I've been scared of him since I was a kid, especially after he absolutely broke my heart in May of 1999.
My parents surprised me with game six tickets, Colorado vs. Detroit. After blowing a 2-0 series lead, the Red Wings were on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs following two straight Stanley Cup wins in 1997 and 1998. And sitting in the nosebleeds of Joe Louis Arena, I saw one player -- Peter Forsberg -- take the game and the series into his own hands.
Forsberg's two-goal effort lifted his team to victory then. And last night, he gave the Buffalo Sabres their first taste of post-season defeat.
And the scary part was that Forsberg didn't even need to shoot the puck on net to score. On his first tally, Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell swung at the puck and ended up hitting the puck off Jay McKee's skate and into the net. For his second, Forsberg stationed himself behind the Sabre net and banked the puck off goaltender Ryan Miller.
“I didn’t know, I was just trying to hit something in front of the net, just trying to get it there,” Forsberg told philadelphiaflyers.com. “It was kind of my two luckiest goals ever, but we’ll take them and go from there.”
Lucky? I'm not fooled. Forsberg makes the plays happen through his hard work and superstar talent. Still not convinced? He now has 159 points in 136 playoff games. I've always been scared of him, but I just hope Chris Drury and the Sabres can contain him better in the rest of the series than they did in game two.
Just like Forsberg: Forsberg isn't the only one using telekinesis to score goals in the playoffs. His old teammate, Alex Tanguay, banked the puck off Willie Mitchell's skate for the OT-winner in game three of the Dallas-Colorado series. Detroit's Robert Lang kept with the trend when his wrister hit both posts before bouncing off Jaroslav Spacek and into the net against the Oilers. Nashville's Paul Kariya added another off San Jose's Kyle McLaren.
Philly fans have no class:
"Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Denis Gauthier used his stick blade as deftly as a surgeon.
And it hurt Sabres winger J.P. Dumont about as much as the scalpel that sliced him open on an operating table five months ago.
Dumont writhed on his hands and knees for several minutes and needed assistance to leave the ice in the second period." -TBN
But it wasn't the play -- which some perceived as an attempt to injure -- that really bugged me. It was the fans reaction at the Wachovia Center. With Dumont obviously experiencing pain on the ice, the Flyers' PA announcer said, "Ladies and gentlemen, Let’s show our class and cheer the man down on the ice." The fans did just the opposite, booing Dumont as he was helped off the ice by two teammates.
Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret commented, "You get the feeling they'd only cheer if someone was taken away in a hearse."
Oh yea, and these are the same fans that tossed hundreds of hats on the ice when Simon Gagne scored into the empty net at the end of the game, thinking that Forsberg had completed the hat trick. Hey fans: 12 is not 21. And an assist isn't a goal.