There were some ugly moments, and some beautiful moments. Overall the ugly moments won. Final score: 5-2 Flames.
You have to love Battle of Alberta games. All day long, I along with the rest of Twitter had some excitement building up, as games against the Flames seem to get more fun as the season continues. The crowd was buzzing early in Rogers Place with multiple Flames Suck chants, and I loved every moment of it. The game started pretty evenly if you ask me. The Flames hammered their forecheck and I think the Oilers handled it fairly well until about the ten-minute mark when the Flames took over offensively. Thankfully Koskinen played unreal to keep the score 0-0 at the end of the period, including a save-of-the-year worthy candidate.
The second period picked up where it left off at the end of the first, except this time the Flames were actually scoring. Gaudreau opened the scoring in the first shift, and then Giordano potted one about ten minutes later. About seven minutes after that, Kylington scored the Flames third goal of the game and things got ugly. The Oilers had some chances of their own, but couldn’t get anything by Rittich on the other end of the ice, until Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sniped one home in the last minute of the period. Other than that goal, there weren’t a ton of positive things to say about the second period. I was expecting a lot less from the Flames tonight as they played their third game in four days, but they were flying and made us look really lazy out there.
The third period was wild I tell ya. The Oilers came out strong and exchanged good scoring chances with the Flames early. Koskinen made some huge saves of course and Milan Lucic eventually tipped Puljujarvi’s shot past Ritich on the powerplay, making it a 3-2 game. The play was fast-paced and back-and-forth the entire time and it was hard to keep up with the scoring chances. In classic Battle of Alberta fashion, there were scrums after almost every whistle. Unfortunately, the Flames did what they did best in third periods and continued to score non-stop. They put a quick end to our excitement by scoring two more goals throughout the period, giving Oilers fans an excuse to beat the traffic early.
Besides a few exciting aspects of this game, the Flames dominated us at home, leaving a sour taste in all of our mouths. Let’s wrap.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Mikko Koskinen started this game exactly how we needed him to. The Flames peppered him in the first period and he stopped them all. Mikko had a nice breakaway save against Sean Monahan and an even nicer save against Gaudreau where he trapped the puck on the post with his arm behind his back. It was absolutely unreal! Koskinen has been playing well again lately, winning the last two games before tonight so it’s nice to see him piecing together some big performances.
— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) January 20, 2019
- Kyle Brodziak snowed Rittich to start off the second period and I couldn’t have loved it more. Obviously, Tkachuk and every other Flame on the ice went after him, yet Brodziak didn’t back down. I love the gamesmanship of the Battle of Alberta.
- Leave it to Nuge to bring some energy to this team! After a beautiful rush from Puljujarvi and Nuge, RNH fires one home upstairs past Rittich to cut the lead to two after the second period for his 16th of the season.
- LOOOCH! Towering in front of Rittich on the powerplay, Milan Lucic deflects home a shot from Jesse Puljujarvi to make it a one-goal game. I should add that tonight’s game in the Milan Lucic Goal Draft is owned by The Nation Dan. 🙁 Also, I should add that this was Puljujarvi’s second points of the night!
- Besides his bad boarding penalty in the first period, Zack Kassian was being his usual self after the whistles and mixing it up with someone every chance he took. My favorite was in the third period when he mocked Matthew Tkachuk for turtling on him the last time they played.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Connor McDavid was a clear target for the Flames in the first period and was just continuously getting beat up on. He eventually took a cross-check up high which cut him by the eye with no penalty called. As you can expect the Oilers didn’t really do anything to retaliate. I mean, at what point should the guys start going after Gaudreau? Anyways, this point isn’t about the Oilers standing up for McDavid, it was more about the reffing. Shortly after this non-call, we got a too many men penalty which was a real shot to the stomach.
- The Oilers had six shots in the first period and the Flames had seven shots on the POWERPLAY in the first period. Not the way we’d like to start the game against our rivals.
- Johnny Gaudreau did his thing in the first shift of the second period and put the Flames on the board. That goal wasn’t really anyone’s fault, but I’m sure Koskinen would have liked to have it back, as the shot went through his five-hole.
- Connor McDavid got cut TWICE in tonight’s game. That’s a lot of bleeding for the young man. His poor face sure took a beating tonight. Classic BOA.
- After a VERY ODD broken play midway through the second period, Koskinen couldn’t quite get the handle on a rebound and Mark Giordano buried it home to put the Flames up by two. The Oilers challenged the goal for goalie interference, but no dice.
- After another failed powerplay by the Oilers, Oliver Kylington (A Flames rookie defenceman), one-timed one past Koskinen to put the Flames up by three. The building was absolutely dead at this point and the Oilers were losing life as the seconds ticked away. Talk about depressing.
- After an ugly giveaway at our own blue line by Caleb Jones, Backlund made no mistake and sniped one passed Koskinen off the post and in to make it a 4-2 game. *fart sounds*
- Mikko Koskinen made a beautiful save off of a Sean Monahan one-timer in the third period. Unfortunately, Monahan got his own rebound and put it past the monster, making it a 5-2 game. After a promising-looking comeback, this was the dagger that ended the game.
- The penalties in this game were out of control. The refs set a standard in the first period with an arguable soft call on Johnny Gaudreau and kept with it throughout the whole game. As much as you want to hate on the refs tonight, it’s not cool that the Oilers took eight penalties to begin with. They went 6/8 on the penalty kill and 1/8 on the powerplay. Not a great special team performance tonight.
|00:44||Calgary||Johnny Gaudreau (29) ASST: Elias Lindholm (36), Mark Giordano (40)||1-0|
|07:29||Calgary||PPG – Mark Giordano (11) ASST: Sean Monahan (34), Noah Hanifin (21)||2-0|
|15:30||Calgary||Oliver Kylington (2) ASST: Mikael Backlund (16), Michael Frolik (7)||3-0|
|19:42||Edmonton||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (16) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (4)||3-1|
|04:16||Edmonton||PPG – Milan Lucic (5) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (5), Caleb Jones (5)||3-2|
|14:15||Calgary||Mikael Backlund (11)||4-2|
|16:03||Calgary||PPG – Sean Monahan (27) ASST: Matthew Tkachuk (33), Johnny Gaudreau (45)||5-2|
— Wanye (@WanyeGretz) January 20, 2019
Flames running roughshod over McDavid right now. Oilers need to do the same to Gaudreau. Looks like free passes from the officials tonight
— Dustin Nielson (@nielsonTSN1260) January 20, 2019
This photo should be illegal pic.twitter.com/NMyTuXkgfX
— Adam (@OilersAdam) January 20, 2019
— The Towel Boy (@TheTowelBoy) January 20, 2019
— Todd Carson (@todd_carson) January 20, 2019
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