What's the matter Harvey, Mac got your tongue?
The Battle of Alberta, set to continue on Saturday when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Calgary Flames, has had its share of heated moments. Only one involved a mascot having to replace a body part.
It was January 20, 2003 and the Calgary Flames had a 4-0 lead on the Edmonton Oilers. Harvey the Hound, the Flames mascot, started getting the crowd fired up by standing on the glass behind the Oilers bench.
As he made his way along the boards, the Oilers coach at the time, Craig MacTavish, grabbed at Harvey's tongue to pull him close and give him a word for his antics.
The rest is viral video history.
MacTavish said at the time that he believed the mascot to be taunting, but, looking back at the video, even he had to chuckle.
"I just thought it was inappropriate, to put it as subtle as possible, to be over the glass taunting us at that point in the game,"MacTavish said. "But you see that tape once and you quickly forget about the frustration of the hockey game."
The incident seemed to light a fire under the Oilers, who scored three times after Harvey was left speechless, though they still lost the game 4-3.
Flames coach Darryl Sutter didn't like that.
"I saw it," Sutter said. "I also saw that it was one of the things that got them going."
An old beef dies hard, so with MacTavish now serving as Edmonton's senior vice president of hockey operations and the Oilers with a new mascot in Hunter the Canadian Lynx, it was time to pass it down to a new generation.
We won't be seeing the end of this rivalry any time soon.