Rough count of career years:
Hudler, Wideman, Gio, TJ, Russell, Bouma, and Ramo.
Seven guys had their best season (based on points and sv% in Ramo's case) ever this year.
How did the Flames make the playoffs? A huge portion of the roster had career years.
Rookies and the rookie-ish. Ortio comes in and has a .931 sv% when we called on him to play. Goes 4 - 1. A 'Saves the season' type of performance. Gaudreau comes in and puts up 61 points (so far). Monahan puts up 62 in his second year. Even Granlund contributed, relative to expectations.
How did the Flames make the playoffs? Significant contributions from young players.
Having the favour of the hockey gods doesn't hurt either. All the come from behind victories...team of destiny stuff. Who knows if it will continue.
But... We have decent goaltending. We have some skilled forwards. On paper, our PP should do well. We don't take a lot of penalties. You never know.
Vancouver is under water during 5 - 5 play, a minus nine. Flames are plus two. So, again, you never know.
I've been with this team for a while now. I can't go against them now. I do think they will beat Vancouver, but it's based on faith more than anything. And honestly, Vancouver, looking at the stats, isn't that much more impressive. It's not like we are playing the Blues. Flames and Canucks are two close teams. And we've gotten bounces all year.
It's going to be fun, either way.
So Hudler scores the empty net goal. I am up in the 300 sections. Hudler scores the goal, and everyone jumps up and starts cheering.
Some jackalope 5 rows above me decides (is drunk? got pushed?) to, literally, belly flop onto the people the row in front of him. Which causes a human dominoes chain, maybe seven rows are involved. Just a mess of flopped people. Luckily I wasn't caught up in it.
Where can a brother get a car flag in this town?
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.