GDB Game Notes: Oilers @ Flames

Well, here we are. The Oilers will wrap up the 2018-19 season with a Saturday night edition of the Battle of Alberta in Calgary. While the Flames have Stanley Cup aspirations and the Oilers will be watching the draft lottery, it would be nice to finish out the season on a positive note by giving the Flames a beating.

1. This will be the fourth Battle of Alberta this season. The Flames have won two of the games thus far, including a 4-2 win in November in Calgary and a 5-2 win in Edmonton in January, while the Oilers squeaked out a 1-0 win in Edmonton back in December. With a win, the Oilers could manage to tie the season series with the Flames. The Flames haven’t beaten the Oilers in a season series since the 2015-16 season in which they won three of the five meetings between the teams.

The Oilers are also winless in games in which we take a bus full of Nation fans down to the Saddledome to watch the game. So let’s break the curse and make this the first winning #NATIONROADTRIP!

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2. There will be a few interesting individual storylines to follow in tonight’s game. First and foremost, Leon Draisaitl is just one goal away from reaching the 50-goal plateau. He would be the first Oiler since the 80s to complete the feat. You have to figure Connor McDavid will be looking to feed him all night. On the other side, Johnny Gaudreau needs two points to reach the 100-point plateau. If he does, he would become the first Flame to reach the century mark since Theo Fleury did so back in 1992-93.

3. Jarome Iginla came close a few times but was never able to reach 100 points. He had 96 points in 20001-02, the year he won the Rocket Richard Trophy, and he had 98 in 2007-08. Other than Iginla, no Flame has really come close to hitting 100 points since the mid-90s.

4. It’s the same thing with Draisaitl and the 50-goal mark for the Oilers. The Oilers had a lot of 50 goal seasons in their history. Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Glenn Anderson, and Jari Kurri all reached the 50-goal plateau with the Oilers, but, of course, all of them came in the 1980s. Outside of this season, the closest an Oiler has come to scoring 50 goals since the end of the glory days would be Ryan Smyth’s 39-goal season in 1996-97 and Connor McDavid’s 41-goal season last year.

The NHL and NHLPA are nearing a new CBA

5. Beyond just Oilers history, Draisaitl would be joining a pretty impressive group of post-lockout 50-goal scorers. Since 2005-06, here are the players who have hit the 50-goal plateau: Alex Ovechkin (eight times), Ilya Kovalchuk (twice), Steven Stamkos (twice), Dany Heatley (twice), Jonathan Cheechoo, Corey Perry, Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jarome Iginla, and Vincent Lecavalier.

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6. Speaking of Ovechkin, Draisaitl could pass the legendary sniper in the Rocket Richard Trophy race if he has a huge game tonight in Calgary. Ovechkin currently has 51 goals with one game remaining in his season. The Capitals will play the New York Islanders on Saturday night. If Draisaitl scores a hat-trick and Ovechkin doesn’t light the lamp against New York, Draisaitl would win the Rocket Richard. Ovechkin has won the Richard in six of the past seven seasons and eight times in total in his 14-season NHL career thus far.

7. I’m interested to see if Ovechkin can pass Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal record. While many of Gretzky’s records are unbreakable barring some major rule change that brings scoring back to the level of the 1980s, I think breaking his 894 goal total is possible. Ovechkin currently sits 13th in all-time goals with 658. That puts him 237 goals shy of passing Gretzky, which is obviously no small feat. Ovechkin, who turns 34 in September, would have to play five more seasons averaging somewhere around 50 per year goals to make it happen. He plays a game that will continue to age well given a lot of offence comes from shooting on the power play rather than the reckless style we saw early in his career, but that’s a big task for a player in his late 30s.

8. There’s also Tobias Rieder, who has another kind of record facing him. If Rieder doesn’t score a goal, he’ll set a new record for most shots taken in a season by a forward without scoring a goal. Rieder, through 66 games, hasn’t lit the lamp despite taking 90 shots on goal. Craig Adams had 84 shots on goal in 82 games in a goalless 2009-10 season with the Penguins. Thankfully for Adams, he had the fallback net of being a solid depth player on the Cup-winning Penguins the year before.

NHL History: Edmonton Oilers fall in game seven of 2006 cup finals

9. Riley Sheahan of the Detroit Red Wings was in the same territory as Reider a couple of years ago. On the final day of the season, Sheahan didn’t have a goal. He had played 79 games, recording 106 shots on goal, and couldn’t bury one. On that final day, though, Sheahan managed to score two goals against the New Jersey Devils to avoid having the infamy of an 80-game, 100-plus shot goalless season. At the very least, if Rieder doesn’t score, at least he can say he only played 67 games.

10. All 31 teams save for the Anaheim Ducks will be in action tonight, though there isn’t much left to be decided. The Blue Jackets, Hurricanes, Avalanche, and Stars all clinched playoff spots prior to the final day of the season, so all tonight’s action will determine is playoff seeding and draft lottery odds. Carolina and Columbus will be playing to avoid facing Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, Dallas and Colorado will be playing to avoid facing Calgary in the first round of the playoffs, and Winnipeg, Nashville, and St. Louis are playing for top spot in the Central Division. Since Anaheim won their last game of the year against L.A., the Oilers can finish no higher than 25th in the league.


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From peewee to the pros, Albertans loves the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that take place at rinks across the province. And where there’s an arena, you’ll find an ATB branch nearby—with our team members cheering and fundraising along with you. See more information at ATB.com.

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 4/6/2019 – 8:00 am MT

  • Odanada

    The Flames have more to lose than the Oilers in this game. I suggest we come out finishing every check and dole out a little physical retribution. If Tkachuk wants to abuse/annoy McDavid, physically take it to both Matthew and his teammates.
    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting any attempts to injure, just play a physical style that sends a message.

        • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006


          Jealous of what exactly? Your 1 Stanley Cup? Your very successful playoff runs where you make it to the 2nd round once in the last 13 years? Jealous of your non-generational talent? Your subpar goaltending?

          • Alfonso

            Jealous of watching one Alberta team be the Western Division Regular Season Champions while the hapless Oil flounder … like a perennially wounded duck never even reaching mediocrity levels and accepting their lot as a also ran team … there’s no end in sight either … read em’ & weep …

            Imagine being frugal enough to have pulled this off, hey …

            Johnny Hockey™ … 6.75 per … three more years after this one …
            Monny … 6.375 per … four more years …
            Lindy … 4.85 per … five more years …
            Backs … 5.35 per … four more years …
            Gio … 6.75 … three more years …
            Hanifan … 4.95 per … five more years …

            Now THAT’S cap management at it’s finest …

          • FlamesFanOtherCity

            You aren’t still living in the past are you? Gretzky and Messier are gone. 50 goals in half a season is done. Living in the past is why you sign Lucic. For all the “talent” on the Oilers, they have still managed one 2nd round exit over McD’s career. And made the playoffs once in the DOD. We complain about Smith, but the fact is both our goalies have winning records. Sub par in some respects except winning.

            I find it funny that you complain about Tkachuk when you have Kassian. Had you drafted him over Poolparty, you would probably be spouting how great a player he is.

    • The future never comes

      Sends a message for what? They are 30 points up on us, the goal of punishing people is why we are where we are. Teams look to score now go punish their opponents. This is why the Oilers dont win, they are built to be big and bad but do not have the skill to win. Hence where we are in the standings.

      • Odanada

        I’m not suggesting this is a blueprint for a successful team, it’s a one game plan.
        Tkachuk has earned a little payback and I’m suggesting that, like Gordie Howe, you pay it back when the time is right – and there’s no time like tonight.

  • slats-west

    So hear we sit …..instead of thoughts of first round matchups once again we cheer for a team that gets preferred pricing on “locker room green garbage bag day”. 15-16 pts more from where we are today to being in the playoffs that’s making a difference in only 8-9 games.

    “Could i have back checked and not lost my man, could i have made a better play on the wall, could i have bared down and scored, could i have not taken that offensive zone penalty…..”
    To me any NHL team can make those plays as a team in 10 of those games. This team could have. But they chose not to. Why?

    So put your gear in those garbage bags and if I was in the NHL I would “mount” those bags on my wall in my condo, house whatever to remind me every day i went to the rink that I never want another geeen bag ……ever.

  • Alfonso

    The hapless Oil are 8-18 in their last 26 meetings in Calgary and the home team is 5-1 in the last 6 games in this series. It hasn’t even been close … complete & utter ownage, that …

      • Alfonso

        Flames played made the second round in 2015, yes … 🙂

        ………………….Oil ……………………………………………….. Flames

        2006-07′ … 71 points … DNQ ………………………………. 96 points – lost 1st rd
        2007-08′ … 88 points … DNQ …………………………..,…..94 points – lost 1st rd
        2008-09′ … 85 points … DNQ ………………………………..98 points – lost 1st rd
        2009-10′ … 62 points … DNQ ………………………………. 90 points – DNQ
        2010-11′ … 62 points … DNQ ………………………………..94 points – DNQ
        2013-14′ … 67 points … DNQ ………………………………. 77 points – DNQ
        2014-15′ … 62 points … DNQ ………………………………..97 points – lost 2nd rd
        2015-16′ … 70 points … DNQ ………………………………..77 points – DNQ
        2016-17 … 103 points.. lost 2nd rd……………………….. 94 points- lost 1st rd
        2017-18’ … 78 points … DNQ ………………………………… 84 points-DNQ
        2018-19 … 80 points … DNQ ……………………………109 points-TBD

    • percy

      Good job Calgary , wish I could say the same to this organization. The only difference between these two clubs is the Flames don’t know how to quit and the oilers don’t know how to start, that’s really the only difference.

  • KPUZ

    Here we are today, 2nd last in Western Conference and only 13 points from last in the entire league with 2 of the top 10 players in the NHL. If Katz is not going to pull the trigger and fire all upper management, pro scouts and goalie coach, name a better time in Oiler’s history when this should happen?

    • The future never comes

      To be more specific our two scorers are 2nd and 4th combined for 220 points. If this is not a wakeup call then there never will be at this point. Sadly, I do not see any changes coming with this clown show.

  • Alfonso

    Let’s review … it’s very refreshing to FINALLY see members of Oil Nation honestly accepting their plight in life as far as the hapless Oil are concerned after this last dismal season … as a result there are far fewer over-the-top, shameless, delirious, grandiose, bombastic, pompous, pretentious, egotistical, ostentatious meanderings that fans like Alex continually post … that’s good … maybe some of the Oil Nation scribes will catch on as well & not post meaningless predictions this summer like last where Looch was scheduled to score 45-50 points, hey …

    It’s going to take years to get out of this mess … but that’s only best case scenario if & when this hapless team clean house starting with Bobby Nick & it looks like he’s got a few years remaining yet …

    How do you feel … seeing the Nucks so early in their rebuild finishing ahead of the hapless Oil …? You guys OK with that … ?

  • Alfonso

    The Oil gave it their all but I’m sorry to report that they will not surpass the Flames in the losses (47 but 48 after tonight) vs. Flames wins (50 but 51 after tonight) … maybe next year …

  • Abagofpucks

    Seems to me calgary is always following what edm does, we got an nhl team so cal got one. edm won a cup 4 times before cal did, then cal won 1. then gretz left and edm still managed to win another cup without the great one. oilers have a lot of banners, esks have the most grey cups. even this site was created by edm fans, and yes calgary edm fans are responsible for the site you get to gather in and talk to other flames fans in. Fact is edm has always done it first and the best.

    • Alfonso

      “The Oil” huh…In the immortal words of Springsteen …

      “I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it
      But I probably will
      Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
      Little of the glory of, well time slips away
      And leaves you with nothing mister but
      Boring stories of
      Glory days”

  • OilCan2

    I remember Coffey going for the big FIVE – OH against the Canucks. He made it. To have Leon in the conversation so many decades later is awesome. Icing on the cake is him and Connor are into triple digits. The joke from the 80’s: Isles four, Oilers four, Calgary fore.