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The best and worst of hockey

Last night's 3rd period in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals had both the best and worst of hockey on display: fluid movement from the Lightning yielding three quick goals in succession, and vigilante justice from the Flames once the game went out of reach. Die hard hockey fans may have a different view, but I can do without the vigilante justice and consequent stoppages of play. Here's an account from ESPN's column, "Flames lack edge, then lose it:"

The Flames were unable to explain their loss of intensity; much the same way as the Lightning couldn't after Game 1. In the end, about all they could muster were the usual send-a-message fisticuffs that prolonged the inevitable and sullied the end of the game.

'It's the Stanley Cup finals. We expect it to be intense,' said Warrener, explaining away the late-game encounters. 'It kind of boiled over in the third. So what. It's part of hockey. When a guy slew-foots our goalie, we've got to do something.'

Warrener pinned the act on Lightning instigator Andre Roy. Sutter said he didn't see it, as he says after pretty much all of these kinds of incidents since he was fined for creating one late in the regular season."

Hockey is what it is, I suppose. The commentary (led by Gary Thorne) used the fighting to predict a compelling series in the forthcoming games. Maybe - the series is tied at a game apiece. But if it's fighting and the consequent stoppages of play that's on offer, I can skip it. I'd rather watch players intent on fighting for the puck and passing it than fighting each other.