Pondering An All-Alberta Team

Ryan Pike
October 17 2015 03:09PM

The Battle of Alberta has been waged for decades, which each team vying for provincial supremacy. Each side thinks their team and their players are superior. But in this era of expansion, what would happen if Gary Bettman decided that a pair of Alberta teams was too many and told the management teams from Calgary and Edmonton to contract their rosters into one squad?

How would we blend the two Alberta teams together to form a hockey club with four lines, three defensive pairings and three goalies, based upon who's healthy for each side right now? (Sorry Flames fans, no Brodie...)

Here's what I came up with. Your mileage may vary.

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FGD #5: Home Ice Advantage - The Battle of Alberta

Ryan Pike
October 17 2015 01:00PM

(Sergei Belski-USA Today Sports)

Tonight, live from the Scotiabank Saddledome, it's the 225th meeting between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in franchise history! (And the 221st meeting ever between Calgary and Edmonton!)

The Flames are 1-3-0 after a good start and a flat finish in Winnipeg, while the Connor McDavid Era has begun with zero wins through four games in Edmonton. Rather than a clash of titans, tonight is a game between two teams scrambling to right their ships as the season lumbers on - with a combined record of 1-7-0.

Regardless, it's an interesting game and a pretty important one for both sides. It goes at 8pm MT on CBC (with Paul Romanuk and Mike Johnson) and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

For a look from the other side, head on over to check out OilersNation's preview!

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Post-Game: I Hate Winnipeg

Ryan Pike
October 16 2015 09:57PM

Teams don't win too many games where they get out-shot. Teams don't win too many games where they don't play a full 60 minutes. Teams don't win too many games where they give up bad goals, especially when the games are low-scoring.

These factors collided tonight in the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, as the Calgary Flames had a good first period and then drifted. A solid game from the Jets and an ugly goal against Karri Ramo late spelled the third Flames loss of the season, as they drop to 1-3-0 on the season after a disappointing 3-1 loss in Winnipeg.

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Is The KHL Wrong For Rushan Rafikov?

Ryan Pike
October 16 2015 04:00PM

One of the most interesting prospects in the Calgary Flames system, to me, is Rushan Rafikov. He was originally drafted by the organization in the seventh (and final) round of the 2013 NHL Draft. Since being selected in that draft, he's only come over to North America a couple of times for tournaments and is the only prospect in the organization yet to attend any kind of Flames camp.

He has instead been developed in the Russian system, most recently signing a two-year contract with the other team that drafted him, the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.. I'm not sure that was a great decision on his part.

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FGD #4: Going to Winnipeg

Ryan Pike
October 16 2015 12:00PM

After a disappointing second period sunk them on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames leap back into action this evening in everyone's favourite city, Winnipeg, where they face the Jets.

The Flames (1-2-0) haven't played a complete game yet, instead relying on strong finishes to propel them to victory. It worked in one of their three games thus far, so perhaps they need to find a better plan. They'll be in tough against the NHL's largest team, the Jets (3-1-0), who are quite large, fast and pretty darn talented. The Flames would really, really like to get back to .500 before the weekend.

The puck drops this evening at 6pm MT on Sportsnet Flames (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey) and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan. The Jays/Royals game goes at 5pm tonight, so I strongly recommend picture-in-picture (or alternating between radio and TV broadcasts of the two games).

For a look from the other side, check out JetsNation's preview of tonight's game!

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