*crotch chop towards Calgary* Final Score: 2-1 Oilers in the shootout
I can honestly say that this is the first time I’ve ever written a Wrap Up (or a blog post in general) about a Battle of Alberta that happened in January that actually meant something. This is literally the first time right here. I’ve been blogging with various levels of consistency since 2007 and this is the very first time the Oilers have been good enough to write about meaningful Battles of Alberta in January. Let’s all take a minute to soak in that in. Now let’s take another minute to appreciate the fact that games between the Oilers and Flames finally mean something again after years of fighting for nothing but draft position and the smaller of the two sadness trophies.
Now that the BOA is actually a factor in the Pacific Division playoff race it was important for the Oilers to take advantage of an opportunity at a four-point swing, and get their third win of the year against the heathens from down south. The Oilers need the points and the Flames can kick rocks. As much as this was a big game it was also a winnable game for the Oilers. Calgary played (and lost) to the Devils last night and that should’ve meant that they would tire more easily than Edmonton would as the night progressed. Admittedly, I’m not sure I saw much evidence to support it. At least, my rum-powered optimism is still firing.
With these two teams being as tight as they are in the standings it was only fitting that the game ended up being just as close. Both teams were throwing their bodies around and both sides were also checking relatively well in their own end. Neither the Oilers nor Flames produced all that many shots, and after trading two quick goals in the second period it was a ‘next shot wins’ kind of hockey game. Throughout the third period and overtime, the Oilers and Flames traded opportunities to score but the goalies were fantastic on both ends of the rink and carried the game into overtime and a shootout. What started out as a dry, slow game ended up with a flurry of excitement in the third period and overtime with the decision coming in the shootout.
The journey may not have been pretty, but we can count this as a third straight Battle of Alberta win on the year.
Thus concludes another edition of the Battle of Alberta, and we wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Patrick Maroon is hot fire right now. The Big Rig has been doing everything that we could have hoped he would and more, and I don’t know how the Oilers could ever proceed without protecting him in the expansion draft. For the second time this season, Pat Maroon scored a big goal (his 18th) in front of his son and you can’t help but cheer for the guy. He is Connor’s Chris Kunitz (even though his goal was on the power play with Nuge). BTW Pat Maroon has scored both times his son as been at the games.
- Both Leon Draisaitl and Mark Letestu cashed in their chances in the shootout and the flames
- Cam Talbot was fantastic tonight. Dadbot faced a barrage of shots early and he was up to the task on each and every one of them. The Flames produced some excellent chances throughout the game but Dadbot was having none of it. Aside from the rebound he’d probably want back on the Monahan goal, Dadbot was perfect. Talbot finished the night with 24 saves and a .960 save%.
- Drake Caggiula had a really good night. He was flying around the ice, always seemed to be around the puck, and was able to execute some slick little plays in the offensive zone. Caggiula got the primary assist on Maroon’s power play goal, and he was in the mix all night long.
- Oscar Klefbom played a team-high 25:45 and ended up with five shots on goal (also a team high) and a -1 rating. Solid game from Klefbom tonight while playing some big minutes.
- Edmonton was 54% in the faceoff circle tonight and that’s a positive for a team that hasn’t been great lately.
- Edmonton got a big goal from Pat Maroon on the power play and it kick started the evening for both sides, I guess. The Oilers finished the night at 1/3 on the power play.
- Not to be outdone, the penalty killers were perfect tonight after killing off the lone Calgary attempt.
- The Oilers got some good luck with the posts tonight and for that I’m thankful. All hail post!
- I like seeing the Battle of Alberta get angry again. There were
7464 hits thrown, according to the NHL (34 Flames/30 Oilers). Both sides were going at each other all night and I can only imagine what it will be like when we get another playoff series. Mmmmmmmm.
- Shout out to the Oilers for honouring Hayley Wickenheiser before the game. She’s done so much for women’s hockey and it was cool to see her get a well deserved ovation at Rogers Place.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Sluggish start for the Oilers tonight. Despite having a power play in the first period the Oilers only managed to generate five shots in the first 20 minutes. That’s not nearly good enough against a team that played a night ago.
- Pat Maroon had just scored and they allowed Sean Monahan to tie the game up less than 30 seconds later. Talbot couldn’t handle the rebound, Benning could stop Monahan from getting a 2nd shot, and the lead was gone just like that. They have to be better than that.
- After I post this Wrap Up I’m going to wander into the nearest bush or forest to catch the cutest animal I can find to sacrifice to end the Ebercurse. Jordan Eberle had all kinds of chances tonight, including a breakaway in overtime, and he just can’t buy one.
- Kind of Boring for the first 35 minutes or so, no? Just me? Anybody?
- Not nearly enough shots on net tonight. On multiple occasions, guys would look for a pass rather than shooting the puck and seeing what happens. Even though Edmonton outshot the Flames 27-25 on the night they still passed up on many chances to shoot.
- The Oilers somehow made Elliott look good.
- Prison Rules were engaged again in the third period. Holding, hooking, holding the stick… you name it, it wasn’t getting called.
- No McPoints.
- Hockey Night in Canada cut the Pat Maroon After Hours segment because of the overtime. BOOOOOO!
|16:24||Edmonton||PPG – Patrick Maroon (18) ASST: Drake Caggiula (5), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (13)||0-1|
|16:50||Calgary||Sean Monahan (12) ASST: Johnny Gaudreau (18), Dougie Hamilton (20)||1-1|
|Edmonton||Goal – Leon Draisaitl|
|Calgary||Missed – Sean Monahan|
|Edmonton||Goal – Mark Letestu|
|Calgary||Missed – Johnny Gaudreau|
BEST OF THE TWEETS
— Laine Bryan (@DrivingLaine) January 15, 2017
Connor shook Wayne’s hand like four times. That’s gotta be good luck.
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) January 15, 2017
— KelseyStyre (@kelseystyre) January 15, 2017
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) January 15, 2017
Tons of grade D scoring chances in this game.
— Reid Wilkins (@ReidWilkins) January 15, 2017
— paul ermantrout (@paulermantrout) January 15, 2017
@OilersNation I’ve tried with kittens and puppies and no luck yet
— Kevin (@kevinkrahn) January 15, 2017
FOLLOW THE NATION NETWORK
Love the Nation Network but don’t want to go to more than one place? You’re in luck. Now you can get the best articles from around the Network all in one place. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.