Life on the Road in Calgary - Part 2: Game Day
In the most dramatic fashion, the Ducks tied their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Calgary Flames 2-2 with a 3-2 overtime victory on Thursday night. Now MightyDucks.com invites you to experience life on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as senior website writer Rich Dunn tags along for a pivotal game five in Calgary.
It's game day. Life on the Road continues at the Saddledome as the Ducks prepare to face the Flames.
Forty hours after the Ducks landed in Alberta they will face off against the Flames with a 3-2 series advantage on the line for both teams.
The best and worst thing about Calgary in the NHL playoffs is that nothing else is important in the city. This game five has been analyzed and reanalyzed by local and national television personalities, newspaper journalists and non-stop sports talk radio. This is obviously a hockey fan's dream. However, all of the analysis becomes a bit redundant.
We certainly know by now that both teams are evenly matched, are physical and must be diligent on the forecheck. Just play the game already.
As you walk in from the media entrance in the back of the Saddledome, the concrete walls are adorned with huge banners sent in by fans to support the Flames.
Inside the rink, the doors have just opened to several hundred Flames fans who run up to the top level seats to claim stake in a general admission spot for the night. And, in case you haven't noticed yet, everyone is wearing red.
By the Ducks locker room, several Ducks players including Joffrey Lupul, Todd Fedoruk, Travis Moen, Ryan Getzlaf and others kick a soccer ball around to get loosened up.
By far the best thing about the Pengrowth Saddledome is the press box. It juts out over the top seating level to give the writers and broadcasters a vantage point from right on top of the ice. If you want to go to the other side of the press box on the other side of the ice - no need to walk around the rink. There is a catwalk that runs clear across the roof that remains open throughout the game.
The green seats are starting to turn red with the Calgary fans. The opening face off is 15 minutes away. Game five is ready to begin.