Calgary Flames fans are still coming to terms with a playoff series loss to the Edmonton Oilers Thursday night in a game that saw both controversy and heartbreak following a Connor McDavid overtime goal.
Kaylee Nowosiad attended almost every single Calgary home game during the postseason. She says that the better team won, but she still can’t bring herself to cheer on the Oilers moving forward.
“I support McDavid, but it’s just against everything I stand for as a Flames fan to cheer for the Oilers, I just can’t,” she laughed.
“Obviously, we thought we had a team that could go a little bit farther, especially against Edmonton,” Nowosiad said. “It was a great season and it was a great series, so we can’t be mad at how far we went.”
Edmonton took the best-of-seven series in five games and won four of those contests in a row to send the Flames home, but not everyone agrees with the result.
A goal scored by Blake Coleman gave Calgary the lead late in the third period, but it was called off by referees who deemed it was directed in by a kicking motion.
Die-hard Flames fan Daya Kramer is convinced that the goal should have never been overturned.
“We won that game in regulation. I was pretty choked about it,” he said. “It just feels like a less aggressive blow of what we saw in the 2004 playoffs.”
“We’re not cheering for the Oilers,” he added. “I’ve already ordered a Nathan Mackinnon jersey so get bent McDavid!”
The series is now a thing of the past, but one Flames fan still has a permanent memory tattooed onto his leg.
Eric McComish got a “Calgary Flames 2022 Stanley Cup Champions” tattoo back in November of last year when the season began.
He was convinced his team would make it all the way, but it wasn’t the result he wanted.
“Flames, I love you always, no matter what, but I will have to chop off my leg if you lose,” McComish jokingly wrote on his Instagram page.
“GG (Good Game) Oilers. Please no interviews at this time as I’m grieving.”
BATTLE OF ALBERTA BRINGS MUCH-NEEDED BOOST TO BUSINESS
Regardless of who fans supported in the Battle of Alberta, there was no question that bar and restaurant owners were the ultimate winner throughout the series.
According to new data from payment provider Moneris, both Calgary and Edmonton food and drink spending increased roughly 30 per cent in both cities near the arena on game days compared to non-game days.
In Calgary, spending on food and drink was up 33 per cent at venues near the arena, and 12 per cent overall across the city.
Harry Dimitriadis, who owns Jameson’s Pub on 17th Avenue, says the Red Mile brought forth a huge boost to his business and a much-needed recovery following two years of COVID-19 restrictions plaguing sales.
“People were going nuts, we were turning away hundreds of people for games because everyone was super excited,” he said.
“We’ve pretty much canceled Saturday night now after the Flames lost. A lot of people were planning on game six. but it is what it is. I think we’re going to see some action with the playoffs though and quite a few other fans in Calgary, because we still support Alberta teams.”