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Game Day Notes: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames

Tonight will be the final Battle of Alberta ever as the Flames are moving to either Seattle or Houston of the season. Here are your game day notes.

1. The Battle of Alberta has been incredibly one-sided as of late. Calgary beat the Oilers 1-0 back in mid-March, but before that, Edmonton beat the Flames seven times in a row dating all the way back to April 2016. The Oilers, regardless of tonight’s outcome, have won the season series against Calgary. They’ve now won the season series in back-to-back years, though the Flames won it in 2015-16.

2. This season, Edmonton is 3-1 against Calgary. The Flames’ one win came in that aforementioned shutout in March, but Edmonton beat them 3-0 on opening night, 7-5 in December, and 4-3 in a shootout in January. You might remember that shootout.

3. I guess one saving grace for Edmonton’s infuriating, disappointing, irritating season could be Calgary’s collapse. It’s going to be painful after last spring to sit back and watch the other teams take part in the playoffs while the Oilers are out like the Good Old Days of Darkness, but thankfully Flames fans will be forced to feel our pain. Watching Calgary and Vancouver routinely make the playoffs during the Decade of Darkness made that period of time even worse than the Oilers did on their own.

4. What happened to the Flames? When they beat the Oilers 1-0, they were 35-26-10 and were right in the thick of the playoff race. But since that game, the Flames have gone on a seven games losing streak and have now been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. That 1-0 win was the beginning of their complete collapse, but the Flames had been playing poorly for a while before that too. Before that win, Calgary only had four wins in their previous 12 games.

5. Mike Smith got hurt at the very end of a win against the Islanders on Feb. 11. He missed a month of action, and, in his absence, the Flames went 5-5-2, somewhat surprisingly salvaging their season in his absence. But since he’s returned? Smith had that 28-save shutout over the Oilers, but otherwise, he has five losses and an .841 save percentage since returning.

6. It was ultimately offence that derailed Calgary’s season, though. The Flames currently rank 26th in the league in goals for. They’re bad at scoring goals at even strength (26th) and they’re bad at scoring goals on the power play (16.28% rate, 27th). This largely has to do with a lack of depth. Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Michael Ferland carry the team’s offence, scoring 75 of the team’s 204 goals. Matthew Tkachuk is the only other Flame with more than 20 goals. The team’s bottom-six is putrid, as expensive veterans Matt Stajan and Troy Brouwer have combined for 10 goals and younger players like Sam Bennett and Curtis Lazar haven’t stepped up.

7. Speaking of those 20+ goal scorers, two of them, Tkachuk and Monahan, have been shut down for the season, and another, Gaudreau, could be out of the lineup due to a personal family matter. The Flames are also without TJ Brodie and possibly Travis Hamonic tonight. So we’re going to be seeing a real shell of a Flames lineup.

8. The Hamonic trade has really flopped for Calgary. At the time, it seemed like a reasonable price to pay for a stead, second-pairing defenceman. But now? The Flames are without a draft pick in the first two rounds this year and Hamonic has been thoroughly underwhelming. There’s rumblings that the Flames might look to trade Dougie Hamilton, the much superior player, in order to recoup draft picks. Dealing Hamilton to compensate for overpaying for Hamonic would be a pretty ugly series of events.

9. Thanks to that Flames pick, the Islanders currently have a nine per cent chance of selecting first overall. Their own pick right now has a six per cent chance of being selected and Calgary’s pick has a three per cent chance. Getting Rasmus Dahlin would be a nice way to lighten the blow of John Tavares leaving in free agency, which seems like a real possibility right now.

10. And finally, the McArtRoss race. Connor McDavid has 103 points and is six points clear of Nikita Kucherov. He more than likely has this in the bag at this point. The next race to focus on is the McRocketRichard, in which he’s four goals back of Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals. McDavid has already set a career-high in both goals and points this season. I’m guessing he finishes with 45 goals and 110 points. There are three games left after tonight.

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  • GK1980

    Not having a first round pick AND not making the playoffs……ouch. Sucks to be a Flames fan.

    Maybe Edmonton can trade the first pick to the Lames year for Tkachuk……

        • Hockey for life

          Anderson Phillips gawdin kylington fox dube foo valamaki joly mangipane gilles rittich Parsons And those are just the ones with good potential that didn’t make the nhl roster this year. Then they have some second teir prospects with more of a long shot. I understand your an oilers fan so you don’t know much about prospects

    • RJ

      If the Oilers were going to trade the Flames the first pick, I would want to see Rasmus Andersson coming back.

      Unlike the idiotic Reinhart trade, Andersson can skate, provide offence, had success in the AHL and is right-handed

  • VvV

    I just want to point out that the Flames did not routinely make the playoffs during the decade of darkness, as stated in this article, they missed the Playoffs 6 times between 2010 and 2016.

        • McDavid's Comet

          Very true, however Katz won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. The next best change he can make is to go to counselling and get over his very unhealthy obsession he has with this group of dimwits he has running the organization.

          IMO everyone has to start being 2nd teir fans and stop buying season tickets at obscene prices, essentially that is what keeps the OBC employed. Empty seats in Rodgers place may get the point across.

  • Alberta Ice

    Due to the fact the Flames are without their top 3 scorers tonight, the Oilers should sit McDavid, Draisaitl, and RNH to make tonight’s game a more even affair for the Flames.

  • Snoop Scottie Dogg

    Three more McGoals tonight please. If Connor wins the Rocket it would be a nice consultation prize to missing the playoffs.

    The next best thing to the Oilers winning is the flamers losing. Both can happen tonight!

  • CMG30

    Too bad Calgary traded their top 2 picks. Everything is lining up for the balls to fall their way this year. LOL.

    But that’s just karma. Treliving has been skulking around the NHL overpaying for mediocre players for years now.

      • Dan 1919

        Not really, Albertan’s just like to overhype players like Eberle and Schultz compared to what the market says they’re really worth.

        Lets assume Gaudreau and Monahan(very good 2C, or mediocre 1C similar to RNH) aren’t going anywhere.
        That leaves Bennett and Tkachuk as serious trade chips.

        What the Flames have going for them is they’re a solid team, but they’re not the home run future dominating team the Flames fans proclaim they are. Things could easily spiral out of control on them and leave them with no other choice but a full out rebuild.

        If I were a Flames fan I’d be at the point where I’ve lost all confidence in Treliving. I’d bring a new GM in this summer who will naturally bring his own coach in.

        Full disclaimer, this is my serious opinion and I’m fully aware the Oilers are terrible… not trying to troll.

        • McDavid's Comet

          Gotcha, but I was referring to their deep prospect pool, my bad for not being more specific. It would be very, very bad if BT starts trading roster players to recoup his mistakes.

        • oilerjed

          “What the Flames have going for them is they’re a solid team, ”
          A solid team that is 12 points out of the playoffs? Sounds more like a team that was over hyped and nowhere near a playoff team.
          Shoot, that sounds a little to familiar

      • McDavid's Comet

        I wasn’t comparing anything concerning GM’s however if you think that BT is making better decisions than PC than all the power to you. If Calgary’s management is so much better than Edmonton’s then why isn’t Calgary in the playoffs? I already know why Edmonton isn’t; that should go without saying. Tell me trevy how is Calgary so much better, BT inherited a deep prospect pool he didn’t build it. He’s also handed out contracts that aren’t paying as of right now. They seem to be the same to me.

        • Trevy

          First of all, my comment was directed at CMJ30, but while I’m at it, yes I do believe BT is better than Chia. BT is better at drafting, contract negotiating with star players and although he hasn’t dominated all trades as most GM’s don’t, he didn’t trade away his star players for magic beans. I’m not saying he’s a great GM, he has had some bad dealings like Brouwer and may have overpaid for Hamonic, but he stole Hamilton. At least Hamonic is still young, experienced, on a great contract and still plays in the NHL, unlike G.Reinhart. He may even thrive under a more veteran coach, which I’m hoping we address. The only real coup Chia performed was dealing for Maroon and then gave him away and I’m not even going to start with Lucic. I’m not here to troll, as I despise those idiots, we’re both in the same state of disarray where obvious changes are needed

          • oilerjed

            Trading away Maroon for two good prospects isnt giving him away. It’s getting prospects for a player that was going to walk away because Chia wouldn’t pay him as much as he thinks he will get in Free agency. Your also forgetting about Talbot for magic beans. Ill ignore the part about Eberle being a “star” player. Hall maybe but Ebs was never more then a complimentary player with really nice hands.

          • McDavid's Comet

            Trevy you trashed me, ouch! Take it easy, I’m pretty sure even though you intended that comment @ CMJ30; that comment line ends at me (new format is so confusing at times) so I thought you were directing at me. My bad.

            Anyways, thanks for info. it straightened me out (not as familiar with Calgary drafting as I thought I was, taking your word for it). So if BT is the astute GM you say he is why did he hire GG? If what you say is true then BT has assembled a really good team and put in place a coach whom doesn’t know how to coach? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that sounds sort of like Mac T (Dallas Eakins) except other than having Hall and Eberle the team ecentially sucked. I will say this: your management in Calgary can never be any worse than Edmonton. #becauseOBC

          • Trevy

            I actually didn’t trash you, don’t really care much about that. I also completely agree with you about Treliving hiring GG. I was shocked about his choice, but had to give him the benefit of the doubt at the time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he’s the right fit. Now we will see how Treliving will correct his mistakes this summer. Curious to see what the Oilers do as well. Here’s to a good BOA tonight!

  • Heschultzhescores

    I would really like the Oilers to go on the ice tonight determined to play a full game complete with good defensive zone coverage; solid goaltending, and contribution offensively from the rest of the team not wearing number 97. It could happen, they just need to want it to happen, and play like they are capable of playing.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Last game was a complete and utter team effort from the Oilers. Everyone was solid and it was ONLY because of Smith that the game was 1-0. With Calgary down to their bare bones, I EXPECT that the team shows up and utterly crushed them tonight.

  • bwar

    I was really hoping that both Alberta teams were going to establish themselves as perennial playoff teams. Would have been nice if at least one of them could make the playoffs. I’m in no way a Calgary fan but having them in the playoffs makes the playoffs more interesting for me.

    • oilerjed

      I wonder if that could/should ever happen. The flames giving Edmonton one of their best dmen setting them up for 5 years and Edmonton giving up good draft picks to Calgary, putting Calgary in a better position 3-5 years down the road. I dont see that happening

  • KennyG

    Good on Flames coach for stepping up saying he’s to blame not his players if there not ready and focussed to play when the puck drops. Has anyone on the Oilers coaching staff or management stepped and did the same this year?