Friday, August 28, 2009

Red and White Scrimmage August 27, 2009

(Calgary, AB) There was a lot of star power in the warm-up. Wonder how much dough it all added up to? Hence the selling of tickets. Good sold-out crowd, too. Just missing Harvey the Hound.

On Team White, both Jarome Iginla and Eric Staal wearing number 12. Ryan Smyth was the last player off the ice during the warm-up, after he scooped some pucks out of the net and threw them into the stands for some fans. Class act.

When showing the players on the Jumbotron and announcing their names while the Zamboni was flooding the ice, Dany Heatley garnered a number of boos.

Fans cheered Jordan Staal as he headed into the penalty box for running over Roberto Luongo. Of course, Luongo showed why he was chosen for this camp. Unbelievable talent. No love lost between him and the locals here.

It was rumored that the first 20 minutes will be a scrimmage, then 20 minutes of drills, 20 of other stuff and a shootout. The full 60 minutes were fortunately a scrimmage, with Ryan Smyth opening the scoring -- unassisted for the white team at 1:35.

Red team tied it up at 6:17 with a goal by Jeff Carter, assisted by Mike Richards and Brendan Morrow.
Fans were booing Dany Heatley every time he touched the puck. The only place he’ll be able to play in the NHL without boos is the team of anonymity: Florida.

Sid Crosby gets a penalty in the second period and initially goes to the wrong penalty box. Jarome Iginla was doing that at yesterday’s practice. The players are obviously on auto-pilot.

Mike Richards took a puck to the mouth and went off for treatment.

Red scored the next goal: Patrick Marleau, unassisted, or rather assisted by white team’s Brent Seabrook, who muffed clearing the puck and fell to the ice at 18:06.

During the second intermission, some of the sledge hockey team players came out onto the ice to scrimmage. Great way to introduce the sport to more fans.

It doesn’t get better than this. Could watch this 82 times a year.

Big cheers for Iginla – and Steve Yzerman. Not so big for Heatley and Luongo. You’d think Ryan Smyth would get booed for his past service in Edmonton.

A power play goal Cory Perry assisted by Dan Boyle and Smyth – with Lucic in the box – was a sweet wrap around in the third at 10:59.

Joe Thornton was laughing as the fans booed after his goal is called – blatantly kicked in.
Now the players head back to their club teams, where the real evaluation begins.

This is probably the first time an exhibition scrimmage has been sold out: 19289 announced attendance, not counting the 200 media.


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