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…

  • Quicksilver ballet

    How do our farts smell, Calgary?

    Must really suck to be a Calgary Lames (never more fitting to have that name) fan now, knowing they won’t even hit rock bottom for another 2 yrs yet. You’re all welcome to tune into Oiler games for your hockey fix these next half dozen yrs.

    Who’s your daddy again Calgary!

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    A lot of “why did I write that” content in this one, considering the next GDB/FGD will be written in less than 48 hours.

    Brave, you are, Vintage! But no surprise here – big balls don’t always equate to a big brain. 😉

  • vetinari

    Poor Flamers– I’d like to talk to you about our incompetent management but you’ve got Uncle Fester or something at the helm who doesn’t seem to know NHL waiver rules when it comes to mid-season offer sheets; I’d also like to talk to you about the pain of losing franchise guys like Smyth at trade deadlines but you lost Squiggly Joe or whatever his name was recently and that might be hurtful; so instead I’ll talk to you about no matter how incompetent our management team is or the number of franchise players we trade away, we still rather would be us than a sorry bunch of yahoos like you.

  • 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.

  • vetinari

    Wow… what a return for J.Bo…. a mid to late first round pick, a prospect goalie and a 5’9″ defenceman… I am so glad you guys have Feaster leading your “retooling” efforts… I’m sure that everything will work out for you guys in 4 to 6 years.

    I’m sorry, but I should say it again in Calgarian: “Howdy pardners, but y’all are screwed tighter than a preacher’s daughter”.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Watching this game is alot like seeing a rat get run over by a car and watching him twitch until he dies…. You kinda feel sorry for the poor little guy until you remember that you hate rats!

    • RexLibris

      Just make sure in your world that the rat is wearing a red jersey and a wee little Plough-boy hat and you wont feel so bad watching that playaction,ha ha ha.

      I love it, we need to cut our teeth on teams like Calgary, this is history repeating itself, next year Cowpietown will be arming up with beasts to survive in our division.

      We need to keep a hate on for any team with the cojones to think they can take our two points, no one has a right to touch those points, if we lose them its because we didnt protect them. Calgary needs to be pounded to dirt until we adjust the overall Franchise win/loss numbers to reflect the reality of today,we need to pound them for at least 5 years hard to even things up. It has begun.

      • 365

        Don’t worry, in my world all rats wear flaming C’s. it’s nice to make fun, but the boys do need to handle there business . I’m not sure what you mean by the flamers arming up with beasts next year…. I assume you mean instead of embracing a full rebuild, they’ll be stubborn and overpay free agents to remain quasi competitive. That my friend would be my dream come true. And in regards to the 5 years of dominance to even things up…. Come on, we gave them a bone, they got some work to do to catch our 5 cups. So they won a couple games against us in our rebuild…. It gives em somthing to hang their hat on and no harm no foul

  • jeremywilhelm

    This game can’t go wrong for Flames fans really. Either they beat the Oilers and help keep them out of playoffs, or they lose and get one step closer to an excellent prospect.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Lets play Slap a Flame in the face and spit on their Jersey.

    I have a t-shirt of the Flames i am going to degrade shortly.

    I hate everything Calgary. Except the MILFS i do biweekly

    when i pass through.

    How’s that COWTOWNERS !!

  • Flames fan here. I acknowledge we suck. Also am highly entertained by all of the banter. The only entertaining & redeeming factor to the Flames tonight is the Hudler-Backlund-Cervenka line. They are playing well.

  • The Soup Fascist

    Besides the easy points the flamers are gonna give us to end the season, lets all thank that joke team for trading bouwmeester to st.louis!!! With him on the team it’s guaranteed they won’t make the playoffs! it’s almost like they’re cheering us on!

  • Bucknuck

    Nice to see the Oilers win another one. Still 13 games left to play, (over 25% of the season), so there is still a lot of room to move in either direction.

    I just hope they keep their foot on the gas. It would be gratifying to see the team make it to the playoffs, if only to silence to trolls for a while.

  • Crack Smacker

    Streak better end tonight!

    That Flames forward lineup is just pitiful.

    I call a 5-1 win Oilers

    Ebs with a pair.

    And Brown steps up to a big boy and ktfo’s him

  • Admiral Ackbar

    No matter what, i love it. Laughed al the way to the fridge for
    another beer. Good read. Let go Oilers and Flames.
    Our Province craves some Oil and Shames good old hockey.

    Kipper===eat my shorts and i hope you end up in T.O.
    Good luck with that you Finnish Freak…

    Glencross… keep your head up cowgirl.Mike Brown
    is going to Pound you through the glass.

    OILERS-FLAMES Just like it should be. W-A-R