(Taken from the first tilt between Rick Rypien and Brandon Prust)
Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks @ GM Place
3-2 Final S/O
If you missed this, SHAME ON YOU! It's HNIC! You don't do that (unless absolutely neccessary (and even then, you should be dying to miss it!))!
Which ever team won tonight would've gone to the top of the Northwest Division table. No sorry point would do it, just a win. And if that wasn't enough to light a flame under their bums, the fact that it's a rivalry sure did.
Sami Salo and Aaron Rome were scratches from tonight's game. Salo's eye is swollen shut and Rome is taken extra precautions with some concussion-like symptoms. So Brad Lukowich (34) got to play his first game as a Canuck and Evan Oberg (64) got to play his first NHL game.
Calgary got the early PP and applied the pressure quick! They had a couple of early, great chances, but Roberto Luongo beat them to it everytime. After all the domination done by Calgary, Rene Bourque scored the first goal of the night with a wrister over Louie's glove-hand.
Team Sweden, I hope you've been watching our games as of late! After Sweden had left him off the Olympic roster, Mikael Samuelsson has been playing great hockey (not like he wasn't before, though). A battle in the corner, neither of the Flames could handle the pressure Vancouver applied. The puck was coughed up to Mason Raymond. Mase brought it around the back of the net and passed in front of the net for Samuelsson to bank in. How do you like that now, Swedes?
After a bit of chirping, Rick Rypien and Brandon Prust finally drop the gloves. Now, I highly anticipated Rypper dropping the gloves. A game of this calibre would not, not draw a fight from this boy. Rick rocked Prust early but the latter landed a good upper-cut on Rypper that brought him down. Rick just got right back up, though, and the fight didn't lose an ounce of spark. By the end of the fight, not only were the spectators tired, but the two skaters' chests were heaving breaths into their lungs and only then did the linesmen jump in.
Quite a heated a period - I liked. Being outshot 5-14 - I don't like.
Even after the intermission, Rypien and Prust were still in the box serving their fighting majors. Despite glass separating the two of them, their mouths kept going at each other.
The boards got a lot of action tonight. The puck was poked free from a battle along them and Willie Mitchell started a rush the opposite way. The defenceman made the up-ice pass to Henrik Sedin. Hank danced down into the zone and made the fancy pass through a Flames' legs to his brother. Dany redirected the puck into the open net to give us our first lead of the evening.
After about, say, 5 minutes out of the sin bin, Brandon Prust and Rick Rypien went at it again to interlock fists for a second time tonight! Just like the first time, these two landed some excellent hits making it extra difficult to give the win to anyone! Again, after all was thrown and taken, they were dead out of breath and that's when the linesmen jumped in. Very smart of them to let this two fight it off.
Next one was a fluke. We won the faceoff in our zone, but the puck took a bounce off of Willie Mitchell's skate. Under rated Jamie Lundmark took the lucky bounce and went 5-hole on Luongo who wasn't exactly expecting that one.
One of my favourite sites of the game (that won't make the highlight reel probably) was our all Swedish PP-unit. Coach Vigneault came up with the idea of putting Mikael Samuelsson, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Alex Edler on the PP to get a goal. My only thought during the whole thing, were they yelling Swedish instructions to each other or something?
On that same PP, the Flames got some emotion drawn out of Kyle Wellwood. Mason Raymond found some extra strength and had these monster slapshots and so did Christian Ehrhoff! Dany had some great chances with a couple of tip-ins, but Miikka Kippersoff came up with some MONSTER saves to keep it a 2-2 hockey game.
After the second set of 20 minutes, fans got to see a bit of rough stuff between the two lines on the ice. Willie Mitchell and Jarome Iginla were yapping at each other for a bit of time. Luongo came out of his net and pushed Iggy away from Mitchell. Iggy answered the captain back with a little shove.
Third period, our under rated defenceman deserved some recognition! Alexander Edler really shone tonight after being in the right place at the right time, timely saves, and keeping his cool to make those timely saves.
After 4 OTs already dealt out on this 11-game night, Canucks added one more to make it 5. Once those 5 minutes were finished, Canucks added a S/O to the other 3 already finished tonight.
Vancouver's first shoot was Kyle Wellwood. Welly made us remember what magic he had/has. Just a simple chip over Kipper's glove put us up one until Nigel Dawes wristed his shot above Louie's blocker. Kesler couldn't cash in his shot, but Olli Jokinen could. The slippery shooter came in with speed and got the 5-hole shot in. The boy with one hell of a season, Mason Raymond, was the third shooter for the Canucks. Mase went wide and got the puck to his backhand for the flip over Kipper.
Jamie Lundmark had a chance to win it for the Flames as the third shooter. And that's exactly what he did. Very good shot taken by the young man. Lundmark used his skates and stick to fake-out Louie and get the S/O winner.
After an amazing game, a winner was finally deemed and the Northwest Divison has an outright leader now. This was not a game to miss. The feeling you got was nothing that could ever be repeated (unless...). Not only did the rivalry emerge, but it felt like a playoff match with a mix of old-school hockey! And there's nothing like old-school hockey!
(1) Jamie Lundmark
(2) Roberto Luongo
(3) Rene Bourque
I haven't seen blood come from Rypper since... forever!
Check out the air Dany got!
And now, your current Northwest Division leaders