Welcome to the Game Day Fire Drill, for this, Calgary’s 38th game of the season on Dec. 28, 2009.
Well last night was a disaster. Who, then, doesn’t expect this game to also be a disaster?
Sure, Calgary isn’t exactly playing the brass of the National Hockey League up in Edmonton tonight, but it’s also not playing like a National Hockey League team, so I guess you split the difference and say this game could go either way.
But if I had told you two weeks ago that the Flames would be playing an Edmonton Oilers team that hasn’t won in six tries and really, being 0-6-0 in those games somehow flattered them, would you have believed me if I had also told you that there wasn’t a person alive who would bet money that the Flames would actually pull it out?
This has been one of the most disappointing stretches for the Flames that I can remember since the lockout. They’ve had their slumps (around here we call them The Keenan Years haw haw haw) but at no point has an entire team just collectively stopped playing as though it was one of the best teams in the league.
True fact: Calgary is lucky to be eighth in the West right now. If it hadn’t been for that incredible run of road wins, the charm of which ran out a week and a half ago, this would be a team competing with Edmonton to see who can possibly finish lower in the league standings.
If the Flames win in regulation or even in the run of play in overtime tonight, I’ll be really, really surprised.
The Calgary Flames (20-12-5 for 45 points. Eighth in the West, third in the Northwest) and the Edmonton Oilers (15-19-4 for 34 points. Dead last in the West, fifth in the Northwest).
7 p.m. Mountain time and 9 p.m. Eastern time. All other time zones should make friends.
Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta.
Calgary is 11-5-3 on the road this year, but hasn’t played well since last year. The Oilers are 8-9-2 at home, and have lost six straight.
What (to hate about the Oilers)
They’re due — Six straight losses. A whopping 27 goals allowed in those six games (4.5 per!) and just 11 for (1.83 per). Guess who’s looking good to break out tonight.
Nikolai Khabibulin — Well, you should only hate him if you’re an Oilers fan, shouldn’t you? As a Flames fan, I admire everything he’s done for the organization.
Nothing else — It’s all goin’ a-okay in E-Town. Looking at the standings and seeing them at the bottom of the Western Conference is really pretty awesome.
Because ughhhhhh. Enjoy the game and get out the tissues in the comments section.