Just what is the recipe that results in a
home loss to the worst team in the Western
- Lackluster team effort from the home side
- Bizarre effort from the officiating staff
- Start the home side off quick, with plenty
of chances, and many a blocked shot
- Have the officials make their stake on the
game, completely delivering momentum from
the home side to the road side.
- Have the home team inable to stem the tide
or react positively to the slightest sign of
You get the idea.
As the dust settled on what should have been
a quiet finish, the Ducks walked away with a 4-0
triumph over the Calgary Flames at the Pengrowth
Saddledome on Saturday night.
The Flames had numerous chances in the games
first ten minutes carrying the play to the
Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
The game seemed to change on a dime when
Clarke Wilm was called for crosschecking leading
to a Ducks powerplay that resulted in a goal
from Paul Kariya.
On the play Jeff Friesen fed Kariya for a
wide open net, Mike Vernon had little chance.
A few minutes later the Ducks doubled their
lead when Dean McAmmond was pulled down in the
Calgary zone resulting in a two on one for the
Ducks. Patric Kjellberg completed the play to
put the visitors up by what turned out to be an
The officiating played a large role in the
Ducks' third goal in the second period when
Jason York scored with a two man advantage. The
Flames were down two men due to two more strange
calls to Scott Nichol and Ron Petrovicky.
The third period was a different game in
The mayhem seemed to start when Craig Berube
rubbed Duck goaltender J.S. Giguere into the
boards behind the Anaheim net. The hit itself
was rather harmless, but clearly a penalty, and
led to a double minor when Berube finished the
play by fighting all takers that took offence to
the original call.
Apparently the four minutes weren't enough to
appease Duck coach Brian Murray.
Two and a half minutes later Duck tough guy
Kevin Sawyer tried to mix it up with Calgary
defenceman Bob Boughner. The attempt to fight
appeared to be retaliation for a Boughner hit on
Kariya in the second period. Sawyer dropped his
gloves and chased after Boughner, who skated
away much like Sawyer did in the first period
when Berube thought he had acquired a bout with
the Duck winger.
The calls were different this time around as
the officials let the bare handed Sawyer
retrieve his stick without a call despite the
fact that they whistled Berube for roughing in
the first period for exactly the same action.
Sawyer wouldn't stay out of the box long.
Less than a minute later, with goaltender
Mike Vernon having covered the puck on a dump in
, Sawyer skated deliberately toward the Calgary
cage and cross checked Vernon in the mask.
Knowing the foul was bound to cause a stir,
Sawyer turned with his gloves already dropped in
time to receive an incensed Robyn Regher in the
first what was to be a long line of fights to
conclude the game.
In what was likely the second part of
Murray's retribution plan, the additional Duck
tough guy on the ice, Denny Lambert jumped
Jarome Iginla, the NHL's leader goal and point
getter. After the gloves were dropped Lambert
found more than he bargained for from the
skilled winger, and Iginla more than held his
own in the fight, ducking many a Lambert blow,
only to deliver his own right.
Then ... if you can imagine .. things got a
little more insane.
Greg Gilbert clearly orchestrated the next
set of events as all four Calgary Flames lining
up for the next face off dropped their mitts and
proceeded to pummel their Anaheim counterparts.
After the original four Flame skaters
(Gauthier, Boughner, Wilm and Begin) were all
ejected for instigating, a ten minute
misconduct, fighting, and a game misconduct,
another set of Flames took the ice to fill in
On the next face off where three skaters
faced three skaters, Toni Lydman and Rob Niedermayer both dropped the mitts and found
partners to dance with themselves.
After they were ejected the next set took the
ice which featured Ron Petrovicky fighting and
The next face off had Scott Nichol fighting
and then ejected.
To cap things off Dave Lowry, spying tough
guy Craig Berube ready to get out of the ice,
flipped the puck into the crowd to free the
Flames winger. Soon after Berube was chasing
Duck winger Jeff Friesen down the ice and
pummeling him into the ice.
When the dust settled the Flames accumulated
190 minutes of penalties in the third period, to
the Ducks 107.
While condoning the Flames actions toward the
end of the game would clearly be wrong, one
could empathize with the frustration that would
clearly have been festering on the Calgary
bench. When a tandem of officials so brutally
butcher a National Hockey League game, it's only
natural to see the victimized team react with
The Ducks cheap tactics involving Sawyer was
like lighter fluid on an already simmering coal
In a strange turn of events, a 4-0 loss might
have actually galvanized the Flames team
cohesion, and may do a lot to right a ship that
has drifted from the plan that built them their
lead in the standings.