There are a few reasons you can say Calgary toppled Tampa Bay 4-1 in game one of the Finals, last night.
Calgary had a slightly hotter goalie. Tampa didn’t get the bounces. Tampa’s defense was sloppy, as it’s been so many times during the playoffs.
But the main reason? The intangible reason?
The Flames looked like they were having the time of their life, last night. Sure, it’s not hard to be excited when you’re up 1-0, then 2-0, then 3-0, but from the first puck drop, every Flame was just grinning ear-to-ear.
And the happiest of all was Jarome Iginla. Look at him here, after he scored his short-handed goal. He looks like a kid, with that huge smile. And the smile was still there when ESPN talked to him during the second intermission.
Calgary was pure joy.
Contrast that with Tampa’s Martin St. Louis, Here he is in the third. Sure, he’s watching his team minutes from losing game one, but dude. It’s only game one. Smile. Enjoy. You might not ever play in the Finals again. Not that St. Louis isn’t great. St. Louis was the only Bolt skating like he was playing for the Stanley Cup. And the Finals are a huge deal. But you have to be like Calgary and tap into the joy of the game.
And about the Chris Simon controversy? He scored a beautiful goal in the last minute of the third. And that’s Simon. He’s capable of so much offensively, but he has no control over it. So he can score at will as his team is about to win. But will he be there when Calgary is down a goal? Who knows? Not even Simon.