GDB 42.0: Oilers vs. Flames — Round 2 (8pm MT, HNIC)

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
5 months ago
Is there anything sweeter than a Battle of Alberta as the late game on Hockey Night in Canada? From where I’m blogging, Oilers and Flames on a Saturday night is as good as it gets.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
This season has been quite the rollercoaster, hasn’t it? The last time the Oilers and Flames faced off, it was the Heritage Classic in front of 60,000 fans, and Jay Woodcroft was still our head coach.
Even though it was early in the year, at that time, both teams were struggling, and the season looked like it was slipping away before it truly began. Fast forward a couple of months and both clubs are back in playoff contention, adding an extra layer of excitement to tonight’s Battle of Alberta.
Thinking back on the first BOA of the season, that game heavily favoured the Oilers, and I’d be very surprised if we saw a similar outcome tonight in the rematch. As much as it pains me to say, the Flames are playing some solid hockey right now, which poses a challenge for our boys as they aim to extend the winning streak to 13 games.
Standing in our way is a Calgary Flames team that boasts a 7-3-0 record over their last 10 games and will be looking to rebound after dropping a tough 4-3 loss to the Leafs on Thursday.
So far this season, the Flames have done a very good job of scoring goals but a dreadful job of keeping pucks out of their own net, which presents both an opportunity and a challenge for the Oilers as they look to tie a Canadian record for the longest-ever winning streak at 13 games.
If the Oilers can keep their foot on the gas offensively as they’ve done over the last month or so then the Flames are going to struggle with handling the heat. At the same point, our side has to make sure that they’re not chasing offence at the expense of their defensive game otherwise it’s very likely that Calgary will find a way to take advantage.
Let’s see what the numbers say…


LAST 10 GAMES10-0-07-3-0
POWER PLAY%25.814.1
AVG. SHOTS/FOR34.431.5
TEAM SAVE%.907.906
CORSI FOR%55.6950.26
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • Tonight’s game marks the second of four meetings between the Oilers and Flames this season and the first game of the year in Calgary. The next BOA happens on February 24th at Rogers Place before heading back to the Saddledome on April 6th.
  • Sam Gagner leads the Oilers with 57 games played against Calgary. Connor McDavid tops all current Oilers with 29 goals against the Flames while Leon Draisaitl leads in points with 55 including a remarkable 45 assists.
  • Since being named head coach of the Oilers on November 12th, Kris Knoblauch has compiled a 22-6 record that includes a remarkable 20-3 run since US Thanksgiving back in November. In that time, the team has put together an eight-game win streak as well as its current franchise-best 12-game run.
  • Edmonton is the only team to have two such streaks this year. The Oilers now share the longest winning streak by a Canadian team, tying the mark set by the 1967-68 Montreal Canadians.




Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Hyman
Kane – Draisaitl – Foegele
Janmark – McLeod – Ryan
Gagner – Holloway – Brown
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
The Oilers recalled Dylan Holloway from the Bakersfield Condors and send James Hamblin back down this morning, and I could not be more excited to watch him play. Before he got hurt, Holloway was playing some of his best hockey and it was incredibly unfortunate that his season got derailed with yet another injury. Either way, I’m looking forward to having his speed and skill back in the lineup, and hopefully, he’ll get a little more luck with his help this time around.


Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil
Mangiapane – Backlund – Coleman
Greer – Ruzicka – Dube
Hanifin – Tanev
Andersson – Weegar
Oesterle – DeSimone
Based on the game day preview over at Flamesnation, it looks like Nick DeSimone is the extra skater and Dennis Gilbert will be coming in in his place. Dillon Dube also missed morning skate and likely misses this game.


From Flamesnation.ca:
The Calgary Flames (21-19-5, 47 points) faced the Edmonton Oilers (25-15-1, 51 points) at the end of October at Commonwealth Stadium at the Heritage Classic. The game was preceded by a lot of excitement and ceremony. Nickleback played! The game itself was very one-sided, with the Oilers carrying most of the play and winning decisively. The Flames are likely looking for a measure revenge, and to halt the Oilers’ record-approaching winning streak at a “mere” dozen games.
We’re projecting Dan Vladar to start in net, backed up by Dustin Wolf. Based on morning skate, it appears that Nick DeSimone is the extra skater with Dennis Gilbert coming in. Dillon Dube missed morning skate and likely misses this game – head coach Ryan Huska noted he’s not feeling well. Jacob Markstrom & Martin Pospisil were both on the active roster as of morning skate and Gilbert was on the injury reserve, but those things could be changing before puck drop.
The Flames were uncharacteristically sloppy with their puck management on Thursday against Toronto, making enough mistakes that head coach Ryan Huska termed “selfish” and “stupid.” When the Flames play a structured, four line style of hockey and just grind on their opponents with pace and speed, they’re a tough team to play. They don’t have a difference-maker on their team the way Edmonton does; they need to rely on their depth, structure and discipline.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: I love watching the Oilers win hockey games, but it’s especially sweet when they beat the Flames by a 4-2 score.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid extends his point streak to 13 games with yet another multi-point game.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Vinny Desharnais scored his first NHL goal against the Flames during the Heritage Classic, and he picks up his second tonight in the third period.

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