GDB 30.0: EDMONTON… THIS IS YOUR LIFE

 

There is no doubt that when these two teams face each other, the stats and standings go out the window and for sixty minutes, only one thought comes to mind; Embrace the Hate! It’s us against them, family member against family member, and the only thing we can probably agree on with the toothless folk up in Shelbyville is that we wouldn’t have it any other way.

It is a rivalry that has been one of the best in the NHL, it has also been amongst the worst. In the 1980’s both teams were at the top of their game and each meeting was an epoch battle to see who would ultimately win the war. As the 90’s came and went, the Battle became less about war and more about survival. The Battle of Alberta had been reduced to the Battle of Albrutal.

Some would even argue that both teams had developed new rivalries apart from each other. Edmonton had some incredible games and series’ against the Dallas Stars, while Calgary spent seven years absent from the second season, they had developed more of a hate on for Vancouver. Though, even when things were down for both clubs, the fans kept the rivalry alive and well.

The Flames and the Oilers face each other for the 207th time tonight, Calgary holding the advantage with a record of 102-82-19-3. Even over the last few seasons, with Calgary being on the steady decline, it has always been a match-up we down south have looked forward to. There is just something special about lining up at center and knowing no matter what is wrong with the power play, the penalty killing, or who isn’t scoring, that facing the Oilers was going to be the Flames slump-buster; and it has been that way for the better part of the decade.

 

 EDMONTON NOTES

As the holiday season approaches, Christmas might have come just a little too early for the Edmonton Oilers. Starting off the season with youthful excitement, ready to show off their shiny new toy to the rest of the league, Edmonton sped through their first 10 games with a record of 6-2-2. They were playing at home a lot and the fans all admired the shiny new toy. The story away from Rexall was different, losing all 3, one of which was to the Flames.

The Oilers, for the most part, were playing it smart. Only certain people got to play with the shiny new toy. In the confines of home, ‘Nuge’ was part of an exciting unit that featured Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. It was a blast from the past as the Oil’s new “Kid Line” was like a direct shot of adrenaline to the heart; add to that, the youthful rejuvenation of Smythe and Khabibulin’s outlandish save percentage; the Oil were cruising.

However, as expected, Edmonton is starting to come back to earth. What was once a 7-point lead on the Flames has been whittled down to 3-points – and Calgary with a game in hand.

As is customary in Stinktown, injuries have also crept their way into the party. One begins to wonder why scores of Edmonton players are stricken with ailments and maladies every year. Perhaps those who can’t demand trades out of town simply hurt themselves as a way to avoid going to work? Kind of like soldiers who shoot themselves in the foot so they can leave the front lines. Speaking of wounded legs, Ryan Whitney is playing like a guy who was seized in the middle of his convalescence and shoved back into the active roster against his will.

Taylor Hall continues to miss time in the line-up and as such will miss playing Calgary for the third time this season. The Oil went 0 for 6 on the PP in the last game against the Flames, I have no doubt that missing Hall had something to do with that woeful stat.

Khabibulin still boasts a whopping .933 Sv% and 1.95 GAA, placing him 4th in the NHL in both categories. How much longer he can keep up these rates in beyond me, but if the play of the guys in front of him continues to regress, then Nik is bound to be dragged down with them. Of course, he may at some point decide to hit the bottle again, at which point the Oilers fortunes will depend on Devan "I can’t believe I was a first round pick either" Dubnyk.

CALGARY NOTES

The Flames continue to be a team in limbo this season, and it ‘s having a serious impact on its fan-base. Half of them want management to blow it up, and half of them want them to get their act together and play like the team they could be/should. The obstacle, as always, has been themselves and it’s fair to say the only thing they seem to be consistent at is being utterly inconsistent.

Too often the Flames have followed a positive effort with an abysmal one. That being said, Calgary has shown a positive start to the month of December, a month that will be critical if the Flames are to make up any ground in the standings. With 16 games and 4 sets of back-to-backs, this month will most likely dictate the fate of the rest of the season.

For a team that had absolutely no wiggle room at the start of the season, the Flames roster has gone through significant change. As much as Feaster said there was not going to be a wholesale change to this club, change has arrived, whether they like it or not. Calgary now has three rookies on the blueline, most notably T.J. Brodie, who has looked very good in his brief time here. Brodie bolsters speed and pretty good puck-handling. The other notable addition on the blue line was the calling up of Joe Piskula, who if you don’t know the name, all you have to really know is that he is the guy that has pretty much spelled it out clearly to Cory Sarich, that he just doesn’t fit in the Flames plans.

The return of Brendan Morrison and anticipated return of David Moss meant that it was time for Horak to be re-assigned to Abbotsford. Morrison has 6 pts in his 2 games back, so it looks like the Flames are going to ride this out and see where it takes them. Calgary has also recalled Greg Nemisz today in case the flu-stricken Alex Tanguay is unable to play.

With the OIl stumbling and on the second night of a back-to-back, I can’t think of a better team than the old “slump-busters” for the Flames to finally go above .500 for the first timethis season.

Enjoy part 3 of the Battle of Alberta!

  • ville de champignons

    Yeah, I’ve been a Flames fan my whole life. Now that I’m going to the U of A for my law degree I am getting a bit worried about how much better edmonton has changed in one season.

    I mean we all ragged on this team for finishing last – but we can see that last year’s finish was obviously worth the while.

    Maybe it’s time to sell the farm here in Calgary and try and get some potential on the team. I get worried when I see people talking up with Bartchi kid. He’s another Robbie Schremp in the making. He has no physical game and he’s ONLY effective on a first line. If he’s going to be playing in the AHL or Flames he won’t fit a third line role.

    Anyway, as much as this REALLY sucks to admitt… I don’t think there is going to be much luck for the Flames anymore.

  • friday the FISTeenth

    I love HNIC Games , but damn an Early game would be nice for a change.
    Nuge loves HNIC. Remember that.

    i Hope Hordy and Eager are on the same line…

  • Junker4ce

    For god sakes, you guys actually let a flamer write your article today? What the….

    The flames have had as much hockey success as Edmonton over the past few seasons. Financially, the Oilers organization has made more money than the Flames over the past 5 years (Please go to http://www.forbes.com and look for yourself).

    Heck, the flames even have WORSE contracts than the oilers do. I mean… lets look at it from this perspective.

    Iginla – 18 pts and 7.5M cap hit
    Horcoff – 20 pts and 5.5M cap hit

    I’m not an oiler fan, but i hate the flames. I hope claps your little flamers around tonight.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Guys calm down… or rather… keep getting pissed. that’s the point!

    see #10!

    I’m happy to have the flames get the nod after we Sh!t the bed. It reminds us with some extra dirt in the eye to motivate us… also we get to stick it in their eye later… turn about is fairplay.

    my problem is Kent did a better job of mixing his Flame Jabs with some helpful information last week… step it up VF!

    edit: actually it looks like Kent didn’t post the rosters either:

    http://oilersnation.com/2011/12/3/gdb-270-battle-of-alberta-means-something-again

  • friday the FISTeenth

    word on the street was the demolition man Darcy Hordichuk and Egghead Eager are playing on the same line….. some flamers head is going to come off

  • Junker4ce

    This is a poor article and isn’t even reporting. Articles like this ruin the reputation and credibility of a site. I won’t be visiting Oilers Nation anymore.

  • Junk! One sided article! The Oil have come crashing down! The Flame’s are playing above there heads! If any teams should face a brutal reality it’s the Flames! Enjoy the last few wins over the Oilers for the next ten years plug!

  • friday the FISTeenth

    Stinktown ? soak my cork. The tables will turn, another
    year of mediocrity for the flames going no where.

    We have done it right, it may not be tonight, this year or even next.
    But i assure you Flamers. we are coming and when we do we will step
    on your heads on the rise to the top.

    Your season’s as always.. just beat the Oilers.. I guess if that is
    your Cup.. You guys rock…

    Hey what was that ? or just another grey hair from Iggy hitting the floor.
    tick tick tick.. Bye Iggy, Bye Kipper.. Ohhhhh Matt Stajan is he your new leader ? lol yes, i laugh at you Flamers….

  • Junker4ce

    I don’t know why I haven’t seen anyone mention this yet, but we have a real oppertunity to get a guy from off the ballot, into the allstar game.

    Can everybody get out the and vote NUGE? Even Flames fans? I mean he’s better then anyone you could send…

  • Skin

    WTF is this shat. Here’s my obvious game day prediction: If have to read this drivel on ON ever again, I’m not coming back to this site. Put that trash on flames nation. Where’s Gregor’s GDB?

    • Junker4ce

      Lol calm down. 😛
      Wanye in his infinite wisdom decided that for the rest of the year when the oil play the flames, the winner of the last tilt would get to write the other’s GDB.

      If we mange to win tonight, you won’t have to worry about it.

  • friday the FISTeenth

    Also, the frequency that I hear flames fans mention “standings not mattering” and the like when it comes to the BoA rivalry is increasing exponentially. Deep down they all know these teams are heading opposite directions.

  • Junker4ce

    These games are to hard on my heart these days. The Oilers have played terrible against the Famers and it IS for a lack of trying.

    The boys don’t have the hate in their blood yet and seem to not care. In fact they don’t care when they lose to the Flamers which kills me.

    Why don’t they care? Well if they cared they would not have been out till 3am before the last flame game.

  • friday the FISTeenth

    Typical flames fan. Writes about the young kids as if the home ice and soft minutes were the only thing bringing success in the first 10 games, then conveniently forgets to say anything about the scorching 63 points between RNH and Eberle this season. RNH? Tied for league lead in PP points. Eberle? Leads the NHL in EV/PP60. Together they have 1 less point than the Sedin twins. It’s not October anymore. They are for real.

  • Chris.

    Game Day Prediction: The Flames have owned the Oilers since 2006. Here’s the thing: slumping teams often lose a game or two they deserve to win before they return to the win column. Similarly, winning streaks often last a game or two longer than they should. As of this morning, Olli Jokinen leads the Flames in scoring with 20 points: tied for 66th in the league. The Oilers have four players with as many, or signifigantly more points than poor old Olli. In fact, the Oilers have 2 players in the top ten. With this incredible level of emerging offence, how long can the unholy streak of Calgary dominance be expected to continue? Very soon the Oilers will surpass their provincial rivals and not look back for at least ten years. I think it starts tonight with a close, hard fought, 4-2 Oiler win.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: The Oiler powerplay will be much better than last Saturday.

    Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Feaster guaranteed a Calgary playoff appearance. In order for Jay to SIUTBOHC, the Flames need to collect about 70 points in the next 54 games. Around 11:00 pm tonight, Jay will be recalculating on a bar napkin the winning pecentage required to collect the necessary 70 points in just 53 games. In the background, on the radio, a delusional Falmes fan will be pitching a Rene Bourque to Pittburgh for Malkin type deal….