It's been too long since I wrote something hockey-related; a Battle of Alberta on HNIC seems like a good time to pick up the stick again. Some quickie notes, it's not a Flames-Oilers Hockey Night in Canada without:
* some lousy puck luck. The last few years it's been the Oilers getting the nasty end of the stick, but the first goal was one of the luckiest I've seen in a long time.
* lots of fast skating and spirited play.
* Dion Phaneuf shoving somebody from behind after the whistle. He got Penner and somebody else, didn't catch who but Stortini wanted a piece of him for it, and naturally he wanted nothing to do with getting his knuckles bruised.
* Robyn Regehr head-hunting Ales Hemsky. Twice. I thought he was lucky to just get two minutes after slamming Hemsky's head into the boards, and Hemsky's lucky his neck's still in one piece. The CBC guys were calling for a major; the way the NHL's going after headshots, I think that should have been a match penalty. Hemsky's a much tougher guy than he gets credit for. I'm sure he'll be feeling that tomorrow though.
* some sick goaltending. Kipprusoff let in one softie, but was otherwise great, and Mathieu Garon is making me forget about poor ol Jussi whathisname.
Matthew Lombardi's looking really good - I don't follow Flames games much, but since the Oilers effectively traded him for Stoll, I'm always interested in him. Speed to burn, and sometimes the hands are there. He drew at least a couple of penalties, and gave the Oilers defenders fits all night. An interesting player.
Alan Rourke was on the ice with a couple of minutes left; Simpson commented on it and said something about MacTavish being forced to deal with inexperience. Rourke's not a total babe in the woods though, of course; he's 27 and while he only had 42 NHL games before tonight, he's got about 300 AHL games under his belt. (He even played with Robert Nilsson in Bridgeport.)
At any rate, good game and the good guys won, so enough said.