Flames flash back to 1989 ... but lose

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

CALGARY - Mike Vernon stacked the pads.

Joe Nieuwendyk threw a beauty of a cross-ice pass.

Gary Roberts crashed the net, knocking in a goal with his skate.

Then Al MacInnis wound up for one of his patented blazing slapshots, so Lanny McDonald ducked out of way as fast as he possibly could.

The skaters were a bit slower and pace of play wasn’t what it once was during the Calgary Flames vs. Montreal Canadiens alumni game, but there is still enough heat on MacInnis’ shot.

“I saw him winding up and thought, ‘Is he really going to do this?’ ” said McDonald, who ducked for no reason as it was a fake.

“You have no idea how hard he shoots. We all know because we’ve been hit once or twice.”

Many of the 1989 Stanley Cup champion Flames got together Saturday afternoon at McMahon Stadium. The Montreal Canadiens got revenge for the Cup loss nearly 22 years ago, winning 5-3, but that didn’t matter.

Nothing could wipe the smiles off the sweaty, out-of-breath, middle-age men who trudged into the Stampeders’ locker-room afterwards. They came to have fun, which they did, despite the cold and choppy ice.

When they were down at halftime in the two-period game, the Fan 960’s Dean Molberg asked Jamie Macoun what was wrong.

“The coaching staff is brutal,” Macoun said about Terry Crisp, Tom Watt and Doug Risebrough. “They just aren’t telling us anything out there. We’re on our own.”

McDonald was getting interviewed over the stadium PA when ringer Craig Conroy went in on goal and backhanded a shot over the net.

“Connie is killing us,” McDonald said, adding later: “We drafted him. He puts a play out there like that. C’mon Connie, get it together.”

It ended badly for the Flames but hardly anyone could care. MacInnis fell at the blueline, giving up an odd-man rush and hanging goalie Vernon out to dry.

“That doesn’t happen too often, does it?” said Vernon, who had one major goal from the day. “I got through it. That’s the highlight. I’m not hurt. I maybe embarrassed myself a bit, but that’s OK.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ianbusby57


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