Friday, March 27, 2009

Extra Attacker: Calgary Can't Handle Steve Mason

Typically the Extra Attacker column here on the SportsJudge blog focuses on random NHL musings and topics that aren't swept up by the mainstream media or in our fantasy advice column The Puck Stops Here.

Today, we will focus actual extra attacker.

Last night, the Calgary Flames traveled to Columbus and fans got a look at what might be a first-round playoff preview in just a few short weeks. Columbus dominated the Flames 5-0 (highlights above) and obviously one fan wasn't too excited about this. According to the Blue Jackets "Puck-rakers" blog, a crazed Calgary Flames fan phoned in multiple death threats during the game, specifically targeting Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason:

The phone calls were placed between 7:45 p.m. and 8:11 p.m., roughly the end of the first period and the start of the second. The calls set off a hectic response behind the scenes in Nationwide, with special duty officers placed around all of the arenas entrances.

I'm personally frustrated from a fantasy perspective that Mason continues to dominate the NHL, but this is insane. Reports indicate Mason wasn't even able to celebrate the fact he had just set the franchise record for shutouts with his tenth of the season. He failed to appear on the ice after being named the game's #1 star and officials got him out of the arena as quickly as possible. I also found it really odd they would mention where this guy lived in the article - is provoking more harassment really appropriate in this situation? We'll leave that for another article on another day.

Psycho fans will never disappear, and as Verizon Wireless always reminds us, hockey fans aren't like other fans (Best Baby in the World!), but it's never good when they begin to interact with the players themselves. Of course there's the notorious Ron Artest brawl in the NBA, but who can forget Tie Domi in Philadelphia with his water bottle:

What also scared me about last night's game was the fact Calgary got shutout for the second straight night and appeared emotionless until a series of brawls in the second period resulted in 110 penalty minutes being dished out. It's never easy playing back-to-back nights on the road, especially this late in the season (Colorado spanked Wednesday...same will happen tonight for Tampa Bay), but wasn't this the team that was supposed to challenge the big boys in the Wild West (San Jose and Detroit) after bringing in Olli Jokinen and friends at the trade deadline? Dominating goaltending is a requirement for a Cup run...expect to see San Jose battling the New Jersey Devils in late May.

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