We have a little tradition here at the Nation Network. They who win the Battle of Alberta writes the next GDB on both sites. So buckle up Flames Fans because you are going to get it and we are going to give it to you.

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For far too long Edmontonians and Calgarians have battled back and forth with the same old witty jabs and name calling.  Calgary has one Cup – a bra has two. Edmonton has no running water or intelligence of any sort. You have the Stampede, we have a free hot dog lunch in the parking lot of Bonnie Doon shopping mall. Yeah, yeah yeah. We get it.

This time around we are dispensing with the usual insults and getting to the heart of the matter of what is really wrong with you Calgary.


Oooooh. We get it Calgary. You are the rich neighbours to the South with all of your money and power and fancy high rise buildings. Everyone understands that at some point in the mid 90s all of our businesses picked up and moved down Highway 2. Well guess what? We were like 8 years old when that happened. Didn’t care then – didn’t care now.

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Frankly you did us a favour Calgary. We will never figure out how jedi mind tricked the bulk of our corporate douchebags to pack up their drycleaned belongings and move three hours away but we thank you.

And while we watch the game tonight and see a bunch of non-plussed suit types sitting on their hands in the Saddledome in jerseys that still have their tags on we will thank the Gods that none of them are up here pretending to be Oilers fans anymore.

Good riddance.


Speaking of Flames fans where have they gone? We seem to remember a whole mess of people filing into your Red Mile during your ill fated Cup run. People all over the were quick to cheer for "KIPPPPPERRRRRRRR" and "IGGGGGYYY" and Company. And yet nowdays there don’t seem to be nearly as many people up repping the flaming C.

That’s probably because the bulk of people following aren’t really Flames fans. They are sports consumers. When the milk is fresh you are all happy to have a glass. When the milk goes sour – no one will come within a hundred miles.

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Contrast that with Edmonton. We have been drinking sour milk for so long we have developed a taste for it. In fact many of us now prefer it. Doesn’t matter if the Oilers finish in last place every year until the end of time. Oilers fans are in the business of living and dying with the team. Anyone with any hockey sense at all would have abandoned this team years ago and yet here we are millions strong all around the world.

And luckily the Oil are on the verge of being awesome. While Calgary is going to gently float down to the bottom of the league until your 33 NTCs expire in 2035.


Looking at your roster – who is there even to get excited about?! Iginla in the prime of the twilight of his fine career? Pfft. Steve Begin? Jiri Hudler? Who the hell are any of these old bastards anyway? There is literally not a single player on your entire roster that we could possibly get excited about. Anyone skilled is old. Anyone young is marginal. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

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We remember when we were trying to convince ourselves that players like Roman Cervenka were going to be the answer. Our Cervenka had names like Cole and O’Sullivan. We hoped and prayed late into the night that they could find something deep down within themselves and become awesome. And guess what – it didn’t work.

It never works. Your roster was built around a core and that core expired about 4 years ago. Now you are like the guy who went all in on a 5-3 offsuit with a hunch "things were going to look better after the flop." Well the flop came up all Kings and now you have nothing left to do but play out your hand.

And lose.



There is literally nothing you can do to win this battle Flames fans. Even if the Oilers lose (and they may) they are still the far superior team and we both know it. Even if the Flames win by 10 goals it will be no more satisfying than being given a free shrimp cocktail at a banquet on the Titanic. You are headed to the bottom and everyone on board is starting to sense disaster.

And there isn’t an insult in the book you can lob our way that will have any impact. Yes we are  your hillbilly cousins up Highway 2. We are eternal optimists who have had a crap team and lacked the brain stem or the reality check to realize it. Now after being rewarded for coming in last for so long we have an embarassment of riches for a lineup and 18 year old Russian superstars sliding all over while we lose our drunken minds in celebration.

Its all happening up here and nothing is happening down there and you would be madder except that most of your bandwagon jumping fans have left long ago. Perhaps we should lend you the terms "ELPH" and "Shitanusly bad hockey." They got us through some dark days.

Oh and it’s Wayne Gretzky’s birthday today. Remember him?

GAME DAY PREDICTION: This is as easy to predict as getting some drunk Calgary tramp girl to flash her boobs during the only Cup run Calgarians will witness in the next two decades…Oilers win 5-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: One thing Flames and Oiler fans can agree on is it is great not having Mark Lee call the game on HNIC. Also buckle up it could be a long game with Tom Kowal and Greg Kimmerly reffing the game. They are as blind as the guys who thought every Calgary tramp girl who flashed on the red mile was hot.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: During the second period one of the mics at ice level picks up the audio from a conversation between Jarome Iginla and Jordan Eberle.

"Hey Ebs, tell Tambo I’d gladly waive my non-trade clause and come play with you guys." Eberle smiles and replies, "You betcha, but I hope you are okay playing on the 2nd line." Iginla smiles, "No problem, at least I’d have a chance to make the playoffs again." Within moment the Nations blow up with talk of a possible trade. Flames fans start calling him "Judas", while Oiler fans calmly sit back knowing that Iginla speaks the truth.

Thanks to Gregor for giving me his Game Day Predictions

  • Smytty's Jibs

    A good game from the Flames. If they could consistently bring that kind of effort out in games that AREN’T BoA’s then they would definitely put themselves in contention for the second season.

    -Iginla has been my favorite non-Oiler player since as far back as i can remember, and he showed why again tonight. He is, for my money, the perfect hockey player.

    -I cant stand Halls play style. He is fast, but his stride looks goofy as hell. He has brutal puck control at high speeds. He falls at least once a shift. And he has gotten into the habit of trying to split defenders– even when he’s going in 1-on-1– he tries to get between their legs like hes dealing with an Oil City (RIP) floozie on a Saturday night.

    – What in the hell is with all of the saucer passes!!!! No team in the NHL ” utilizes” this pass more than the Oilers– or should i say, “the Oilers first line.” i will admit that a sweet tape to tape, cross crease sauce is one of the prettiest things in the world, but for every one of those is 50 passes that fly over the target, fall short of the target and bounce over, or flutter off the stick and roll down the ice. I miss the good, hard pass on the ice. Cripes!

  • DoubleJ

    We need a actuall bottom six on this team. Seriously nothing happens when they’re on the ice. Kruger needs to actually mix it up when things are not going well. When there’s no shots on net for more then ten minutes. Maybe tweak a line or two?
    Not impressed with the coaching so far.

  • Oilers89

    Hall will be fine. This discussion seems to happen at the start of every season. “Hall is trying to go through 3 players and keeps losing it… Hall is a turnover machine.” Don’t worry when he gets warmed up he is easily our best player night in and night out. THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR, DON’T WORRY. lol

  • Oilers89

    Secondly. The flames deserved this one. The officiating was in my opinion biased and brutal but the flames deserved it. The flames get up for the BOA every time. The oilers are still learning to play consistently and as they mature we will see them getting up as well, and when that happens the flames will be in trouble.

    The question, however, is when will they figure it out? Also, why does it seem like it is usually the vets that can’t get up? They should know how to play consistently in this league by now. The kids are being handicapped still it appears as they have to perform a minor miracle to drag the vets to a win.

    With all that said, this was one game (San Jose was brutal for a period also), but after their next game we could very easily be singing a different tune (see comments after LA game). Don’t get too excited or too angry. One game the oilers can be superman and the next game they are nothing, but that’s the way young teams go.

  • Oilers89

    The Oilers forgot last night where the net was and paid for it with a loss. Calgary on ther hand was rewarded for going to the net and shooting at the net.

    Positives. DD was solid. Easily could have gotten out of control.A couple of lucky breaks with one bouncing off his skate and not deflecting into the net. That 4 th goal he was hung out to dry.Great play by the Flames.

    PP was effective once again scoring 2 goals.

    RNH looks like he has adjusted back to the NA time zone. He and Ebs and Hall were a threat all night.Missing several chances by fractions.With J.Shultz on the backend its like having a 4th forward on the rush. Teams will be surprised. The result fot J.Shultz may be a Karlson like season.

    MP. Needs to go through people. But I like what I am seeing. Confidence is slowly returning.

    The ugly. Face offs. 5-5. Hits? Any one see Calgary paying the price for going to the net? Hordichuk played like what a minute in the game. Found that disconcerting. He needs to be on the ice in a game like that. BTW anyone see Whitney? The guy looks like he does not want the puck. Its like a grenade every time it is on his stick,He can’t get rid of it fast enough. I’d make a move with him sooner than later if I was Tambo.

    Lastly. If I were making changes I would move Hemsky down with Smyth and Horcoff. And move MP up with Yak and Gagner.

    Hemsky has been flying. Horcoff and Smyth both look like they are still getting their legs. Meanwhile Gagner and Yak have found chemistry. Adding MP’s speed to that line will force the D to give space on the entry zone. Hemsky we all know looks to pass first and shoot later. Its like having 2 centers on one line when he is with Gagner. Horcoff though he plays a center position ,plays more effectively with Hemsky.As proven in the past. He and Smyth both have had good results in the past while on a line with Hemsky. Smyth and Horcoff both are willing to go the net where it opens up space on the perimeter where Hemsky is most effective. Hemsky’s speed makes up for any defensive liability in the offensive zone that is created when Smyth and Horcoff collapse to the net.

    Playing MP with Gagner and Yak I think will elevate MP’s game even more. Partly out of necessity and partly because of the talent that he will be asked to play with.It also would move Yak over to his natural position.MP is a guy with talent.Renney’s coaching last year IMO took his confidence level don several notches. I think MP question himself whether he could play in the NHL. What I am seeing is a player who under RK is regaining his confidence. His skating is there. His will to get the puck is there. The offense will come. He has the skills. He needs a soft hand with the kind of teaching that RK has provided. Ask a little more of him overtime.Polish and reinforce the positives.I think we’ll see MP by the end of the year become the player we all know he is.Time and patience with this kid is what I am preaching. There is a player there.

    We need to balance the “scoring/talent”.

  • mr_nihilism

    The Flames wanted the win more it seems. That toothless wonder, (Cammalleri or whoever) looked like he was having the time of his life playing the BOA.

    It sickens me, but Calgary deserved the win.

    Good news is we won’t have to play them again for a while.

  • RedMan

    Well, first 200 or so posts seem to point out how bad and old and slow and sure to lose the Flames are… then all you hear from Oiler fan’s from that point is how the refs and NHL are against Edmonton.

    Great Game – ended with the better team winning. Meanwhile, Oiler fans will continue to rave about how great they were, and how great they will become…


  • Willi P

    Loved the game from Ebs and Shultz. Nuge will be alright. Yak is in it for himself (as per most Russian players)and Hall….well the Oil drafted the wrong “T”. 6M a year…sucks to have this contract.

  • Reidja

    I didn’t read the article because it looks like garbage. I did watch the game and the oilers also look like garbage. Will Edmonton ever cease to embarrass themselves? I hope not. Keep it up Wayne. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

    It really is good to not be an oiler fan. It really is.