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GDB 76.0: Battle Boys: Oilers vs. Flames – Round 4 (8pm MT, HNIC)

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
29 days ago
There is no better matchup for a Saturday than a Battle of Alberta between the Oilers and Flames as the late game on Hockey Night in Canada. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s game day.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL playoff odds with online sportsbook Betway.
Let’s start the GDB by acknowledging the elephant in the room: the Oilers got stomped the last time these two teams played back on February 24th. Not only did the boys lose the game, but they were absolutely atrocious on their way to a 6-3 final score, leaving us all feeling salty and confused. It was the kind of night that was annoying from start to finish, and I think tonight’s rematch is the perfect time for a bit of payback.
Outside of the final buzzer, round three of the season series was one to forget for the Edmonton Oilers. Not only did the result suck, but the fact that it went down on home ice was like salt on the festering wound. That means the only acceptable revenge would be to do the same to them tonight at the Saddledome.
Of course, the Oilers come into this fourth and final Battle of Alberta playing the second half of a back-to-back set. While last night’s domination over the Colorado Avalanche was undoubtedly a welcomed result, the boys don’t exactly get much time to recover before squaring off in what will likely be another spicy evening.
Even on short rest, I’m hopeful the Oilers will approach this game remembering what happened the last time these teams played. I’m hoping they’re carrying just enough of a grudge to give them the early legs they need without getting distracted by shenanigans. As much as I enjoy watching a fiery BOA, the reality is that tonight’s dance with Flames is basically a quick stop on our way to bigger goals.
I know the Flames are only playing out the string at this point, but there’s little doubt that they’d love to act as a speed bump between the Oilers and home-ice advantage in the first round. But given that Flames fans are already looking ahead at the NHL draft, having our boys win this thing would actually be beneficial for both sides. They need losses to improve draft position, and we’re looking to lock in home ice for the playoffs.
Since the trade deadline, the Flames are sporting a 3-10-0 record and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs due to their loss to the Jets on Thursday night. As much as I want to make fun of them for this run of horror they’re living in, the last thing I want our side to do is take them lightly. Even with deadline selling and two-game losing streak they’re riding, the Flames have enough talent on their roster to ruin our night, and I’d really like to see the Oilers avoid that this time.
Let’s see what the numbers say.

THE NUMBERS

OILERSFLAMES
RECORD46-24-534-36-5
WIN/LOSS STREAKW1L2
LAST 10 GAMES6-3-13-7-0
GOALS FOR270229
GOALS AGAINST216248
POWER PLAY%26.416.5
PENALTY KILL%79.781.1
AVG. SHOTS/FOR34.031.2
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST28.330.1
TEAM SAVE%.914.905
CORSI FOR%55.1850.72
PDO1.0010.990
TEAM SHOOTING%8.708.46
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%57.0050.02
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • Welcome to the 263rd Battle of Alberta.
  • Looking at the franchise leaders, Corey Perry leads all active Oilers in career games against Calgary (72) while Leon Draisaitl leads the team in career points (56) versus the Flames.
  • The Oilers took the first two games of the season series, including October’s Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium, before dropping round three to the Flames the last times these teams met back in February at Rogers Place. Including the playoffs, however, the Oilers have won their last five visits to the Saddledome.
  • Dating back to November 25th, McDavid had 20 points (6G, 14A) in 17 games at that point in the season and was 15 points behind the NHL’s leading scorer Nikita Kucherov who had 35 points (15G, 20A). Since late November, McDavid has racked up 108 points (25G, 83A) over his next 56 games and finds himself only five points behind Kucherov (133 points) in the Art Ross Trophy race. That pace is ridiculous.
  • Leon Draisaitl registered his 100th point of the season and the 500th assist of his career all in one night against the Colorado Avalanche. Upon hitting the 500-assist plateau, Draisaitl became just the fifth Oiler in franchise history to reach that milestone, joining Wayne Gretzky (1,086), Connor McDavid (644), Mark Messier (642) and Jari Kurri (569).

GAME DAY ARTICLE PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers

Draisaitl – McDavid – Hyman
Henrique – RNH – Foegele
Kane – McLeod – Perry
Janmark – Carrick – Brown
Ekholm – Bouchard
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Desharnais
Pickard
Will we get any lineup changes after watching the Oilers dismantle the Avalanche last night at Rogers Place outside of Calvin Pickard slotting back in and maybe Sam Carrick subbing in for Derek Ryan? We shall see. Of course, I’ll jump back in to make the line combos edits as news becomes available.

Flames

Coleman – Backlund – Coronato
Kuzmenko – Kadri – Pospisil
Huberdeau – Sharangovich – Hunt
Greer – Rooney – Duehr
Okhotiuk – Andersson
Weegar – Miromanov
Kylington – Pachal
Markstrom
There are a lot of Flames players that are struggling right now, but MacKenzie Weegar is not one of those guys. The Calgary defender has 12 points in his last 13 games, and has arguably been Calgary’s best player over that stretch.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Flamesnation.ca:
The Flames have two picks in each of the first four rounds of this year’s entry draft. They have around $20 million in cap space. They have some big contracts that would be hard to move out, but for the most part they have a roster that has some decent pieces and some holes in their lineup that could be filled by their bevy of young players.
The process won’t be completed overnight. Yeah, there will probably be some long nights at the Saddledome (and other rinks) as the Flames figure themselves out. But if you were a fan that were a bit fed up by the club’s perpetual “just get into the playoffs and see what happens!” optimism, well, you’ve got your wish. They’re abandoning that idea, at least for a little while, in an effort to build something newer and better than they had before.
The white flag has been waved on the 2023-24 season. But the green flag has been waved on a process that will, if it works as they hope, potentially result in the Flames playing deep into the spring and summer with regularity.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: No better way to wrap up a Saturday night than with a 4-2 win over the Flames.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid picks up a trio of helpers, making him the fourth player in NHL history to hit 100 assists in a single season.
Not-so-obvious Game Day Prediction: Mattias Janmark picks up his fifth goal of the season with a snapshot from the circle that beats the goalie high over the glove hand.

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