Welcome, citizens, to the final GDB of the season before the Oilers get set for the playoffs a very important offseason for this franchise.
As I get set to leave for our bus trip to Calgary, all I can think about is how this last roadie with the Nation was supposed to mean something more than only cheering for Leon to get to 50 goals. When we started planning this thing out around Christmas, we were still hopeful that there would be nothing better than closing out the year in Calgary as the boys got set for a playoff run, and the fact that it’s not happening is every shade of disappointing. To say that this has been a long and difficult season to be an Oilers fan would be the understatement of the century. I’m still having a hard time piecing together how this season slipped away and all I can come up with is that the guys wearing suits really sewered this team, forcing us into the playoff-less hell we’re living in. The bright side, though, is that Nation citizens came through with flying colours once again and for the third time, we’ve packed a bus full of people that are set to party.
Looking at the game itself, I’m not really sure what to expect outside of the Oilers trying to feed Leon Draisaitl as often as they can as he looks to cash in his 50th goal. Outside of that, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I could honestly see the Flames looking ahead at the playoffs and not worrying too much about what happens tonight, but then again, this is the Battle of Alberta we’re talking about so maybe there will still be some fireworks? I’ve been told that Bill Peters wants to use this game as a playoff tuneup, but what does that even mean, exactly? Are they going to somehow try harder than they would normally? We know that the Flames want Gaudreau to get to 100 points on the season so I imagine he’ll get a bunch of minutes, but outside of that, you know they want just want to make it out of this game with all of their pieces healthy and intact. How will that translate to what happens on the scoreboard? I guess we’ll find out. See you on the bus.
In the three games played against Calgary so far, the Oilers have a 1-2-0 record and have been outscored by a 9-5 margin over the season series.
|LAST 10 GAMES||2-6-2||6-4-0|
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Lucic – RNH – Rattie
Rieder – Cave – Chiasson
Gambardella – Gagner – Currie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
If you were to guess, how many minutes do you think Leon Draisaitl will play tonight? I’m going to guess he’ll be out there for close to 30 minutes as the entire team tries to get him his 50th goal of the season.
Gaudreau – Ryan – Czarnik
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Dube – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Quine – Hathaway
Fantenberg – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
Kylington – Prout
The big thing for Flames fans tonight is that they want Johnny Gaudreau to get to 100 points (he has 98) on the season, so expect him to be getting fed a healthy dose of chances all night in much the same manner that the Oilers will be doing for Draisaitl’s 50th. As much as I want Drai to get to 50, I want the Oilers to prevent Gaudreau from getting to 100.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
You know what would be an absolute blast? A playoff Battle of Alberta. But it’s incumbent on both the Flames and the Oilers to put together strong teams that could put together a battle worthy of its history. The Flames have pushed through their rebuild and emerged as one of the NHL’s top teams, but the Oilers need to get their ducks in a row and finally finish off their rebuild.
Folks throughout Alberta, and beyond, are tired of waiting.
Game Day Prediction: Flames are already looking ahead at the playoffs, leaving the Oilers a window to sneak out a 3-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: I’ll be at the game tonight with a crew of rowdy Nation citizens and will drink way more beers than I probably should.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: If Gaudreau gets to 100 points, Cam will run down to the ice and find a way to steal the puck. No fun will be had by you, Johnny.
DRAFT LOTTERY PARTY
What the hell is going on and what you’re going to get? I appreciate your yearning for information, and here it is:
- Where? At the Northside Canadian Brewhouse (12711 97 St NW, Edmonton, AB)
- When? Tuesday, April 9th at 6 p.m
- How much? The event is FREE to enter!
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 4/6/2019 – 10:00 am MT