For the first time since Game 5 when Connor McDavid ended the series in overtime, the Edmonton Oilers will take on the Calgary Flames in the opening round of what will surely be a different chapter in the Battle of Alberta.
I think it goes without saying that there is always something special about a Saturday night Battle of Alberta. I don’t care whether we’re talking about a pre-season tune-up, a spicy night in October, or the first playoff matchup in over 30 years, there is no better rivalry in hockey than when these two teams are competitive and hating each other. During the decade of darkness, the Flames beat up on the Oilers with regularity and that one-sidedness basically killed the rivalry and turned the BOA into a snoozefest. I mean, as much as Flames fans would say that they had fun watching Robin Regehr punish poor Ales Hemsky, the reality is that the NHL is way more fun with both Alberta teams are good and that’s exactly what we’re going to get this season.
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The funny part about this first BOA is how seriously some Flames fans appear to be taking it. It’s like beating Edmonton in this first game is their Stanley Cup or something, and while I generally find living in their heads rent free the way we do to be sorta pathetic, their obsession with us is pretty hilarious. It’s like no matter what happens in the league, their city, or in their shitacular building, keeping up with Edmonton is the only thing Flames fans really seem care about and I think it’s cute. It’s adorable to know that despite the fact that we Oilers fans couldn’t care less about what’s happening in Calgary whereas they pay just as much attention to what we’re doing as what’s going on in their own backyard. However, it would probably be easier if they all just admitted to loving the Oilers too. So with that in mind, I couldn’t think of a better way to welcome our faithful followers to town than by dishing up another ‘L’ and sending them home with a refreshed memory of what it’s like to lose to Edmonton. It’s been a minute since McDavid squashed their dreams after all.
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Let’s see what the numbers say.

THE NUMBERS

OILERS
FLAMES
RECORD
1-0-0
1-0-0
WIN/LOSS STREAK
W1
W1
Last 10 Games
1-0-0
1-0-0
GOALS FOR
5
5
GOALS AGAINST
3
3
POWER PLAY%
75.0
40.0
PENALTY KILL%
87.5
75.0
AVG. SHOTS/FOR
25.0
27.0
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST
36.0
25.0
TEAM SAVE%
.920
.947
CORSI FOR%
48.81
52.94
PDO
0.973
1.043
TEAM SHOOTING%
5.26
9.52
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%
46.63
60.78
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)

LINEUPS…

Oilers

Hyman – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Kane – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Holloway – RNH – Foegele
Malone – McLeod – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Murray – Bouchard
Campbell
It goes without saying that the Oilers will need to come up with a better start on night two against the Flames if they expect to turn Wednesday’s win into a pair. Quite frankly, the start our boys gave us in the opener was a disaster and had it not for the Canucks being horrible at everything, Connor McDavid’s brilliance, and Jack Campbell standing tall, we would have absolutely lost that hockey game and even though it’s still early in the year, we can’t be giving up points to bad teams. The point I’m getting to here is that the Flames are a much bigger challenge for the Oilers than the Canucks were, and if it takes them to the midway point of the game to get going again then we will absolutely run into problems. Start on time and they’ll be fine. Anything less and someone has some explaining to do.
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Flames ***UPDATED****

Huberdeau – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Coleman – Backlund – Lewis
Lucic – Rooney – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Vladar
I’m really intrigued to see how the new look Flames are different from the ones we’ve come to know over the last few years. In my mind, their defence is as good as it gets in this league, but I don’t think the forwards are quite as lethal without Gaudreau and Tkachuk. Don’t get me wrong Huberdeau is a fantastic player, but I wonder how he’s going to look in his first year in Calgary with the pressure of a $10 million dollar deal kicking in. I also wonder if guys like Lindholm and Kadri that had such fantastic seasons in 2021-22 will be able to repeat what were undoubtedly outlier campaigns for both of them. As much as I know some people are punching Calgary’s ticket to the finals already, I think there are more question marks surrounding this team than maybe Flames fans expect right now. Am I wrong? I
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TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: New year, same result. Oilers take round one of the BOA by a 4-2 score.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Flames fans are going to take this game wayyyyyyy too seriously regardless of the outcome. We’re living rent free, and it’s honestly hilarious.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dylan Holloway picks up his first NHL goal.

THE SEASON LAUNCH PARTY

For the first time in three seasons, we’re throwing a Season Launch Party at SOHO tonight and you’re all invited to join us! What’s going on? I’m glad you asked.
  • Date: Saturday, October 15th, 2022 – TONIGHT!
  • When: 5:00pm
  • Location: SOHO YEG (11454 Jasper Ave)
  • What’s Included: Entry to the event, Swag Bag (complete with w-shirt, stickers, GCs), entry to the giveaways, after party with RIFF/RAFF
  • How: GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!
As always, we will also be including a charity component with the event where a portion of all ticket sales will be donated directly to Sport Central to help with their mission of providing equipment and bicycles to children in need.