FGD: One Tin Soldier – The Legend of City Yak

 

After Shelbyville showed us all that even a broken clock is right twice a day, the Battle of Alberta gamethread is back where it belongs. Oh and if you don’t get the reference in the title? Google is your friend.

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Tonight, two teams on completely different roads will cross paths once again, where scoreboard watching will be put aside in favour of compulsory disdain and a sheer desire to lay the boots to one of your oldest rivals. Since 2009, it has been the Flames doing the majority of kicking, leading the head-to-head series 19-4.

Much has changed since the Flames and the Oilers last met on January 27th (when the good guys won 4-3), as Calgary seems to have taken a page out of the Oilers operational book and are on a slide towards the bottom of the league. The Oilers, meanwhile, are on the cusp of making a push towards unfamiliar territory of their own… the playoffs.

Somehow it seems fitting that these two squads would meet up today, April 1st. What has in recent history been dubbed the “Battle of Albrutal”, where either team is in the standings has been irrelevant because neither ever wants to lose this match-up, neither want to be the fool.

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The Line-Up

We all know who the obvious loss to the lineup is, but we shouldn’t forget who still is. Curtis Glencross loves himself a piece of the Oilers whenever the chance presents itself.

The Flames lineup is probably written in pencil, due to wide speculation around who might be staying and who might be leaving. Fronting the list is Jay Bouwmeester, with destinations including both Detroit and St. Louis. Others that are also coming up to be on the move are the likes of Tanguay, Sarich, Cammallerri and of course Glencross.

Very few are safe these days and there is going to be a lot of speculation leading right up to April 3rd. For now, here’s how SNET’s Pat Steinberg has the lines shaping up.

  • Glencross-Stajan-Stempniak
  • Tanguay-Cammallerri-Comeau
  • Hudler-Backlund-Cervenka
  • McGrattan-Begin-Jackman
  • Brodie-Bouwmeester
  • Giordano-Wideman
  • Butler-Sarich
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  • Kiprusoff

The Oilers have to be licking their chops at the thought of facing Miikka Kiprusoff tonight with his less than stellar performance between the pipes this year. However he is also 15-2 in his last 17 starts against Edmonton with a 2.43 GAA. He will have to be “that guy” tonight in order to give his team a legit chance at putting a dent in the Oilers’ playoff hopes.

It will also be very interesting to see how long Hartley leaves the Czech’s with Backlund. Cervenka has been playing with a lot more confidence and certainty in the month of March, and Backlund’s creative and bold play is an interesting match that has the potential to pay dividends.

The Village Idiots

The Oil have won three straight for the first time this season. That is part of a 6-2-2 record in their last ten that has them sitting 11th in the conference, just two points out of the top eight.

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It’s no secret that the Oilers’ Achilles heel (other than playing in the NHL) has been from the blueline. This morning they penned Ladislav Smid to a four year extension with an AAV of $3.5 Million. That’s sure to be enough to put them over the hump right? Relax Shelbyville dwellers, we know, we know… “Laddy” is a great shot-blocker and he has all the intangibles right? RIGHT?

It’s a good thing the defence is all sorted out, now Ralph Kreuger can figure what the hell is wrong with his highly touted offensive talent. “Yak City” is more of a ghost town these days, registering just one assist in his last five games and hasn’t been part of the Oilers late push. In fact he hasn’t found the back of the net since February 25th, and only has 5 assists during the entire month of March.

Things aren’t that rosy for RNH this season either. The young center has a meagre three goals on sixty-six shots, giving him a whopping personal shooting percentage of 3.0%. That’s a far cry from last season’s 13.4% pace. Then again, I suppose it’s okay to fall off a cliff when you know you will safely land on the coat-tails of Taylor Hall. Well done Nuuuuuuge.

  • Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle
  • Paajarvi-Gagner-Hemsky
  • Jones-Horcoff-Yakupov
  • Petrell-Smyth-Brown
  • Smid-Petry
  • N. Schultz-J. Schultz
  • Whitney-Potter
  • Dubnyk

Sum it Up

Game Day Prediction: The Flames scrape the barrel for what remaining ounce of dignity they have left and continue the Alberta trend by winning this one 5-3; snapping their road loss streak at nine.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: Curtis Glencross sticks it once again to the team that let him go, showing two versions of his infamous “Scoreface”

Not-so-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Hot on the heels of scoring his fastest hat-trick in Oilers history, Taylor Hall is about due for some mis-hap that has always seem to keep him out of games against Calgary. Tonight will be no different as he and his buck-toothed face will be mistaken for the Easter Bunny, so all the other barely pubescent children on the team will bug him about not getting enough candy this weekend.

What makes this whole situation really funny is that the average Oil fan is like some giddy, pimpled-faced nerd who finally landed that date with his lab partner’s sister. They say they have been waiting for this day, this day of retribution. When all the stars are aligned and the Oil can take back the pride that the Flames have, for the last decade or so, used to clean their skate blades after the game.

Newsflash… We know, we’ve seen this coming for a long time too guys. What makes it funny though is that despite everything, the losses, the bad trades, the injuries… whatever you want to jeer Calgary about this time, they just keep beating the Oilers.

These days, for Flames fans.. that’s not quitte enough for now. However, for added entertainment, Flames fans appreciate the fans up North, the ones that are convinced that this is finally it. The time for the Oilers to take that step forward out of the mire and take their rightful place at the fornt of the class. That’s just awesome and I sincerely hope the Oilers do make the playoffs this year. It will make it that much better when they are bounced decisively and the Oilers management is left shaking their heads as to what went wrong.

One last thing…


  • Admiral Ackbar

    Won’t take these games for granted as the Flames do seem to play above their record vs the Oil.

    That said, I hope this is the beginning of the worst two weeks the Flames play all season. When our crack at the playoffs comes, we’ll try to win at least one series during our period of “dominance”.

  • Craig

    Good grief…I always love it when fLames fans try to give it to Oiler fans. The cartoon has Gretzky vs. Larry McDonald’s or whatever his name is. Seriously? What’s next? A mock-up of Messier arm wrestling Loob? Sheesh!

  • J-Dogg

    So, to sum up:

    Flames suck more now, but it’s all good cause you saw it coming and have made peace with it.

    Our 1st and 2nd year rookies aren’t putting up 70 points per season yet and are therefore busts.

    And the rapidly fading silver lining on the $#!tcloud that is the flames present and foreseeable future is that you still hold a better reg season record against us.

    That about it?

    If I had to swallow a pill like that all those sour grapes would make a relatively sweet chaser to me too.

  • northof51

    That was rich. Any Flamers want to do a Scoreface for Human Pylon (Ryan Whitney) trade? That would guarantee a 30th overall finish for you and top odds at the top pick (although playing on the road should pretty much have the same effect).

  • oilman3

    GDP: Oilers 5-2.
    OGDP: The top line continues to roll, combining for 7 points.
    NSOGDP: Jay Feaster goes missing after the second intermission. Weeks later he is found “wandering the desert.”

  • vetinari

    “We all know who the obvious loss in the lineup is…” He who shall not be named or “the player” is the only thing that kept the Flames in 9th place all these years.

    Claiming Yak and Nuge are busts is just playing with fire and words your clearly gonna have to swallow later. We would attack your rising stars but you don’t have any…

    Flames fans prepare for years of losses starting with tonights. Its got to hurt. But whats got to hurt more is if JEROME IGINLA wins the cup he will bring it to his hometown, Oil Country.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Iggy for weird Al Yankovich…. hmmmm not bad Feaster.

    I have a rotten ronnies gift card for you.

    Flames i didnt think it is was possible to worse Mgmt than us…
    Once again Calgary you one up Edmonton.. LOL
    Losers.

    L-L-L-L-L-L-L aughing stock, get use to it horse crap city.

  • Craig

    Boys Boys Boys

    12th v 14th talking like its 1989 again and you are contenders not pretenders. Oh if that was only the case. In my opinion i believe MANY of the posters on thsi site were still playing with Ninja turtle action figures. As some one who remembers the late 1980’s and the terrific BOA tht took place , the past 2 decades have been a cheap knock off.

    • Thumby

      ^^^This times 10…

      I’m 44 now and fondly remember the beatdowns Semenko used to give Hunter…or Dave Brown when he broke the so called Calgary tough guys face…all while the mightly Oil put up 6 or 7 on the scoreboard.

      Back then Dutchy (now on TSN but at the time on the local sports show) said something along the lines that “Brown looked like he was trying to start an old lawn mower”.

      Anyone else remember those classics too?

      Pretty slim pickings around here (2006 notwithstanding) since…good to see the tide finally turning!

  • Lets take it easy on the lames fans here boys. They’re on the edge of severe depression and we don’t need to shove them over the cliff. There a good team with a bright future! Sure they offer sheeted a player that needed waivers, sure they traded their franchise player for assets that will never appear in the NHL. Sure there highest paid player has 10 seasons with no playoffs. But at least they have…… Um….

  • Craig

    @Vintage fLame

    What was harder coming up with a recent positive and something to put into this final BOA article

    OR

    . . .having to write any of those names as your Top 6 forwards – Comeau, Stajan, Stempn . . .(stopped writing for laughter . . .endless laughter)

    GOILERS

  • oilman3

    the flames are horrible but we all know they’re going to be working their collective asses off tonight as beating the oilers is as close to any kind of success they can hope to have for the foreseeable future. if the oilers can put forth an effort even in the ballpark of the flames, they should win easily.

  • vetinari

    And to insult to injury to Flames fans, tsn.ca reports that the Flames have given permission to the Leafs to discuss a trade and extension with Kipper’s people… bye-bye Kipper…

  • justDOit

    I’m ready to go tonight boys, if you need me to fill in for that Jerome fella. Ricky and Julian will take care of the water bottles tonight, and Randy is bringing some cheeseburgers, so don’t you Flamers worry! I hope they allow smoking in the dressing room… Go Flamers!

  • Milli

    When you look at the Lames lines, what do you call them? 4a, 4b, 4c……..Man this is gonna be fun! I really, really hope the Lames extend feaster for well, forever!!! That guy makes Tambo look smart!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Kruger Vrs Hartley @ centre ice. I will take Ralph in the second.
    Hartley is french how tough can he be ? Other than Mouthy.

    Show Your shit Calgary…