Friday, 1 May 2015

Go Flames Go!

Calgary Flames, our local NHL Ice Hockey team, have found themselves in the end of season playoffs to try and get to their Final and win the Stanley Cup. The playoff are three rounds of best-of-seven series, then the Final series, best-of-seven, to see who wins the Cup.
The Flames haven't been in the playoffs since 2009, they last made the Final series in 2004, and haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1989.
I have found myself becoming more and more interested as the first round series, against the Vancouver Canucks, progressed. It's a team sport, and there are tactical similarities to football, but it's just sooo much quicker. The more I watch it, the more I can actually see the puck, which seemed almost invisible when you first start to watch.
I'm not so "into it" yet that I've bought a hockey jersey to wear, though I will have to one day, then I can be part of the "C of Red" at their home stadium, the Saddledome:

I have joined in in another way though. Many of the players - and supporters - grow a "playoff beard" for the duration that their team remains in the competition. Here's mine from early in the series against the Canucks:

The superstition worked - the Flames won the series 4-2. Now in the second round, they're up against the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames lost the first game 6-1 last night in Anaheim, but given that they haven't won a single game in that arena for 11 years, that was no surprise. The next game, on Sunday, is also in Anaheim, so it's possible that the end is in sight for the beard, but I hope not. Two weeks growth and it doesn't seem much different tonight to how it was when I took that first pic!

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