SUN Hockey Pool

Sid Show rivals Cup run craziness

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

There won't be another game with that kind of buzz until the playoffs -- assuming the Calgary Flames get there.

The Sidney Crosby Show affected nearly everybody in Calgary Thursday as the Penguins captain made his first visit to Cowtown.

Count the Calgary Flames media relations guys among those caught up in the whirlwind.

"Part of the rush that we get out of what we do is being in the middle of the action," said vice-president of communications Peter Hanlon the day after the 3-2 shootout loss. "There was a lot of action (Thursday).

"I felt the same energy and adrenalin as a playoff game. I really wanted to win that game last night. There was a bigger buzz in the building. That wasn't just a result of what happened on the ice, but all the work we put into it. The preparation certainly made it feel like it was a playoff game."

The preparation had been going on for about three weeks as the Calgary staff held meetings and went over the requests put forth by the Penguins, who are used to dealing with the madness that surrounds Crosby.

There were quite a few new faces sporting credentials at the Saddledome for both the morning skate and the game, as news crews and sports writers not normally involved in the day-to-day activities of the Flames were out in full force.

"We had a full press box -- every seat was full -- which is similar to a playoff game," said Hanlon. "Rarely do we have a completely full press box. We have 80-plus seats. But that game against Pittsburgh was a full house."

Hanlon hasn't seen a regular-season game with that much fanfare since The Great One made his way to the Saddledome as a member of the New York Rangers.

To be fair, though, the madness didn't reach the same level Hanlon experienced in 2004 as the Flames stunned everyone and went to the Stanley Cup final.

"We're a Canadian market," said Hanlon. "What we saw wasn't unusual for us, it was just an unusual time of year for it."


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