10/9 sharks 4, CALGARY 1
I've only been here for a few hours, but Calgary has been very informative to me, as I learned a few things tonight at the game: 1) Ricci is ugly, 2) he also sucks, 3) San Jose doesn't belong in the NHL, and 4) people in Calgary have poor beer aim.
Other than a bit of ragging from the quickly quieted Flame crowd tonight, my experience at the Saddledome was a good one. Spoke to many nice people, ushers and fans alike, had a soda, viewed the history that surrounds the concourse, and watched some pretty hard working hockey.
Ask a Shark fan, and the Sharks won tonight. Ask a Flame fan, and Calgary lost it. Either way, the Sharks worked hard in the corners, blocked shots and passes, and kept the Flames from penetrating the zone on the power play many times, and were rewarded for their efforts with the pair of points. Patrick Marleau led the way with three assists, and Vesa Toskala had 29 saves for his second win of the year.
The most encouraging numbers tonight for any fan of the teal were the special teams stats. The Sharks were 2-6 on the PP, while killing off 10 of 11 Calgary man advantages.
On a side note, I met a very nice woman tonight, a 68 year old hockey fan from Philadelphia who is doing a trip similar to mine as it is filled with hockey. However this woman, I think Nancy is her name, is looking to attend NHL games in each of the 30 arenas around the league.
The Sharks, and I, are off until Thursday when they travel to Oil Country to take on Edmonton. See you guys then.
EDIT: Forgot to add the unique celebration they have in the 'Dome. Hanging above the goals, from the rafters, are large white boxes, labeled "Enmax". As I found out throughout the game, Enmax is the local energy company, supplying both propane and electricity to the citizens of Calgary. In honor of that, and the fact that the team is called the Flames, every Calgary goal is celebrated not just with a blast of the horn, but with a rather large fire blast from these boxes, accompanied by several smaller blasts from torches fixed to the bottom of the scoreboard. Unorthodox, but kinda cool, well, warm, nonetheless.
Center ice from my seat
The banners (the four in the front are the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL )