Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
When I selected my Flames games for the season, I picked the last game of the season because I thought the Flames and the Oilers would be battling for a playoff spot and I wanted to see McDavid play. Who could have predicted that the Flames would have ended up as Pacific Division Champions, 2nd in the NHL overall and this would be a meaningless game!
Then there was the added bonus of watching Johnny in his quest for 100 points. By the last game of the season, Johnny had 98 points so even though the playoff positions were set and the last game was meaningless, for me it was all about wanting to see Johnny get his 100th point!!
The game was crazy exciting as most Oilers Flames games are once again since the Oilers drafted McDavid. We weren’t sure if coach Peters was going to rest Johnny for playoffs but he gave him a chance to hit 100. During the game it was funny to see Johnny double and triple shifted. He was everywhere.
When the Flames scored their first goal, my friend and I jumped up and celebrated but I can’t even remember who actually scored the goal. All I know is that Johnny had an assist and that we both looked at each other and yelled 99!! It was sooo exciting!! The atmosphere was so intense!! You could tell Johnny’s linemates were trying everything they could do after that to help him get 100! Sigh, if only Neal could have put that next shot in the net!!! Ugh…Neal…sigh.
During the final few minutes of the game, we had pressure in the Oilers zone and sure enough when Smitty went off for the extra attacker, Johnny came flying in from off the bench from my left! But, at the end of the night, 100 just wasn’t meant to be.
I checked the stats and Johnny normally averages about 19-20 minutes of ice time. For this game, Johnny logged 27:23 of ice time!! The next closest in this game was Gio at 21:28 (low for him).
The injury to McDavid was scary. Replays showed that he said “it’s broken” but fortunately that’s not the case. Even though it was a Flames home game, once McDavid got hurt, the whole crowd, not just the Oiler fans, were totally taken out of the game. It was eery how the building just deflated even though it was an Oiler player that went down. It was Connor.
Before the game, some fans were trying to organize a chant of “Free McDavid”!! This, after the dreadful Oilers season and Connors’ lengthy interview afterwards. I would have loved to get in on that. So I found out that they were going to do it at 9:07 left in the first, and I had my phone ready to record it. Well, I started the recording at 9:09 and listened for the chant to join in, but alas, at 9:05 the Oilers scored and all I got on my recording was the Oilers goal celebration!!! I did hear a small chant getting started and my friend said he heard it on the telecast, but it didn’t get the chance to build because of the Oilers goal, sigh. It could have been great! Crappy timing!! I did see 2 “Free McDavid” signs in the stands though.
Unfortunately at the end of the night, Johnny got stuck at 99 but on the bright side of things, he stayed healthy.
Ok, fast forward a few days and it’s now Playoff Time!! It’s the best time of the year!!
Peters announced he was starting Smith in net. Ugh. But, Smith had the best game of his playoff career and the “boos” that he normally hears from even Flames fans when he lets in easy goals suddenly turned into chants of Smi-tty, Smi-tty!!! We fans are a fickle bunch! Heh heh.
Scary moment when idiot Zadorov tried to take out Johnny’s knee!! Thank god the players on the bench were yelling and warning Johnny and he was able to avoid the major collision.
A couple of hilarious quotes I wanted to save here:
FlamesNation tweet: Johnny Gaudreau has been playing like he’s 5’11 tonight, which is big when you think about how tall he is.
Nick Kypreos comment during intermission: Oilers were getting multiple medical opinions about McDavid’s injury and Kyper says “Listen, McDavid is a Ferrari, and you don’t just take a Ferrari to Jiffy Lube”!!
Flames won game one 4-0 and we were on our way!!
I do not have one good thing to say about the Game 2 overtime loss. We were outplayed most of the game and it drives me nuts when we sat back with 6 minutes left and tried to hang on to the lead.
Just when you think it couldn’t get worse. The Game 3 loss was embarrassing!! After the first period the Avalanche were on pace for 60 shots! Nothing went right the entire game.
It got so bad even the shot clock on the tv screen stopped at 51. The total shots for the Avs were 56 this game!! As much as we pounded Smitty throughout the year on his inconsistent play, he was one of the bright spots in this entire game! I doubt Rittich would have been able to sustain getting peppered with 56 shots.
Avalanche fans and their funny signs:
Another 52 shots!! Do I need to saying anything more?? The Flames had the lowest shots against stat in the entire league during the regular season and were the worst in the playoffs. 2 consecutive games with over 50 shots against?? What the hell??
After the thumping we took in game 3 every time the Avalanche broke out of their zone I was nervous. The Avs suddenly had speed and were everywhere and we simply could not contain them!
Sure, playoffs are unpredictable. Just look at this years first round playoff exits. No one saw Tampa Bay being swept in round 1. Then the Penguins got swept in Round 1 too. Wait, what?? So much for playoff brackets!
Again, Smitty held us in this game. Who would have thought that Smitty would be the best Flames player in the playoffs. Our first line of Johnny, Mony and rotating player 3 were non-existant. Brodie again had me in fits and I don’t know why he wasn’t sitting in the pressbox. One positive sign was Valimaki, who came in and played well which bodes well for our future. The reffing sucked, so many missed calls both ways but the slashes to Johnny and Valimaki were so obvious!! C’mon, putting the whistles away doesn’t mean you allow it to get out of hand and players to get hurt!
Game 5!! Facing elimination.
With a glimmer of hope that we could pull out a win at home, I went down to the Dome to watch Game 5. The pre-party outside had the biggest giant screen I have ever seen, plus a giant Budweiser goal light. We got free towels, free chips, and free Timmies!! I feel bad for those that stood out there in the rain during this game though.
While the dread of elimination was looming, there was still this sense of “we can still win this game” before the game started. Disbelief set in when the Avs scored first. Then Johnny got hauled down from behind and awarded a penalty shot. I started recording it on my phone so that when he scored, I could also record the amazing crowd roar! Sigh, Johnny’s stick hit Gubauer’s skate and never got a clean shot off. Deflated.
Later in the game, Johnny got a clear breakaway but again failed to put it in the net. Hockey Gods, what did Johnny do to you??
To make matters even worse, soon after that, Johnny scored but it got waved off!! Goalie interference my ass! Our player was pushed into the goalie and I don’t even think he made contact as it was the Avs player that actually hit Grubauer. I recorded the chants of “Ref, you suck” just because. It was 4-1 by the end of the 2nd, and everyone just knew the 3rd wasn’t going to get any better. What a waste of a 50 win regular season, the 2nd best in Flames history. I feel your pain Johnny.
About Zadorov: while I hated him for going after Johnny’s knee in Game 1, by the end of Game 5, I wanted to trade for him. He is big, fast and hungry.
A guy in my section came down wearing this on his t-shirt. Funny, but a bit true.
Harvey getting hoisted by some hydraulics was new and cool!!
I love Johnny and know he was trying hard and things just weren’t clicking this round but gee, c’mon buddy, you gotta figure it out! Now that we have been eliminated, it’s the time when we hear about who was nursing which injuries and try to start guessing what Treliving will do during the off-season and at the draft. Who will stay and who will go?? Tre, you gotta do something about Neal and Brodie, seriously. And, while you are at it I don’t think re-signing Smitty is a good idea either. Yeah, I know, everyone is an arm chair GM, including me. Let’s build on this and come back next season!! Go Flames Go!!
Time to switch over to Go Caps Go for the playoffs! Go Caps Go!!
Go Johnny Go!! Go Ovie Go!!