December 27 2014 11:09PM
Lest we get too negative around these here parts about the Edmonton Oilers, let's just lay something out here.
The Edmonton Oilers were the better team than the Calgary Flames tonight.
Alas, there aren't any points for the "better team," and the Flames were the team that scored more goals, en route to a 4-1 home victory over the aforementioned hockey team from Edmonton.
The Oilers generally out-played and out-shot the Flames. But they were also key contributors to three of the four goals against themselves, which made all the difference in the world.
December 27 2014 08:38PM
Canada defeated Germany 4-0 on Saturday for their second victory in as many days. When scoring the first goal of the game, Canada is now 2-0 in the 2015 World Juniors. If they want to win gold in the tournament, they should look to do that every game.
December 27 2014 02:00PM
On October 9, on the second day of the regular season, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers met in their first Battle of Alberta of 2014-15. The season was full of promise for both of them at that point. Since that game - a 5-2 comeback win for the Calgary Flames up at Rexall - the teams have moved in different directions.
Calgary's win was their first of the season, and they've subsequently added an additional 17 triumphs to enter tonight's game with Edmonton at the Saddledome with a pretty solid 18-15-3 record. The Flames exited the Christmas break a mere two points out of a playoff spot, a massive leap forward for a club that drafted fourth overall last season (even after an eight-game losing streak).
Edmonton's loss was their first of the season, and they've subsequently added an additional 20 setbacks to enter this rematch with Calgary with a 7-21-7 record. Like Calgary, the Oilers are a streaky bunch. Unlike Calgary (until their recent ugly stretch), they've been finding ways to both (a) lose in gut-wrenching fashion and (b) extend losing streaks beyond the point of even being funny anymore. They exit the holiday break 20 points out of a playoff spot.
Calgary's last five wins? December 22, December 4, December 2, November 29 and November 26.
Edmonton's last five wins? December 7, November 9, November 7, October 27 and October 24.
Ouch. (Both Edmonton's total number of wins and Calgary's big, big recent gap.)
In a weird quirk, the Oilers axed coach Dallas Eakins (and brought in GM Craig MacTavish as interim coach) the same week that the Flames extended coach Bob Hartley for what's reportedly a deal through 2016-17.
The puck drops at 8pm MT and the game can be viewed on CBC (with Rick Ball and Craig Simpson) and heard on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).
December 27 2014 10:00AM
If not for some late game heroics from Johnny Hockey and Captain Gio against the Kings, the Flames would have entered the holiday break on a 9-game losing streak. The unlikely victory over the Stanley Cup champs managed to quell a tide of concern and anxiety rising amongst the general Flames faithful, where rumblings of how to "fix" the suddenly powerless Flames had begun to gain volume.
December 27 2014 09:00AM
Canada cruised by Slovakia with an 8-0 win yesterday and will look to keep the good times rolling against a vulnerable German squad tonight.