Saluting An Awesome Foe

Tuesday night was the first time I had experienced a Game Seven in person. While I'm more than grateful for the experience, I wouldn't mind not going through it again.

The intense beauty of the second period was something to savor. Before the Flames pulled ahead 2-1 the game had been relatively even, an ebb and flow as both San Jose and Calgary had stretches of time where they had the advantage. But when they were behind, no one on Los Tiburones turtled or panicked. Instead, in the twilight of his career Jeremy Roenick stood up and said through deed not word he was not yet ready to contemplate leaving this game without continuing his pursuit of at least once hoisting the Cup. You know the rest. The Sharks turned into their namesake, attacking without restraint or pity. There was a brief lull at the beginning of the third period when the Flames were able to make it a two goal deficit on their part, but then San Jose got back into an aggressive mode, and Calgary could only watch as their season came to a conclusion.

I wonder if this was Owen Nolan's last game. After making the Sharks more than once deeply regret his deciding to sign with the Flames instead of them, his teary departure from the ice after the team handshake during which he spent several moments with old teammates such as Evgeni Nabokov gives reason to believe this was the final night for #11. If so, he will be a welcome presence at the Tank, be it as a spectator or if Doug Wilson can find a spot for him in the front office.

It was easy to understand why the few Flames fans who came down for the game were both shaking hands and having their hands shaken by Sharks fans after the game. Calgary played the series with guts and passion from the first shift to the last. Some more secondary scoring, and they will be a genuine threat in this league. But this year, they simply didn't have enough to beat the Sharks. A tip of the cap to them.

Bring on Dallas.