GDB 46.0 BOA: HOME ICE ADVANTAGE – WHISKEY IN THE JAR

ATB Sponsor Banner

There was a time in this fair land when the ‘Battle of Canada’s second from the left province’ started many hours before the event. The hatred ran deep and straight-arrow true, and the on-ice battles were vicious, diabolical and on most occasions bloody. Since the turn of the century, things have fallen into a predictable routine: Oilers fans get crushed, Robyn Regehr runs over Ales Hemsky, late goal-scoring makes the final a laugher, hang your head and cry. Life in a northern town never tasted so bitter than in the days since Darryl Sutter taught the Calgarys how to win. I will never forgive him.

TURN THE BEAT AROUND

For me, the Flames were background noise for the Weight-Smyth Oilers until their first meeting in 2001 fall, October 3.

Source

In that game, the Flames played well, really well. Tight defense, Marc Savard scored and the Oilers didn’t have Billy Guerin anymore, so the game’s physical players were basically designated guys and the Smith boys (Jason and Ryan, although Georges Laraque could play in those years—used to cycle like hell). After that, the Flames hired Sutter in 2002 and they have been a goddam mittful every day since. Every game seems to feature a smaller Oilers forward disappearing in a heap, leaving only a small grease spot and another cap hit on the IR. 

These days are coming to an end, God willing and the creek don’t rise.

I am not a blood thirsty man, but dammit all anyway it has been too long since Edmonton won something—ANYTHING—against those blasted Flames. I know this season hasn’t turned out as planned, but for this Oilers fan winning on the coldest night of the year on HNIC would be sweet enough to sustain me for a long time. Along with that sublime feeding of the Habs earlier this season, and the McDavid hammer on a drum game in Calgary, it would be a PVR keeper until deep into next season.

THE POWER AND THE GLORY

In order to compete physically against a tough team, you need good hockey players who can also deliver gritty play. For so long, Edmonton has filed their players in slots that never overlap: Skill in aisle one, Physical play in the enforcer aisle, and on it goes. With the addition of Darnell Nurse and (now) Zack Kassian, maybe the kids in red with the C logo (is it just me, or does that logo look crappier every season?) will hesitate enough to go offside or loose possession once in awhile.

I am not after blood tonight, but would thoroughly enjoy a tough, physical game with excitement in every period. Please baby Jesus, let the postgame be about quality from both sides and not a line change in the second damned period. Please. An old fashioned game with hitting, scoring and compete, a throwback from the time men drank their whiskey from a jar. Let it be tonight. Saturday. HNIC.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.06.51 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.07.04 AM

Oilers lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.07.16 AM

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 10.07.34 AM

Flames lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

QUICK HITS

  • Johnny Gaudreau is fire. If he doesn’t get a point tonight, THAT is an upset.
  • Taylor Hall has been stone cold lately, but if there is one Oiler who can flip a switch, it is No. 4
  • Zack Kassian should impact this game, possibly on several levels.
  • Cam Talbot needs to be magic tonight.
  • Darnell Nurse needs to play a simpler game tonight, no walkabout, stay in the lane, punish those wingers and make them pay.
  • The special teams have to be good, both sides. Seriously.
  • Matt Hendricks is missed.
  • Plenty of trades around the NHL, but with the recall of Brad Hunt last night it looks like Edmonton is ready for their road trip. Will they return intact? Eastern road trips are famous for trades by the Oilers.
  • Laurent Brossoit was brilliant for the Barons last night, wonder about another cup of coffee.

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING

From FlamesNation.ca

The Oilers have not been great lately. They have a single win in 2016, and just two wins in their last 10 games. They’re getting plenty of pucks on net, but they’re just not generating the kinds of chances that result in goals often enough to win. Their special teams play has also been iffy – for instance, they gave up three power-play goals to Arizona a couple games back.

For the Oilers to have a shot tonight, they’ll need to tighten their game up, and quick.

GAME DAY PREDICTION

GameDay

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Things start as usual, the Flames get a call, score on the power play and then score again immediately afterward and it is 2-0 before your first set of ice cubes have begun to melt. The Flames pepper Talbot for the rest of the period, but only get the deuce. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton recovers a little in the second stanza, with Lauri Korpikoski scoring late in the frame to make it 2-1. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the third period of tonight’s game, we get a glimpse of the future. Physical, fast, furious and if I may say, a little filthy, but the Oilers pound the Flames and their goalie appears to be blindfolded. Edmonton scores three and wins in regulation. Public nudity follows, although not for long because holy hell boys it is minus 30.

NOMINATE YOUR HOME ICE HERO!

Celebrate the volunteer, parent, coach or organizer who keeps the game going and asks for nothing in return. 

Nominate your Home Ice Hero and they could win a prize worth $5,000. Nominate your hero.

THE NATION SKI TRIP

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 12.06.51 PM 

This is going to be the event of the year and we’re inviting you and all of your scandalous buddies to join us. If I was to make a recommendation I would suggest that you don’t wait to buy your tickets. This event will sell quickly, and procrastination will do nothing but leave you missing out on a hell of a party.

Tickets are available here.

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        Coiler fans drink so much cool-aide they seem surprised when reality explained to them. Always complainng that the announcers are so biased. Oiler fans just don ‘t seem to see how bad they are. The rest of the league laughing at them.

        • Mooseroni

          So bad that we just beat you. You have nothing except a pity point. I even read an article that said the lames should retire reghers number and send it to the rafters. It must be hard, only having a few banners up there. Enjoy eating crow!

        • passenger

          Actually, reality demonstrates that you are wrong and these fans are right.

          Their allegation can be verified through observation. At one point in the game, Hall lost the puck on his stick, and the commentator claimed he was “stripped of the puck” and giving credit to the Flames defender, when everyone saw that it wasn’t the case. In a similar circumstance, Johnny Gaudereau was stripped of the puck from a backcheck from Nugent Hopkins and the commentator claimed that he “lost the handle on the puck”.

          Let’s leave fanboy biases aside, and look at it from a hockey fan’s perspective. That’s poor commentating. We can SEE the game and we can see what happened. But trying to re-interpret history when we’re all watching is a bit lame.

          So it has nothing to do with bias, because these allegations are measurable and can be demonstrated. I have no horse in this race, other than Sportsnet is doing a horrible job with the 12 year exclusivity license. We need to see better tech used in games and we aren’t seeing it. 4K cameras recording at 120fps should have been implemented this season, and yet we’re still seeing poor resolution cameras with low framerates where the puck travels a foot a frame in replays.

        • Spydyr

          In the last Oiler game, they gave Bennett the 3rd Star because he shot it 4 times. No goals or assists, but he had 4 shots.

          In the same game Pouliot had 2 goals. Wasn’t a star.

          So yeah, it’s a joke.

          Let’s put hockey rivalries aside for a second here, I really feel bad for the true hardcore Flames fans that have to put up with a sub-par crew covering their games on a nightly basis.

  • Reg Dunlop

    We outshot them, they had 5 pp we had 1. They even had a powerplay in OT. We won
    Suck it ED Hod, Suck it Verdad 2.0. Suck it Flames Nation.
    Oh yeah, Suck it CBC.

  • HockeyRulz

    The announcers calling game were stroking the Flames all night (as usual). By the way they were jerking off the Flames you’d think Calgary was 20 points ahead in the standings.

    The fact is the Flames are only two points ahead, and we are missing MacDavid and Klefbomb.

    Suck it Calgary – and take your assh*ole announcers with you when you head home.

    • KACaribou

      Being a fan is one thing, but when your hatred is so great that it sends too much blood to your brain and it overtakes your ability to think – well that is quite another.

      Oilers got lots of love tonight by the announcers too. It wasn’t like a typical homer broadcast but Flames fans could say the same. It was fair.

      Anyone who doesn’t think Brodie and Johnny Hockey are great players, really just doesn’t watch or know much about hockey.

      Hall is becoming a better player this year, and his speed is crazy; Leon was a great pick but so was Sam Bennett. No denying either. Big Nuge fan, but his game seems lost. Big McDavid fan here, can’t wait till he’s back.

      Name calling is quite childish here, maybe there should be an age restriction on ON comments?

      Waiting to read some hockey comments like the Talbot save on Brodie and many others.

  • 2Oilers4

    Oops, a correction: I stated that Monahan played in the NHL for twice as long as Draisaitl, that is incorrect.

    Monahan has played in the NHL THREE TIMES longer than Draisaitl. 210 games vs. 73!

    That’s right, Drai has yet to play an entire NHL season at this point. It goes to show the importance of proper player development. Had he played the entire season last year I’m not so sure he’d be having the same success right now.