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Round One: Calgary @ Chicago

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POLL: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago

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31Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:14 am

Cronie


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dennycrane wrote:Has Calgary been waiting for the playoffs, or are they a fraud?

Chicago in 5. Sutter steps down, running from the cap mess he created. Keenan gets bumped upstairs.

WHoa! If that's True, Kennan has shown, in my view anyway, that he is NOT fit to GM properly.

Has for Sutter stepping down, his moves made sense at the deadline. Sure he gambled, and like they always say, when their moves pay off, they are received and hailed as geniuses and heros; however should they fail, they run the risk of being vilified and run out of town.

I think Calgary may surprise a few people, but can they weather the Hawks fury?

Chicago in 6.

32Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:12 am

davetherave


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The Flames will do whatever they have to do to win a game at the United Center. The Hawks will have to be ready to play a 'perfect pair' at home...and take one at the Saddledome.

A major challenge for this young Blackhawks team. The Flames have a history of playing desperate, take no prisoners playoff hockey.

Coach Quenneville would probably like to see the Hawks finish this in five.

So Chicago's strategy needs to be, 'be disciplined, be focused, overwhelm the opponent early and keep hammering--don't let them get back up off the mat'...because Iggy and Co won't quit.

Can't wait.

33Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:21 am

PTFlea


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Are you nervous Dave?

34Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:58 am

davetherave

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504Heater wrote:Are you nervous Dave?

Nope...just realistic. cool)

IMHO the sooner the Hawks can overcome the Flames, the better. Calgary can be one nasty, tenacious opponent.

35Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:20 pm

davetherave

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Here's what former Hawks captain and now veteran Flames D man Adrian Aucoin had to say in today's Calgary Herald:

"The good thing is that we haven't even come close to playing our best against them. We know that. And they know it, too. Their coaches and scouts have watched us enough to know it. Everybody's picking them? That's fine.''

What a series this is going to be.
:D:

36Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:00 pm

davetherave

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Here's the view from The Chicago Sun Times on tonight's game and the series:

Let's get physical

How Hawks stand up to bullying might determine their playoff fate

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/1529501,CST-SPT-neil16.article

April 16, 2009
BY NEIL HAYES nhayes@suntimes.com

If the Flames have their way, you can expect a violent ending.


The Blackhawks return to the playoffs tonight against the Calgary Flames.

''They are physical, and we expect them to come at us in that way,'' Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. ''We've got to respond in kind.''

One team has been hobbled. One team is soaring. One consists of mostly stubble-faced veterans who have logged more than 764 career playoff games. The other is made up primarily of fuzzy-cheeked kids whose only playoff exposure has come via television.

Calgary's bench boss is Mike Keenan, who, you may recall from his days as Hawks coach, is as subtle as a bag of billy clubs. Expect his Flames, licking their wounds after injuries contributed to a season-ending free fall, to try to make the wet-behind-their-ears Hawks wet their pants. Expect Calgary to unleash a 1-2 punch in the form of a 1-2 punch.

How the precocious Hawks respond to the expected bullying will punctuate a season that has rekindled Chicago's passion for its Original Six franchise.

''We don't know any different,'' second-year winger Adam Burish said with a grin. ''We don't know what we're supposed to do, how we are supposed to feel or how we're supposed to act. We act like we think we should and have fun with it.''Iginla, Kiprusoff a potent pair

The Hawks are favored, but Calgary is a dangerous team that boasts one of the league's most dynamic players and most respected leaders in Jarome Iginla.


Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff has carried teams on deep postseason runs before and could do so again despite a subpar (for him) season. Many considered the Flames capable of challenging the Red Wings and Sharks for conference supremacy before a rash of late-season injuries and salary-cap woes contributed to a 7-11 finish and a fifth seed.

Reversing that momentum against a Hawks team that closed the season 9-2-1 is critical from the first puck drop. The Flames want to establish superiority early against a team captained by 20-year-old Jonathan Toews, who never has appeared in a postseason game.

That's where Quenneville comes in. His vast playoff experience was a big reason why he replaced Denis Savard early in the season in a move that was shocking then and sensible now. The Hawks will lean on goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who backstopped Tampa Bay to the Stanley Cup in 2004. Young players will seek the advice of Andrew Ladd and Samuel Pahlsson, who also have won Cups.

But it doesn't matter how much they know. All that matters is how quickly players without previous teeth-rattling playoff experiences can make the adjustment.Youngsters are Hawks' leaders

Starting tonight, these young Hawks must grow up in a hurry.

''It's almost good when you're young because I don't think you really realize the importance of everything,'' Ladd said. ''I just had fun and played hard, and it was great. We had a lot of veteran guys. I could just go out and play and work my butt off.''

That might have worked for Ladd, who skated with veterans when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup during his rookie year. Hawks players don't have that luxury. In their case, young players are the leaders.

''When you're playing hard and playing well and you have a lot of confidence, it's easy to get high on yourself,'' Toews said. ''One of the good things we've done is not get too excited. We never got ahead of ourselves or thought we were better than we were. We're keeping our feet on the ground, knowing that every inch, every bit of success we get against this team, we're going to have to work for it. We're happy to be here, but we're not satisfied.''

Toews and Patrick Kane are like identical twins. People say their names together.

It's not fair to them or to other key players such as Martin Havlat, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp, Khabibulin and others, but that's reality. The two youngsters have earned high marks on every test they have been given. Now comes the final.

They should expect an oral exam -- stick handles to their chops.

37Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:05 pm

davetherave

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And the view from The Calgary Sun:

It's a bird, it's a plane ...

It's Miikka Kiprusoff, who will have to play like Superman for Flames to beat Hawks

By STEVE MACFARLANE
The Calgary Sun, April 16, 2009

Miikka Kiprusoff has to make a difference.

He needs to be the difference.

Incapable of shutting down the Chicago Blackhawks offence in the regular season, the Calgary Flames defence has an even bigger hole that could be exposed with Robyn Regehr out of the lineup a couple more weeks.

Even Regehr had trouble containing some of the speedy Hawks forwards as the Flames dropped all four games to the up-and-coming Original Six squad that has given new life to the Windy City this winter.

That means Kiprusoff can expect to be tested.

Responding with his best series since the one-man-show he put on against the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2007 playoffs is the only hope the Flames have of getting past it for the first time since the lockout.

Pulled in his last playoff appearance -- the Game 7 bow-out against the San Jose Sharks a year ago -- Kiprusoff will not only be responsible for ensuring no bad goals get past him, the 32-year-old Finn is on the hook to make a few stops many goaltenders couldn't normally make.

Probably early, too.

The Hawks have been all over the Flames in the opening minutes of their previous matchups.

Scoring 42 seconds into their last meeting, the Blackhawks owned a 2-1 lead before the seven-minute mark.

Their clash before that saw Martin Havlat give the Hawks an advantage over the Flames 3:26 in.

Allowing the momentum-hording Hawks any sort of early gap isn't going to make a Flames victory easy in the post-season, where goals are much harder to come by.
Kiprusoff has to make goals nearly impossible to get past him. He didn't do it against the Sharks.

Posting a 3.21 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in that series, Kiprusoff was yanked twice in favour of fossil Curtis Joseph.

It was a far cry from his stellar display against the Wings the previous spring.

With no right to make it to Game 6 of that one-sided series, the Flames came inches away from forcing a seventh game before finally falling in overtime.

It was all due to Kiprusoff's heroics.

Blasted with 97 shots over two games in Detroit, Kiprusoff was the only Flame not completely overwhelmed by the attack.

His save percentage over the six-game set was .929, and his GAA at 2.81 despite the abuse.

To overcome the Hawks attack, the Flames need Kiprusoff to be that good again.

His 2.84 GAA over the past seven months is troubling, but more worrisome is the .903 save percentage -- his lowest as a Flame.

Too often this season, a weak goal at a bad time has deflated his team.

Fragile from a stretch drive that saw the injuries pile up after weeks of poor play, the Flames might not be able to handle another blow to their ego. How they play in Game 1 tonight could affect the outcome of the entire series.

It's up to Kiprusoff to be the bendy but unbreakable backbone.

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA

38Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:35 pm

davetherave

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From today's Calgary Herald:


10 things to watch

Celebrating greatness, missing left-wingers and other playoff madness

Scott Cruikshank, The Calgary Herald
Thursday, April 16, 2009


At this time of year, there are more questions than answers. On the day of Game 1 of the National Hockey League's first-round series between the Calgary Flames and the Chicago Blackhawks, here are 10 things to ponder.

And remember--all will be spelled out in two weeks' time.

1.Time To celebrate The 20th anniversary of the Flames' only Stanley Cup championship. But how?

If it's with another first-round exit, no one will be too pleased. After all, the owners have paid the NHL's salary-cap maximum, a robust shelling-out that doesn't even include the $2.5 million that Rhett Warrener drew while recuperating from shoulder surgery, the $1.5 million that Anders Eriksson earned for a full season in the American Hockey League, the $1 million that Marcus Nilson got for his season overseas.

So for any level of organizational satisfaction, this group had better barge manfully into the second round--a place the Flames have visited only once (!) since 1989.

2. Can the Flames survive without their best defenceman?

With Robyn Regehr drydocked by a bad knee, who draws shutdown assignments?

The task could fall onto the shoulders of the pairing of Dion Phaneuf and Jordan Leopold. Quite frankly, it's unfair to expect Phaneuf to defend as well as the rangy Regehr. (No. 3, after all, was on the ice for more goals against, 122, than any other player in the NHL this winter.) Leopold, though, has shown he can eat up minutes and play a positionally sound game. Jim Vandermeer provides a nasty old-school presence, while Adrian Aucoin has experience on his side. Anders Eriksson is adequate fill-in fodder. The Flames' best hope is getting Cory Sarich back in harness -- like, right now. He is close.

The rest of Calgary's blueline is learning on the job.

3. First-line darlings? Fourth-line grunts?

Yes, you've heard the coachspeak-- that old bit about the best players being the best players, and whichever team's best players play best will prevail.

OK. Whatever.

Curtis Glencross looks at it differently. The gritty winger insists first lines are generally a push, meaning that tide-turning comes from the second, third and fourth combinations.

Glencross may be onto something.

The Flames can trot out a third trio of Glencross, Craig Conroy and David Moss.

The Hawks can counter with Andrew Ladd, Sammy Pahlsson and Dustin Byfuglien.

And both sides can roll four lines.

Look for loyal toilers, such as Eric Nystrom or Colin Fraser, to play hero roles.

4. Bulin wall versus unflappable Finn

Well-publicized is Nikolai Khabibulin's mastery of Calgary --22-5-2 in the regular season. But in the 2004 Stanley Cup final, the slim difference between the Russian wizard and Miikka Kiprusoff had been a single save--a pres-sure-packed parrying of Jordan Leopold's third-period drive in Game 7 in Tampa.

Meaning? This series matchup, in particular, is wicked close. Yes, maybe a single save again.

If some sort of weirdness plops this thing into the hands of the second-stringers, Chicago, with Cristobal Huet on the payroll, holds the distinct advantage--especially if Curtis McElhinney's blocker-hand thumb is ratched (he was dinged in Tuesday's practice) and Leland Irving is hustled one more step up the ladder.

5. Which captain will have the biggest say?

Calgary's Jarome Iginla excels at this time of the year. He's supposed to be the team's finest player and he rarely disappoints. The 2004 run? Check. The 2006 first-round loss to Anaheim (even after that Game 6 pummelling by Francois Beauchemin)? Check. Game 7 in San Jose last spring? Check. In his 48 playoff appearances, Iginla has collected 45 points.

Chicago's Jonathan Toews, one of the sport's brightest young leaders, is getting his first taste of the playoffs. However, he won't have the luxury of time.

Jitters?

No time. Forget about it, sonny. He's a first-line centre and one of the faces of the franchise.

6. Whose power play stinks more?

The Flames have the head start in that dubious department. That 10-plus game run of futility (0-for-43) to end the season was a head-scratcher. But practising the power play-- really! they actually did!--can't hurt. In fact, on Tuesday morning, the players appeared genuinely euphoric when they converted, uh, one man-advantage opportunity. Hey, you've got to start somewhere.

The Hawks, though, are hardly PP aces--2-for-33 over their final nine games. At home, their crew is ranked 19th.

Note: The Flames' power-players surrendered a league-worst 15 short-handed goals. The Hawks, meanwhile, banked 10 shorties-- only five squads collected more.

7. Showdown of the puppet-masters/spindoctors (A. K. A. hockey coaches)

Neither man is at his first dance. Calgary's Mike Keenan possesses one Stanley Cup ring and 167 post-season appearances (the most among active skippers).

Chicago bench-boss Joel Quenneville has collected 87 playoff notches. The former is in charge of a grizzled, yet inconsistent, bunch; the latter marshalls a green, but gung-ho group.

Mind games ahoy!

8. The curious case of the missing left-wingers

Against the Hawks this winter, Michael Cammalleri produced zero points, absorbing a minus-9 in the process. (In his previous meetings with Chicago, while with the Los Angeles Kings, he'd recorded 12 points in 13 games.) And Todd Bertuzzi?

Remember him? Since returning from knee surgery, the big chap has been reduced to a zone-circling nonfactor-- one paltry helper in nine games.

For these two pending free agents--and recent targets of Darryl Sutter's scowl-faced criticism-- the spotlight is getting hotter.

9. What! Pardon me! I can't hear you!

If things can proceed after Thursday's wall-of-sound national anthem--that is to say, if the roof doesn't get torn clean off the United Center--this series will feature the game's loudest crowd . . . and one that'll be trying its darnedest to match that din, decibel for decibel, in Games 3 and 4.

Good, clean, ear-bruising fun.

10. Familiar faces? Familiar face-washes.

These boys know plenty about each other. The Western Hockey League has deposited nearly a dozen eager beavers, of near-identical vintage, into this series. - For Chicago--Andrew Ladd (Calgary, 2003-05); Cam Barker (Medicine Hat, 2002-06); Dustin Byfuglien (Brandon, Prince George, 2002-05); Colin Fraser (Red Deer, 2001-05); Brent Seabrook (Lethbridge, 2001-05); Kris Versteeg (Lethbridge, Kamloops, Red Deer, 2002-06); Troy Brouwer (Moose Jaw, 2002-06); Duncan Keith (Kelowna, 2002-03). - For Calgary--Dion Phaneuf (Red Deer, 2001-05), Dustin Boyd (Moose Jaw, 2002-06), Brett Sutter (Kootenay, Red Deer, 2003-07).

By the way, since the lockout, Hitmen alumni have hoisted the Stanley Cup every June--Ladd and the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, Ryan Getzlaf and the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, Brad Stuart and the Detroit Red Wings in 2008.

scruickshank@theherald.canwest.com

39Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:59 am

sennies1980

sennies1980
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HAVLAT!!!!

http://talkinghockey.wordpress.com

40Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:11 am

davetherave

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chicagotribune.com
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Blackhawks, Havlat restore roar in overtime of Game 1

Havlat's 2nd goal, :12 into OT, sends fans over top

Rick Morrissey
April 17, 2009


So this is what seven years without the playoffs sounds like.

Like a deranged jet engine.

Or like a tornado doing a mean imitation of a freight train.

When Martin Havlat scored the game-winning goal 12 seconds into overtime Thursday night to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory over Calgary, the United Center threatened to relocate a block or two away, thanks to a crowd that came with its own seismic reading.

Loud? Crazy loud.

"By far the loudest" of the season, Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We've had great fans all year, but they got us going. They made it a lot of fun."

This is what happens when a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs since 2002 finally skates into the postseason. People roar. There was so much hope and happiness and relief in those roars.

Those roars said: At last.

"I think the atmosphere of the home games in Chicago during the regular season was great," Havlat said. "[Thursday night] was even better. Especially after the game."

What was it we said last season? That the marketing bells and whistles were all fine and good but that 2008-09 would be the season in which something of substance would be expected. And here it was, on a beautiful April night at the United Center expectations met, or at least some of them.

It had been great when the Hawks found their way from medieval times onto TV. It had been great when Hull and Esposito and Mikita were invited back. It had been great when President John McDonough reached out to fans in so many ways you were sure he strained a few muscles. But there is no better marketing strategy than winning.

The idea Thursday night was that while the Hawks were in the playoffs, they might as well take advantage of it. Make themselves comfortable. Stay awhile in this best-of-seven series.

They got off to a good start, winning Game 1 and overcoming a lackluster start.

All night long, the crowd was dying for something to happen. Any hint of something. A little something. Something big happened finally, at last when Havlat scored a goal to tie the game 2-2 late in the third period. At that moment, you couldn't hear a pin drop. Trust me, you wouldn't have been able to hear a brontosaurus drop.

The game hadn't started off nearly so well. David Moss had parked to the right of Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and stuffed in a shot from Craig Conroy for a 1-0 Calgary lead.

The Flames dominated that first period. The Hawks were outshot 10-5 and had no scoring opportunities of which to speak. It didn't look like nerves or playoff inexperience was to blame. It looked like the Hawks got outplayed. They looked bad on the only power-play they had in the period, a problem area in the latter stages of the regular season.

Khabibulin was excellent early on, stopping Todd Bertuzzi in the first period from close in, then Curtis Glencross from point-black range in the second.

The Hawks played much, much better in the second. Their checking was crisper. They controlled the puck more often. They got actual shots on goal. When Cam Barker sent a little wrist shot in on Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, it looked like it would have all the success of a Jim Belushi musical. It went in. The shot wasn't hard. Kiprusoff wasn't screened. But it went in.

The Hawks weren't complaining. Neither were the fans. The goal tied the game 1-1. The crowd had believed. Now it had something to show for its belief.

Khabibulin had almost no chance on Mike Cammalleri's goal early in the third period, The Hawks goalie committed on Daymond Langkow and then watched helplessly as Langkow's pass found Cammalleri to the side of the net. It gave the Flames a 2-1 lead.

The next step in the progression of a young team is when it decides just making the playoffs isn't enough. Surely these Hawks already believe that.

The novelty of the Blackhawks being in the playoffs will wear off soon, if it hasn't already. The streak of 28 straight seasons in the playoffs, the streak that ended in 1997, seems hard to believe now, given the dry period that followed it. But there's no reason a team built around Patrick Kane and Toews shouldn't be a regular this time of year.

As wonderful as the Hawks- Red Wings outdoor game at Wrigley Field was on New Year's Day, Thursday was better, at least if you like your hockey meaningful. The Wrigley game said the Hawks were relevant again. This game said the Hawks had come home, where they belonged. In the playoffs.

The crowd was at a fever pitch. It was good and loud.

rmorrissey@tribune.com

Copyright 2009, Chicago Tribune

41Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:26 am

caissie_1

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Interference??? What do you guy's think!

42Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:38 am

davetherave

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caissie_1 wrote:Interference??? What do you guy's think!

Playoff hockey.

If the Flames had scored, Keenan would have been smiling instead of whining.
Razz

43Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:50 am

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
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I think Cammalleri is getting suspended.

After the Carcillo suspension... they have to follow-up.

44Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:51 am

shabbs

shabbs
Hall of Famer
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caissie_1 wrote:Interference??? What do you guy's think!
I gotta say, it looked like Ladd was pushed into Kipper. As much as I hate to admit that, I think the call was good.

45Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:03 am

davetherave

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shabbs wrote:I think Cammalleri is getting suspended.

After the Carcillo suspension... they have to follow-up.

This game featured a lot of serious body contact, which you would expect between these two teams.

When I saw the hit during the game, it didn't look as violent as it later was shown to be. But it was clearly an elbow smash to Havlat's head, and a pretty vicious one.

Not a smart move by Cammalleri to begin with. If he gets suspended he will really wear the goat horns--especially if the Flames go down next game.

I expect more rock and roll in Game Two.
:fight:

46Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:15 pm

SensFan71


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caissie_1 wrote:Interference??? What do you guy's think!

On the OT goal, looks like the chicago player was steered into Kipper, didn't skate into the crease, he just drove the net and the D-man couldn't handle him. playoff hockey like DTR said, and deep down, Keenan realizes that too, but if he doesn't say what he did, then he isn't calgary's coach.

47Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:25 pm

davetherave

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SensFan71 wrote:
caissie_1 wrote:Interference??? What do you guy's think!

On the OT goal, looks like the chicago player was steered into Kipper, didn't skate into the crease, he just drove the net and the D-man couldn't handle him. playoff hockey like DTR said, and deep down, Keenan realizes that too, but if he doesn't say what he did, then he isn't calgary's coach.

Exactly, SF71...Keenan is being Keenan. He's been around long enough to know the 'game of gamesmanship'...

And with Keenan having been the Hawks' coach back in the late 80s and early 90s (BTW his current associate coach, former Flames HC Jim Playfair, played for him on those teams in Chicago), it makes it all a little bit spicier.

cool)

48Round One: Calgary @ Chicago - Page 3 Empty Re: Round One: Calgary @ Chicago on Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:29 pm

Cronie

Cronie
Co-Founder
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No question, in my eyes, that Ladd was 'helped' into Kipper's way, so it was a good call IMHO.

Also, Cammalleri will most certainly be suspended. How long, who knows...2-3 games maybe? or perhaps just one.

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