just point out the capacity figures to add a little to the attendance claim rather that shoot down the point completely. The Flames did win it all, once, and followed that up with a few good seasons that fizzled in the first round of the playoffs, a few seasons on the slide that fizzled in the first round of the playoffs (losing seven consecutive first round series) and then the league longest playoff drought. I don't think I'll listen to YOUR opinions about the hockey gods what with your support of Dallas having a recent Cup victory to reflect upon (on a disputed goal no less, no hockey god love for the Gelinas non-goal in game 6). In terms of levels of losing Calgary fans can make a claim to be a few levels below what Lightning fans would have felt.

posted by gspm at 01:15 PM on June 08

86: aye.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:17 PM on June 08

86 said all that needs to be said. The NHL needs to do something... and then stick to it's guns from the beginning to the end of every game all season long. Consistency is all we ask.

posted by camcanuck at 01:40 PM on June 08

Sadly, the only guns that the NHL will stick to right now consist of three words: "The system's broken."

posted by DrJohnEvans at 02:04 PM on June 08

I don't think I'll listen to YOUR opinions about the hockey gods what with your support of Dallas having a recent Cup victory to reflect upon (on a disputed goal no less, no hockey god love for the Gelinas non-goal in game 6). That's a good policy, but considering that I've spent the last 10 years going from Denver (first year of the Avalanche; they win Cup) to Dallas (two Cup trips, one win) to North Florida (closest team -- the Bolts), I may not know the hockey gods, but they're following me around.

posted by rcade at 04:56 PM on June 08

so, um, rcade, any chance you'll be moving to NYC anytime soon?

posted by goddam at 05:16 PM on June 08

so, um, rcade, any chance you'll be moving to NYC anytime soon? Why? So the Devils can win again?

posted by grum@work at 07:00 PM on June 08

hell, no. i'm a rangers fan.

posted by goddam at 08:06 PM on June 08

i'd be happy if they'd just make the fucking playoffs.

posted by goddam at 08:07 PM on June 08

There is no hockey in New York! I'm sorry, and I would imagine I'm wrong, but until someone shows me a photo or some footage of Ference's stick actually hitting St. Louis in the face, I'm going to think that was his helmet that cut him when he went down. Why Ference felt the need to run at St. Louis like that, I'll never know. All he had to do was go in and push him over and take the puck. He didn't need to go for a killer hit right then. I don't agree. You have a chance to blast the little bastard that's been sticking it to you for seven games, you do it. If it was a high stick, it was completely incidental and just rotten luck. I'm not bitching about one-sidedness, either, because the call that gave Calgary their power-play goal was horsecrap also. 86, brother, ya got my vote to be the new chief of officiating.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:24 PM on June 08

There is no hockey in New York! The Stanley Cup Playoffs: that thing the Islanders get to do for a week before joining the Rangers on the golf course. *rimshot* I'm sorry, and I would imagine I'm wrong, but until someone shows me a photo or some footage of Ference's stick actually hitting St. Louis in the face, I'm going to think that was his helmet that cut him when he went down. St. Louis was bleeding from 2 places after that hit. On his forehead and the bridge of his nose. ABC showed the play over and over and I thought it was pretty clear that he got hit by a stick. You may be correct about the cause of the forehead bleeding, but I'm pretty sure that the stick hit his nose.

posted by NoMich at 10:08 PM on June 08

NoMich speaks the truth. The replays definitely show the stick hitting him square on the bridge of his nose.

posted by grum@work at 07:13 AM on June 09

You have a chance to blast the little bastard that's been sticking it to you for seven games, you do it. And you get a penalty for it. I hope Ference feels it was worth it.

posted by rocket88 at 08:22 AM on June 09

Yeah. I still think it was a high stick. But, like I said, there was a high stick by Fedotenko just before Lecavalier skated out and passed it to him for the goal. High sticking is supposed to be one of those no-questions consistent calls -- blood or no -- , but there it was missed and it cost the Flames a goal. If some of the calls made against the Flames were made in game six against the Lightning, there wouldn't have been a game seven.

posted by mkn at 09:53 AM on June 09

I'm going to agree with mkn on this one as well. It was a marginal high stick at best, but otherwise it was textbook hit. And yes you do want to level St. Louis into the boards because while he is laying there stunned you race up the ice with a 1 ( perhaps 2 if Kipper gets is butt on the bench) man advantage and get a scoring chance. If you just push him off the puck he can get right back into the play. That is exactly what hitting is all about in hockey. You just don't hit guys to make them feel a little pain. You hit people to gain a tactical advantage in the play. Bruce Dowbiggin has a good article here (unfortunately it is subscribers only). To summarise his feelings by the letter of the law should that hit have been a penalty? Yes because of the high stick. However is that a penalty in a game were the refs had basically turned a blind eye to that sort of thing all game? Absolutely not. He advocates exactly what 86 said earlier. Stick to the damn rules. No more of this 'let the players' decide crap because that is exactly what leads to these problems. If players had been getting called for high sticking (or for that matter 'charging') all game long Ference may not have even tried that hit. Even if he did no one would be complaining about the call. The best thing the NHL could do would be reduce the discretion the refs have.

posted by camcanuck at 01:15 PM on June 09

However is that a penalty in a game were the refs had basically turned a blind eye to that sort of thing all game? Absolutely not. Bzzzt! I'm sorry, but ANY visible high-stick that draws blood on a player is ALWAYS going to be called in a game, regardless of the time/place/importance. It's better to be overzealous about that sort of infraction than it is to ignore it. Except for...[see previous comment regarding Gretzky/Gilmour/Yaaargh] The reason the Fedetenko high-stick wasn't called was that it was hard to see (Can the ref see the stick hit his face? Was it Fedetenko's stick or the Calgary player's? Just because we can see it on slow-mo at a different angle doesn't mean it's easy to make the decision as a ref from 30 feet away.) and no blood was drawn.

posted by grum@work at 02:14 PM on June 09

Boy I'd like to be rational and thoughtful about the nature fo the series, talent and whatnot. But instead I'll just say "Fuck Tampa Bay and it's legion of pseudo-fans." There's a reason why playoff tickets were practically being given away up until the finals. That said - the better team certainly won. Calgary had no juice after game 5.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:54 PM on June 09

Back to the whole fans thing - the Flames fans certainly appreciated the run... Over 30,000 fans turn out to thank the Flames. Nothing succeeds quite like losing. Contrast to the Devils last year parading the Cup in front of... 20,000 fans. Now New Jersey doesn't have a downtown so maybe this is not as indicative of fan appreciation as Tampa will be or say Detroit (2002, reports suggest a million along the parade route for their third cup in six years). (oh, and this whole "don't touch the conference trophy" superstition that I read - never heard it before this year I will admit - Tampa Bay fans going on about how Andreychuk didn't touch the Prince of Wales trophy but Iginla did touch the Clarence Campell Bowl... well, last year Scott Stevens touched the Prince of Wales trophy so put that in your jinx pipe and smoke it)

posted by gspm at 04:24 AM on June 10

and I didn't even look for this but.... Tampa's Cup parade yesterday had estimates of 20,000 on the parade route and 13,000 inside the arena (which holds several thousand more, hmmm). Not concluding anything, just sayin'.

posted by gspm at 05:06 AM on June 10

If some of the calls made against the Flames were made in game six against the Lightning, there wouldn't have been a game seven. And if the Flames had come out to play in Game 7, they might not have been flailing desperately in the last five minutes of the third period to score a tying goal. The Flames had OT in their house in Game 6 to win the Stanley Cup. Even if you believe that there were bad calls in Game 7 so important they changed the game, which I don't, they had a fair shot to win it all. They got beat.

posted by rcade at 07:12 AM on June 10

I fully agree that they got beat. Which is the frustrating thing. To quote myself "The Flames came so close but the list of recent losing Stanley Cup finalists is littered with teams that had a good run and have never had another chance. Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (2003), Carolina Hurricanes (2002), Buffalo Sabres (1999), Washington Capitals (1998), Philadelphia Flyers (1997 and heck, it is not like they haven't been considered a contender nearly every year since then), Florida Panthers (1996), Vancouver Canucks (1994), Los Angeles Kings (1993), Chicago Blackhawks (1992), Boston Bruins (1990). The Flames had a better chance than ANY of those losing teams holding series leads after games 1, 3 and 5 and having a chance to clinch at home in game 6. And even that game went to a next goal wins overtime and what better chance can you get? Let alone a second crack at it in game 7?" I lament the missed opportunity (and the crushing loss dare - i say more crushing, albeit less dramatic, than red sox v yankees last october because at least the red sox will be knocking on the door for years to come). Both teams played under the same refs. The Flames had less skill and you might expect that to show in terms of the penalty calls. ok, no arguing with the red sox mystique but in terms of losing stanley cup finalists this must be the worst any team can have felt regarding their defeat in a long long time.

posted by gspm at 07:33 AM on June 10

Not to beat dead horse but... grum said: Bzzzt! I'm sorry, but ANY visible high-stick that draws blood on a player is ALWAYS going to be called in a game, regardless of the time/place/importance. It's better to be overzealous about that sort of infraction than it is to ignore it. I can think of a couple instances were players were cut with high sticks in game 7 alone. Heck Fedotenko was one of them. Why no call on those? I agree with the principal (high sticks should be always be called), but in this game they weren't. Perhaps that is why Fraser went with charging instead.? What is going to be interesting is the off-season in Calgary. They have several players who are restricted (Iginla, Kipper) and un-restricted (Conroy) free agents. Owners were quoted as saying the team didn't get into the black until the end of the second round this year which means Calgary really doesn't have much more in the way of money to spend. So who I think Calgary is going to have to make some hard decisions espically since the entire environment may change with a new CBA.

posted by camcanuck at 11:35 AM on June 10

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