Sunday Open Thread: A Look Ahead

Ryan Pike
December 28 2014 11:37AM

The Flames kicked off the next section of their schedule yesterday with a win, their 19th of the season. As we recover from that game, let's take a quick look ahead to the next big gap in the section - the NHL All-Star Game on January 25.

Here's a quick glance at the 10 games between now and then.

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First Star, Worst Star: December 28, 2014

December 28 2014 10:43AM


I hope everyone had a great Christmas, ate your weight in delicious food and spent way too much time arguing with your relatives about your opposing political viewpoints. You know, the TRUE meaning of the holidays! 

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Post-Game: Oilers Gift Flames A 4-1 Win

Ryan Pike
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.

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Canada Collectively Sighs As McDavid Manages Three Points In Win

Adam Laskaris
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.

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FGD #37: The Battle of Alberta (8pm; CBC)

Ryan Pike
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).

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