When the Flames returned home the next day, the local newspapers compared their fate with that of the Hindenburg and Brent Musburger. After a TV camera caught Flames coach Terry Crisp holding his tie up to his nose in subtle protest of a referee's call in Game 3, one columnist ridiculed him for blowing his nose into his cravat. Another called for Crisp to be replaced and suggested he undergo a "root canal without any novocaine."
The Calgary fans, normally quiet but judgmental, changed character by giving the Flames a standing ovation as they came out for Game 5. The team responded with the effort it had meant to give in Game 4. "The fans really helped," said Suter. "We had no idea what to expect."
Crisp yanked Sergei Makarov from his accustomed position on a line with center Joe Nieuwendyk and left wing Gary Roberts and replaced him with Theoren Fleury, a 5'6" keg of dynamite, who ran over Hrudey at the first opportunity. When the Flames had stayed alive with a 5-1 win, several Calgary players told the athlete's favorite white lie about not being concerned about what's in the newspaper. Robinson knew better. "I think the Flames would have had to be illiterate not to win tonight," he said.
In Game 6, the Flames would have won had their luck not been so wretched. Their fortune probably ran out when Gretzky's spirit overcame his flesh. Until then, Calgary had been merely sloppy and undermotivated. Once Gretzky, at first as stiff as Frankenstein's monster, staggered off the table, the Flames became vulnerable. "Is that luck or skill when I beat him on the face-off, and he still plays the puck off my shins for the tying goal?" said Otto. "I guess his skill brings luck."