Friday, May 12, 2006

Why I still love hockey even when my team gets knocked out of the playoffs

Sorry about another hockey-related post, but you non-hockey fans still might find this interesting...

When I was little, my dad took me to OHL games all the time - we actually had season tickets for the Sudbury Wolves, and I had the opportunity to watch players who are now in the NHL play when they were 17 years old. To this day, I still swear that the craziest things I've ever seen in hockey happened in Sudbury's "barn".

This year's playoffs has been very strange with some incredible playing, but also frustrating performances by many of the teams I wanted to see advance. My team got swept (by the DISNEY DUCKS no less), and all of the Canadian teams except Edmonton are either out or on the brink of being eliminated.

Tonight's game between Edmonton and San Jose (game 4, series at 2-1 for SJ) has been completely nuts - incredible scoring chances for both teams, great skating, great scoring, just an overall very good example of what the sport of hockey gives to its fans.

Anyway - the point of this post.

Edmonton's tying goal was the result of a fluke. Well, actually a series of flukes. So flukey were these flukes that the CBC announcers and Ron McLean said they'd never seen anything like it, and will likely be talking about this one for a loooong time.

San Jose is shooting on net, and Roloson (the Edmonton goalie) blocks the puck, which takes a crazy bounce and flies in a perfectly straight line up in the air...

fluke #1 - the puck flies right over everybody on the ice
fluke #2 - an Edmonton player (Samsonov) just happens to be behind everybody else on the ice and the puck pretty much lands in front of him
fluke #3 - the San Jose goaltender comes waaaaay out of his net, about halfway to the blue line to deflect the puck out of the Edmonton player's reach. Instead of hitting it past him, the puck knocks off the Edmonton player's shoulder and lands on the ice at his feet.

Samsonov scores on a completely empty net. The closest player on the ice is the SJ goalie - who's still gotta be at least 10 feet away so all he can do is watch.

Arena explodes into cheering as the fans go absolutely crazy.

I freakin guess so.

You just can't make this stuff up folks.

People who watch this sport will agree that it's not perfect and definitely has some issues, but the things like that crazy flukey fluke make this game something special. But maybe I'm a bit biased...


update: Edmonton wins the game 6-3, tying the series - Canada's only hope for a Stanley Cup


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