Post Game: Oilers Hudwinked

Well, no regular season win feels quite as good than one against the Oilers. Except maybe the Canucks. No wait, in the wake of their "rebuild at all costs, the next six years mean nothing" arrogance, definitely the Oilers.

Even if the Flames blew Reto Berra’s chance at a shutout with ten seconds left in the third, a win’s a win. Beating the Oilers just feels so, satisfying.

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The Oilers started off by driving play well and testing Berra early. At first, Berra seemed a little tentative in net and unsure of his surroundings (something that has become a reoccurring problem for him in previous starts) but he managed to settle down and make a number of solid saves with few rebounds in the first. Berra’s play would become more and more controlled throughout the night, despite occasional lapses where he lost his crease.

With four minutes to play in the period, Lee Stempniak placed a Rembrandt of a wrister by the Dubnyk after some Yeoman’s work from Matt Stajan to free him up on the right wing. Stajan and Stempniak continue to be one of the most consisted performers on the Flames’ roster and tonight they were given a ton of minutes: Stajan with 22:29 and Stempniak with 20:42,

The real strength for the Flames in the first was the penalty-kill which killed off three Oiler chances and prevented the Oilers from many controlled zone entries on the power play. Paul Byron continued his strong play on the PK throughout this game and had a quality scoring chance on a shorthanded play during the second Oilers power play of the first.  Chances were 8-3 Oilers in the first period, 4-0 at even strength and the Oilers outshot the Flames 12-6 after the first.

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The second period was largely spent with the Flames clogging the OIlers up and not allowing them clean entries. Berra’s play in the second was very solid as well as he was largely in position for the entire period. The second saw the Oilers outshoot the Flames 11-10 and outchance them 4-3 but, the Oilers had zero chances at even strength. A testament to the strong zone play of the Flames.

The final stanza was much of the same, the Flames killing off penalties (the Oilers finished the game 0-6) and preventing the Oilers from a great deal of sustained pressure. 

However, with the extra attacker, and after Blair Jones narrowly missed a diving empty-netter, the Oilers managed to squeeze a cross-crease pass behind the back of Berra to find Taylor Hall who buried it into an empty net, ending Berra’s hopes of his first NHL shutout. The Flames outchanced the Oilers 4-3 in the period, 3-2 at even strength. 

In overtime, Kris Russell threw a harmless looking puck towards the front of the net where Justin Schultz channeled Bill Buckner, allowing the puck to slide to a waiting, flu-ridden, Jiri Hudler who smacked it past past Dubnyk to win the game for the Flames in OT. 


Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 17:48 R. Jones 20 21 28 36 40 51 3 16 19 29 32 55 5v5
Away 1 16:22 Byron 4 36 40 57 83 89 3 7 22 29 32   5v4
Home 1 14:32 Schultz 14 15 19 40 57 93 4 11 24 29 44 47 5v5
Home 1 6:59 Perron 14 21 36 40 57 93 5 8 24 29 44 47 5v5
Home 1 5:55 Smyth 19 26 40 83 85 94 3 11 24 29 47 55 5v5
Away 1 4:01 Stempniak (Goal) 14 21 36 40 57 93 4 7 13 18 22 29 5v5
Home 1 2:51 Yakupov 4 15 19 40 64 89 3 8 16 29 47 55 5v5
Away 1 1:15 B. Jones 15 19 26 40 83 94 5 11 17 29 44 54 5v5
Home 1 0:34 Yakupov 14 19 40 57 64 93 5 17 18 29 44   5v4
Home 1 0:26 Eberle 14 19 40 57 64 93 5 17 18 29 44   5v4
Home 1 0:17 Perron 14 19 40 57 64 93 5 17 18 29 44   5v4
Away 2 15:42 McGrattan 19 20 28 40 51 85 5 16 19 29 32 44 5v5
Away 2 14:26 Bouma 4 36 40 83 89 94 3 7 11 22 29   5v4
Home 2 14:16 Yakupov 4 36 40 83 89 94 3 7 11 22 29   5v4
Home 2 13:35 Perron 14 19 40 57 64 93 4 17 18 29 44   5v4
Home 2 8:43 Arcobello 4 15 26 36 40 89 5 8 24 29 44 47 5v5
Away 2 7:10 D. Jones 15 28 40 51 83 85 3 11 19 29 54 55 5v5
Home 2 0:58 Hemsky 4 19 21 40 83 89 3 18 19 22 29 44 5v5
Away 3 17:54 Colborne 4 14 21 26 36 40 5 8 11 22 29 44 5v5
Away 3 15:37 D. Jones 4 36 40 83 85 89 5 11 17 29 44 54 5v5
Home 3 13:52 Hall 4 14 36 40 57 93 5 11 22 29 44   5v4
Away 3 11:45 Cammalleri 15 21 26 40 94   4 5 13 24 29 54 4v5
Home 3 6:34 Perron 4 15 19 26 40 64 5 13 18 19 29 44 5v5
Home 3 4:02 Smyth 36 40 83 85 89 94 5 13 18 22 29 44 5v5
Away 3 2:42 Stempniak 14 19 40 57 85 93 3 11 17 22 29 44 5v5
Home 4 4:01 Hall 4 19 36 40 89   3 5 11 24 29   4v4
Home 4 2:55 Hall 4 21 36 40 89   5 8 22 29 44   4v4
Away 4 1:47 Hudler (Goal) 14 19 40 85 93   4 5 11 24 29   4v4
# Player EV     PP     SH    
3 SMID, LADISLAV 14:09 2 5 00:00 0 0 03:51 2 1
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 18:56 2 1 02:18 1 0 00:22 0 1
5 GIORDANO, MARK 16:54 5 6 02:41 1 0 06:45 0 4
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:02 1 0 00:41 0 0 03:10 2 1
8 COLBORNE, JOE 13:01 1 4 00:13 0 0 00:01 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 14:03 6 3 00:36 0 0 04:00 1 2
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 15:06 1 2 02:05 1 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 04:42 1 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 09:57 3 0 00:05 0 0 05:49 0 4
18 STAJAN, MATT 17:41 1 3 00:00 0 0 04:48 0 4
19 JONES, BLAIR 11:35 2 3 00:00 0 0 01:59 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 16:29 3 3 00:47 0 0 03:26 2 2
24 HUDLER, JIRI 16:08 1 5 02:18 1 0 00:01 0 0
29 BERRA, RETO   8 11   1 0   2 6
32 BYRON, PAUL 04:49 1 1 00:00 0 0 01:44 1 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 20:56 5 7 00:08 0 0 07:40 0 5
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 10:12 0 5 00:36 0 0 00:00 0 0
54 JONES, DAVID 09:59 3 0 02:02 1 0 00:00 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 08:11 1 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 8 2 5 0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0
2 3 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
3 4 3 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
4 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


The Flames won because they got great goaltending and consistently frustrated the Oilers throughout the whole game. Also, the Oilers are not a good team. Especially with the man advantage.

Another encouraging thing is the fact that in Backlund and Baertschi are continuing to get regular shifts, with Backlund finishing the game with 14:03 of ice-time. Backlund is certainly playing some very good hockey since the Flames lost Monahan.

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Look, we have been hard on Mr. Berra in the last little bit at Flames Nation, so I have no problem saying that Berra was very good tonight and worthy of his first star accolades. The problem with Berra, aside from his mediocre performances, has been the fact that Hartley has gone back to him so very often while allowing Ramo to ride the pine.

At times, Berra can lose his net and lead to some frustrating goals but tonight he was solid. The exact kind of performance that the Flames needed from him in a hostile Barn in the second half of back-to-back games. If Berra could become a solid NHL backup goaltender, I would consider that an pleasant surprise but we are a long way from saying that. 


The Flames beat the Oilers which is good, no matter what way you slice it. The Oilers continue to languish in the wilderness while the Flames begin to spend their rebuild currency with the fanbase. If they can continue to beat their provincial rivals, it will make any season of torment a lot easier to bear.

The next game for the Flames will be an emotional one. The Flames welcome Jarome Iginla back to the Dome on Tuesday night in a tilt against the Boston Bruins. Puck drop is at 7:30 MT on TSN.

  • beloch

    Berra made a few gaffs and got some timely help from the post, but still, this was a great start for him. Hopefully Hartley doesn’t use it as an excuse to bench Ramo for another month!

    Dubnyk was also great, aside from that time he fell twice and lost his stick trying to play the puck behind the net…

    The Flames earned this one, if for other reason than for soldiering on through the flu and playing a full game on the second half of a back-to-back. I usually don’t even want to punch buttons when I have the flu!

  • Captain Ron

    Thumbs up to Berra for the win tonight. Solid performance from him. His play tonight was noticeably more controlled than in some previous games. He didn’t try to do too much and showed more poise. Too bad he lost the shutout.

    It wasn’t too long ago that the Flames were looking for a goalie not named Kipper who could go in the net on a back to back in difficult circumstances and win a game like this one.

    Solid effort from a tired (and sick) team. Great to see them celebrate the win on Rexall ice the way they did. Bet Butler was breathing a sigh of relief when it was over!

    Next up is the return of Iggy!

  • MC Hockey

    As well as Berra played Vs Oilers, I really hope Ramo makes the start when Iggy and Co. come to CGY. Ramo just seems more well positioned than Berra does.

  • SydScout

    Berra looked ok and nothing more. He faced few quality shots, and his defense helped him immensely. Ramo still to me looks far more assured in net.

    The spOil should really be more creative with the ‘talent’ they evidently have in their line up. I look at their supposed stars and think that this game could be a blow out…skill v hard grafters. It’s during the game that I realise I’ve been sucked in by these no 1 draft picks who aren’t delivering for EDM and thank goodness our boys are working so damn hard every night. Would their team play an away game with the flu running through them and bust a gut for each other? Nope, they’d be more likely to click off and make excuses.

  • SydScout

    Not only do the Flames beat the spOiled but the Heat win 5-2. Granlund,Street,Hanko, Cundari, and Rhino(sorry WW but he keeps playing well) and Ortio gets the win.

    I can’t say enough good things about Hudler’s game this year, mentoring(even housing rookies, producing in tough games, playing sick. Last year with the loss of hid dad must have really shaken him.

    • Rhino is just doing ok; probably getting lots of power play time to fatten up his stats to increase his trade value once Sam is drafted.

      He has half the goals the Granlund does, Reihart is a minus 3, Granlund a plus 5, and is older than the Fin.

      His ceiling in the NHL is maybe a 4th liner, unfortunately he is WAY to lazy for an energy line player….


  • redricardo

    I am getting tired of hearing how talented the spOiled are, sure they show moments of greatness but lets be honest they may not be as great as all the hype says they are. Eberle and Hall are 4th year pros. Hall often still acts like a rookie and is a often a defensive liability, if he was a great as they say he would have gotten over this by now. RNH is another skilled player in his third pro season (yes he’s been injured a lot) but he too has been as great as the hype; he also disappears for long stretches during the game.

    You can blame the management all you want in Edmonton for not surronding them with enough vets but these pros need to hold themselves accountable. If they are as great as the hype and the media says they need to own their own shortcomings and stop blaming others. When they do maybe they will great. Until then they are the spOiled. They all need some of the Sven/Backs treatment when the go for long skates and do nothing.

    • Captain Ron

      Say what you like about Hartley but if he was coaching the Oil they would either be better right now or well on their way to improvement. Their young players would either play a 200 foot game or take their turns watching others play that way from the from the press box.

      This is the culture change we have been looking for around here for some time. I don’t hear any more complaining in the comments about a lack of effort on most nights. I’m a big fan of the work ethic he is insisting on for this team night in and night out. I have no doubt he has the support of upper management.

      I’m not so sure Dallas Eakins has earned enough stripes yet to command the same kind of respect that Hartley does.

      Guys like Monohan, Baertschi, and Backlund will be better off in the long run after playing under Hartley for a while.

      I would like to add that Hudler and Russell were GREAT signings by Feaster & Co.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        I’m not about the crown Hartley with the Jack Adams trophy anytime soon. I’ll give him credit for a better and more entertaining style of play, and a better team work ethic. On the other hand, his refusal to roll 4 lines in order to run 5 minute knuckle-dragging line each game is maddening. Also, Scott Parker’s comments of his treatment is a major red flag to me. That could absolutely destroy a young career with the wrong player.
        I can see how Hartley would be good for a veteran team with a few rookies, but I just don’t think he’s the right man for a young team at the beginning of a rebuild. I hope I’m wrong.

        • Captain Ron

          Well, I personally wouldn’t base much of my opinion of Hartley on what a guy like like Scott whats his name has to say. In fairness you can probably find a hell of a lot more people who like him and endorse him as a coach.

          My point more or less was that Hartley commands more respect right now than Eakins and rightfully so. You may not like some of the things he does (and neither do I at times) but I have to give him his due. Some guys no matter how talented have a difficult time in the pressure cooker that is life in the NHL. Not everyone responds the same way to a certain coaches tactics. I get that. Some guys are softer than others too. But if Hartley were to allow any of his young players to skate around and pad their offensive stats year after year without making them accountable to their all around game the results would be what they are watching up north. The kids have to learn sooner or later. May as well be sooner since it is more difficult to do later. To me he comes across as a good communicator. He’s certainly passionate about what he does.

          Not every player is going to like his coach no matter who they are. I’m sure I can find players who would bad mouth Quennville, Sutter, Bylsma, Tortorella etc. But again many more who like playing for them. They have something in common in that they have all won cups. Even Scotty Bowman will have some enemies for things he did.

  • RedMan

    Im a big Sven fan like many here, but he has only been noticable lately because of his bad passes, turn overs, and play dying on his stick. am I the only one who thinks he is really strugling? Sophmore slump?

    Buttler was Buttler again lazt night. Berra never gave me any confidence. The oilers were just bad.

  • mk

    I was really surprised with how careless Hall and RNH were with the puck. They looked majorly dangerous a lot of the time, but then they’d try some stupid dangle or get back-checked and lose the puck. As another poster said – they still look like rookies: they have no sense of puck security. And they don’t back-check.

    That said, props to our forwards for some great back-checking.

    • redricardo

      All that tells me was that they were taking a lot more shots than we were.

      I’d prefer to see the Bad Guys lead in blocks, hits, etc at the end of the game. That would mean we had the puck more.

      • loudogYYC

        Hardly, I think it means the Flames were more involved in the game.

        The Oilers only had 4 more shots yet 3 times less blocked shots. I think it means they could have done more and that would be ok if they won, but they lost, for the 21st time in 31 games. It’s no secret why they haven’t turned it around after drafting in the top 10 for 5 years in a row. Talent alone doesn’t mean anything.

        • redricardo

          Hey, I’m hoping you take this as friendly debate, which is how it’s intended. I agree with the heart of what you’ve posted, which is that the Oilers are very talented, but talent alone doesn’t win you games. I remember a couple years ago when all the “experts” were saying that Edmonton was rebuilding the right way, and many fans were screaming for an Oilers style rebuild (Burn it to the ground!!). Me and a buddy were killing ourselves laughing saying “can we let them finish higher than last place before we crown them as the model of a good rebuild?”

          That being said, as much as many Calgary fans want to point to last nights game as an example of why we’re better that the Oilers, due to us having “heart” or “character” or “grit” or some other intangible that they lack, let’s look at the facts. They took 31 shots and had 24 more blocked. That’s 55 directed at our net. We took 27 and they blocked 8, that’s 35 shots that we took. They got 55 shots directed at net compared to our 35. 64% of all the shots taken were directed at our net… And that’s not including the shots that were taken that just missed.

          On the Oilers broadcasts they often make a point of saying that their team is in the top ten in the league in blocked shots… like it’s a point of pride. I argue that if you are leading in blocked shots, it means the puck is in your end A LOT. Unless you’re blocking twenty shots a game and holding the opponent to 3 shots a period… then good for you.That was not the case last night. The puck was in our end way more than it was in theirs.

          Do we block shots good? Yes. Are they talented? Yes? Are the shot blocking totals a sign that we were “involved in the game” as you put it? Sure. But was that our strategy? Let them play in our end, and block shots, because that’s better than playing in their end with a one goal lead? Or were we more involved in the game because we had to be… Because 65% of the shots were coming our way.

          I would chalk the Flames winning last night less up to talent or heart on one side or the other, and more luck, and our goalie outplayed theirs.

          I think if you’re looking at team success, when the Flames are forcing other teams to block more shots because we are taking more shots, and hit us more because we have the puck more… That’s going to be your sign this team has turned the corner.

          • loudogYYC

            Absolutely this is friendly debate, it’s part of what makes this blog great.

            I 100% agree that it’s better when it’s your team taking the shots that may hit the net or be blocked, but in the face of the circumstance, belonging in the bottom 3rd of the league and being under talented, the Flames are on to something good.

            I’m not in the camp that thinks we’re better than the Oilers, we just happen to be better right now cause the Oilers can’t get their sh*t together.

            My main argument is that top talent acquisition is the way to go in a rebuild, but it won’t mean anything without ugly and gutsy efforts like the Flames have been showing this season. I’d love that to become a habit and identity of the team moving forward.

          • redricardo

            As far as how many penalties we took contributing to the shots we needed to block… I consider that to be a chicken/egg sorta thing. We took a lot of penalties. I don’t have a breakdown, but most penalties are taken running around in your own end. If we’re playing better, the penalties (and shot blocking) come down too.

            As far as how the two teams are approaching a rebuild…I absolutely agree with that point. Some people call it rebuilding. I think what the Oilers are doing is called “perennial losers”. People that point to what the Oilers are doing as the way to be the next Blackhawks, forget about the Atlanta Thrashers or New York Islanders or Columbus Bluejackets of the world… That just suck year after year. I love seeing the effort we’re putting forth, and have been saying since our rebuild began in earnest last year that the Flames will be in the playoffs again before the Oilers.

            Shot blocking is just a pet peeve of mine. It should be measured by quality, not quantity. If your defenders drop down in the third period making that key shot block… Hooray! If you are pointing out HOW MANY shot blocks you had, and trying to take pride in that, like it’s a good thing…? I don’t get that.

            I think the amount of shots blocked last night aren’t the reason we won, and shouldn’t be a point of pride among the fan base. It’s more a sign that we were probably outplayed, were lucky to get the two points, and more something we won in spite of, not due to.

          • I hate to be that A-hole whose nit picky but if you’re going to drop numbers and stats to support your argument you want to make sure when you do your calculations you’re calculating the right thing you’re representing.

            You divided the Flames shots by the Oils shots which would actually make the Flames percentage of shots as a percentage of the total the Oil had and not the total shots in the game. The total % of shots in the game Flames had would be 35/90, the Oil 55/90. For 38.8% and 61.2% respectively. It’s such a simple error but it’s the kind of misrepresentation that can completely invalidate your claims even if done in error. Therefore your conclusion would be 61% of all shots taken were at our net. Now in hockey shot totals 3% error is probably not a big a deal. But if this were a more finite stat 3% error would be significant.

            Just saying’

          • redricardo

            Luckily you were able to piece together what I meant. I’m sorry if you feel my miscalculation invalidates my argument. I disagree. The percentage isn’t the crux of what I’m saying.

            Personally, in this case, I feel my point is still made. If you would like to make the argument that getting outshot by a bunch and having to block a lot of shots is a good thing, I’d love to hear it.

  • MattyFranchise

    Edmonton is 13th in the league on the power and we are 24 actually we are terrible not them.

    Edmonton is 10th in the NHL in blocked shots and we are 16th.

    We got out chanced like crazy and we are lucky we got a win, don’t sugar coat shit, its still just shit with sugar on it.

  • loudogYYC

    Watching the Oilers top players floating around last night is why I’m ok with Baertschi getting the tough treatment now. That entitled attitude needs to be beat out of some players, Baertschi’s one of them.

    Great win last night!

  • MC Hockey

    Flames are doing the rebuild better, it’s quite obvious that having 5 guys who play the same at forward like the Oilers is not working or some traction would have come by now!

    Berra gets too much love from Hartley, and Hartley needs to not be overly hard on young guys as everyone is motivated differently.

    All these lessons apply in the business world in sales departments, as they do in NHL hockey, with some differences since one is a sport and the other is real life.

  • Derzie

    First off, the Oilers are just terrible and will be until there are no 80s Oilers left in charge. Same problem in Calgary with Sutters. Now that they are gone, things are looking up. I’m a fan of Sven but he looks like a little boy when he battles for the puck. Open ice, great. In a battle, forget it. Men against boys. Also, Cammi is having a terrible streak right now. He is the last guy to touch the puck before a turnover way too often. Lastly, I’m cringing when Berra or Ramo are called ‘great’. They have shown no such quality. They are NHL goalies so the standard is high. They are lacking compared to their peers but the are on the upward trend having played in Europe and just learning the tiny, crowded NHL ice.

  • redricardo

    Best part of the game was when Taylor Hall blazed into the Flames’ end with a head full of steam and a fiery look in his eyes… only to be effortlessly and casually foiled by TJ Brodie, who quickly sent the puck in the other direction.