Post-Game: Flames settle for single point against Oilers

Ryan Pike
January 14 2017 11:52PM

(Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports)

On Friday night the Calgary Flames played 60 uninspired minutes against the New Jersey Devils. To nobody's great shock, they lost. On Saturday night the Flames played a lot better against their divisional and provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. They lost again (by a 2-1 score) but they got a hard-fought point via getting to the shootout.

Considering the Flames looked horrible against the Oilers back when they faced them in October and weren't particularly good on Friday, the single point they captured tonight was a big one.

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Matt Stajan will play his 900th NHL game tonight

Ryan Pike
January 14 2017 02:00PM

If you had asked a year ago who the Calgary Flames were thinking they would probably lose in the upcoming National Hockey League expansion draft, the answer probably would've been veteran center Matt Stajan. With a contract running through the 2017-18 season that pays him $3.125 million against the salary cap, the fourth line pivot seemed like his best days were behind him when the curtain fell on the 2015-16 campaign.

Midway through this season, the Flames are probably hoping that he can stick around if he maintains his current level of play. The 33-year-old will suit up tonight for his 900th NHL regular season game in the midst of an impressive resurgence in his game that has lifted Stajan, and seemingly everybody he plays with this season, into the upper echelon of fourth lines.

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FGD 46: The 232nd Battle of Alberta (8pm MT, CBC)

Ryan Pike
January 14 2017 12:00PM

(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)

We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.

When the National Hockey League released its 2016-17 schedule this summer, you could be forgiven if you weren't terribly excited for tonight's game. The Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers have not typically played meaningful hockey games in January. Heck, most of their games in October have been pretty meaningless given how poor the two clubs have been in recent years. So it's fairly surprising that tonight's installment of the Battle of Alberta is between two clubs currently in playoff spots.

The Oilers are third in the Pacific Division. The Flames are in the first wildcard spot. A win for the Flames can close the gap between the two clubs to a single point. A win by the Oilers would put the Flames back on their heels a bit and leave them vulnerable to falling out of the wildcard spots, at least temporarily. In other words: this is a big game between two clubs that really need the points.

A big game? Between the two Alberta teams? These are strange times indeed.

The puck drops at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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Post-Game: Nightmare on Olympic Way

Ryan Pike
January 13 2017 10:11PM

On Saturday night, the Calgary Flames will play one of the most important games of their season when they face the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. On Friday night, they first had to play the New Jersey Devils – who faced Edmonton on Thursday night. On a Friday the 13th that featured a full moon, the Flames were spookily bad for the first 20 minutes of the game and not particularly strong through the duration of it. They dropped a winnable game to one of the worst teams in the National Hockey League, the Devils, by a 2-1 score.

For a team needing all the points it can muster in an incredibly tight Western Conference playoff race, this was a nightmare scenario.

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The 2017 Playoff Chase: the second half begins

Ryan Pike
January 13 2017 02:00PM

Friends, if you have a calendar and the National Hockey League standings in front of you then you've probably made a staggering realization. We're into the second half of the 2016-17 schedule and the Calgary Flames are in a playoff spot.

As long as the Flames are in the playoff conversation, we're debuting a weekly feature here for the second half where we look at where the local sports team is among their peers.

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