Racial Slurs Aimed at Jarome Iginla?

Nick MurphyContributor IApril 22, 2009

CALGARY, CANADA - APRIL 20: Jarome Iginla #12 of the Calgary Flames and Colin Fraser #46 of the Chicago Blackhawks battle for position during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 20, 2009 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  (Photo by Mike Ridewood/Getty Images)

Very few things are sacred when it comes to talking smack in the NHL.

Some things, though, are just uncalled for.

In Game 3 of the Flames and Blackhawks series on Monday, that line may have been crossed.

The game started off as any other playoff game normally does; filled with an intense sense of excitement as the Calgary Flames took the ice in front of their home crowd for the first time this post-season. The crowd was electric.

It was a slow start for the flames though as they went down 1-0 early in the first, leaving many nervous fans in the sea of red at the Saddledome wondering if their team still had a chance in this series.

The second period made way for a new hope, though, as the boys in red climbed back to tie the game and show their opponents that they weren't going anywhere without a fight...literally.

The physical play stepped it up to the next level, and the hits were being handed out like pink slips at GM. As is custom with any competitive physical sport, when the rough play cranked it up a notch, so did the smack talk.

The second period ended with a goal from the Flames and a lot of gloves in opponents faces in a series of shoves and punches.

That set the scene for the third period. The action was frantic and quick. The speed and passing of the game was intense and it led to huge earth-shattering hits on the boards and a few open-ice doozies that had the crowd going wild.

And the verbal artillery of insults continued.

You could see the anger start to rise in many of the Blackhawks players as the Flames took a more commanding lead and they unleashed it.

A number of penalties were taken from both teams as frustrations boiled over and the number of scrums started to add up.

At one point in the third TSN commentator Pierre McGuire, who broadcasts directly between the team benches, stated that he'd never seen a star player like Iginla take as much verbal abuse as the Calgary captain has.

Repeatedly saying that what was being said was completely out of line and disrespectful towards the talented, passionate player.

For Pierre to say that and not go into exactly what was being said, it must have been something significantly inappropriate for the media...and he hears it every game.

Things really got out of hand at the end of the game when Chicago's Adam Burish broke his stick on Rene Bourque's shoulder and continued to skate around looking for someone else to hit. A scrum ensued that finally made Jarome snap and start to go ballistic.

He was kicking ass and taking names.

Iginla insisted today though that it was the cross-check to his teammate and not any of the Blackhawks insults and taunts that set him off, but some might disagree.

"There wasn't anything as far as verbal that got to me," the Flames captain insisted. "Verbal abuse is nothing. Trash talking is fine."

No matter what was said though, some things do cross the line. Just ask Zinedine Zidane (the French soccer star who head butted one of his opponents in the chest after he said something about Zidane's sister).

Either way, it should make for one hell of a Game 4 on Wednesday night.


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