POST-GAME: #SpoilTheOil

 

Today started off much the same as any day when it’s the Battle of Alberta. A conversation with a few of my friends that just happen to be Oilers fans (What can I say, I’m a charitable guy). The conversation involved much of the same banter that inevitably comes when the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers square off.

What really stuck in mind this time was when it was made pefectly clear to me that, "After that 8-2 beatdown, Hell would freeze over before the Flames were going to win this game tonight." I didn’t really know if I should get too in depth on this one, after all, Calgary was dressing six, yes SIX, AHL minor leaguers tonight, and the Oil was bringing the full measure of the "draft pack".

Well later that day the snow began to fall here in Cowtown; and it kept falling. Could it be? Could Hell actually be freezing over? Let’s see how it played out…

The Rundown

Well before Oilers fans could settle into their lazyboy recliners, with their Red Bull and Pork Rinds, they were down 1-0. TJ Brodie has been one of the few shining stars of the Flames this season; 26 seconds into this one, he would show us again why.

As the Oil tried to clear the zone, Brodie would jump in and beat the puck to the blueline. Keeping the play alive, he would make his way to the high slot before dishing the pass to Sven Baertschi. Sven would make the cross crease pass to a waiting Mikael Backlund, who would waste no time putting the puck over Re-Habby’s shoulder, while Nik was still trying to remember where he stashed his wineskin.

The celebration would be short lived as Ryan Jones would steal the puck behind the Flames net. He would then find an unmarked Lennert Petrell in front of Joey MacDonald. The unmarked Petrell would get the Oilers first mark on the scoreboard and this one was back on equal terms

Shortly after, the Oilers thought they had taken the lead on the heels of "Yak City". The only problem is that someone should have told Yakupov that you’re not supposed to or are allowed to kick the puck into the net. The review went to Toronto and they agreed, no goal. However, reports during the intermission were that Toronto FC were waiting for the end of the Oilers season so that they could sign Nail for the summer. They would only have to wait about 40 more minutes.

Calgary out-shot Edmonton 15-11 on the strength of three power-play opportunities. The Flames haven’t much to brag about this season but their PP has been solid; hanging around the top-10 of the NHL all season. The Oilers late parade to the penalty box had the potential to come back and bite them.

Early in the second TJ Brodie would pick right back up what he started in the first. Starting the Flames PP rush, he would spring Tim Jackman up the left side. Jackman going hard to the net, wouldn’t score, but a pinching Dennis Wideman would be Johnny-on-the-spot to jam home the rebound. Unlike Yakupov, he would use his stick, so the goal would stand and the Flames were back on top.

Your Calgary Flames wouldn’t look back after that. It was time for the kids to have some fun.

Still just five minutes into the middle frame, Dennis Wideman would recognize an ill-timed line change for the Oilers. He would throw the puck up the boards to a waiting Lee Stempniak, who got just enough of the puck to tip it into Edmonton’s zone. Ryan Smyth would be first back into the play and would do his best impression of a helicopter do its impression of a Nail Yakupov celly.

By the time Smytty spun his way out of the play, Sven Baertschi would pick up the puck and snap it passed a soon to be passed out Khabibulin. Though Sven’s first of the year was unassisted, it was all started by the Flames picking up early on the Oilers seemingly cascading errors.

Shots were even in the second, but the Flames put up two on the board and were in full control of the game.

By the time the third got under way, there was one team that was just paying out the motions; and it wasn’t the southern team. A loss for the Oil dropped their playoff chances from 2.3% to 0.3%. If it wasn’t fun enough for Flames fans watching what turned out to be a Svensational game, it was time to give this win…

MAXPOWER

 

That’s was the kids first of his NHL career and it was a beauty way to score it. He may not score a lot of those, but what a way to follow up his first NHL assist.

Why the Flames won…

There may not be much left to play for this season, other than the draft pick, but going forward, the Flames need to know what they have coming up in the system. Plain and simple, that’s why these kids are up here; well that a whack load of injuries to their regulars.

That being said, the standing mean nothing in a game like this. The Oil are your provincial rivals and you just can’t lose to them. Tonight was redemption for the last time these two met, and it had to have a different outcome.

That was the ending to this story that was the 2013 Battle of Alberta, it was up to the players to write the final chapter to make it all make sense.

It may not have had quite the same scoring quantity, but the quality was the sweeter for the fans and for your Calgary Flames. The goals from Baertschi and from Reinhart will be of far more importance to management than if they had dropped an eight ball on the Oilers.

Why did the Flames win? Because six kids from the Abbotsford Heat are expected to make a difference for this club in the years to come, while the Oil’s beloved "Draft Pack" are firmly entrenched in what the Oilers are all about , which after this game, adds up to  just a whole lot of…. Nothin.

Because the Flames and Oilers went head-to-head with their back-ups and Calgary’s played like he didn’t want to miss out on what this team was going to be about next year; while Re-Habby played liked he didn’t want to miss out on last call.

Red Warrior

There are so many possible choices to go with tonight.

Do we go with TJ Brodie, who started it all off tonight with key plays to give the Flames the lead on two ocassions? Maybe Sven Baertschi, who played 17 minutes and registered his first two point game with a goal and a helper?

What about Max Reinhart? The fact that his first of his career was the one that rubbed salt in the wound that was the Oilers playoff chances bleeding out like a Kosher ritual; that has to be good for his first Warrior honours, right?

Joey MacDonald perhaps, in one game, erased the #MacBackup tag, and is now possibly in the running as #MacStarter. Time and time again in this game foiling the Oil, sucking the life out of Edmonton’s game and all their fans that were forced to watch the debacle unfold before their very eyes.

Nay.. Tonight we’ll just give it to the whole team. In one of the most complete games they’ve played this year, it was a night that meant nothing to the rest of the NHL, but everything to two cities and their fans that love to hate each other.

Sum It Up

I can’t say I’ll be disappointed if the Flames lose every game from here on out; they played well tonight and they did it with an AHL lineup against Shelbyvill and all it’s hopefuls.

The Oilers are obviously taking the cliche, "Hope springs eternal", a little too literal and as a Flames fan, I (as are the rest of you most likely) couldn’t be happier.

It’s amazing how a game like this can wipe away the bad memories of something like losing thirteen straight on the road. Hell, now they’ve won two in a row… #GoingForIt??

It’s been fun to see the kids come up and not just play, but play well. From Horak, to Reinhart and Baertschi, even Carson, I don’t have anything negative to say about the way they have played as a group, and as a team.

… And then there’s this!

Wanye, Wanye, Wanye, you really asked for it!
What got into you? Surely you must have realized early in the season that the Oilers’ roster was as full of holes as Swiss cheese? That the Flames have had the Oilers’ number almost for ever. And I say this as a long time Oilers’ fan.
What is so hurtful is that the Calgary rebuild that started 10 days ago is now ahead of the Oilers’ rebuild that started five seasons ago. Jay Feaster will now smile and not worry about having to wander aimlessly in the desert as some other team that we know will continue to do.
Orchestra, cue the music…Turn out the lights, the party is over.

Things will continue to get more interesting for fans, as it seems they are going to be treated to yet another new face.

With St.Cloud being eliminated from the semi-finals of the Frozen Four, Newly aquired, and signed, Ben Hanowski is making his way to Calgary and from all reports, it looks like they are going to give the kid a chance to play.

I think that’s a pretty exciting thing, and so I’m looking forward to that. No word on when he officially gets into the lineup, but I have to think Feaster and Hartley won’t wait long, as they will want to parlay some of that intensity he’ll have from the NCAA tournament and see what he can bring to the big stage.

Maybe he gets to make his debut in front of all of us, as your Calgary Flames take on the Minnesota Wild Monday at the Dome. Gametime is 7:00 pm. Catch it live on SNET-W or the Fan 960.

  • Re: Rex Libris

    He’s an Oilers fan and longtime commenter from OilersNation. he submits article now and then for various sites across the Network and contributes here in the comments because he’s curious about things beyond his own borders.

  • schevvy

    Whoah, First Name Unidentified! I get your point, Rex’s posts drive me nuts too , but he ain’t a troll. Obscenely biased oiler fan, but he makes the odd valid point. And I do mean odd . No call to banish him though, just sit back as we try to lose for the draft and reluctantly knock around the blue helmets today and for ever more.

  • First Name Unidentified

    EAT SH!T EDMONTON!! You will be at the bottom for years to come, it’s not over yet.

    I normally don’t do this, but I’m going to call out Rex Libris. Where were you Mr Libris when your Oilers were getting raped last night? You were nowhere to be seen among these boards? You had a grand total of 1 comment and that too was made way before the game even started! I went back and counted, you had a total of 54 comments on the previous BOA thread written by Jason Gregor.

    I have been a FN citizen since almost the beginning and I have never name-called anybody on this forum and never will again, except for this one time. I think you are a closet Oil fan. You troll the Flames boards all the time and write posts about how the Flames should improve going forward, bla bla bla. I don’t understand why Kent and the other mods let you write about the Flames, or let you write here at all! I have challenged you a little in the past, about a year ago, but couldn’t resist it here. I think you should stay away from our boards and troll the Oilernation.

    I may get piled on for writing this but it has been brewing inside me for a long time. I don’t think you add anything useful to FN besides bringing your biased opinions on here.

    THERE! Got it out, feel much better now.

    • First Name Unidentified

      I meant to say “I think you are a closet Flames fan”

      I don’t know about the rest of the folks on here but I hardly ever go to the ON, or any other board besides FN because I don’t care about the other teams’ boards. I only care about the Flames. I have never posted on other boards besides FN unless it is a BOA thread which gets posted on both pages. I don’t go to ON and suggest how to rebuild their team, or go on their boards and claim how much better Backlund is compared to RNH, or whatever!! I think we have enough good posters on FN with some very valuable and useful opinions.

      Anyway, if because of this I get banned from FN, I want to let Kent know that I really enjoy this site, the opinions and interaction. I spend a lot of time on FN and it was good while it lasted. I will still visit FN and read all the posts and comments. And I’m getting dumped on as expected!

      Rex, I am helping you find out how popular you actually are here on FN which kind of disappoints me…

      • ngthagg

        I used to appreciate Rex’s comments, but have found over the past little while he has become smug and showing more bias than before. I do know what you mean. However, he had his right to post all that he wants. I can honestly say that I have thought about whether his articles and biased opinions are worth my time to read. In short, I know what you mean, but he has the right to post his opinions.

        • seve927

          Exactly. He is so Oiler-centric I can’t figure out whether he’s serious or not most of the time. Every single thing that ever happens seems to just be a recurrence of a moment in recent Oiler history. I’ve pretty much stopped reading his stuff, although I really liked the piece on drafting the first-round troika. Those three draft picks DO NOT a rebuild make.

      • You won’t be banned for something like this. No worries. But people are gonna disagree with you on this.

        I like Rex. He tries to contribute as both a writer and commenter. He’s not your cup of tea and that’s cool, but he’s not going anywhere.

    • Scary Gary

      Rex isn’t a closet Oil fan, he’s a real one. He also seems like a pretty knowledgable hockey fan and a pretty ok dude, at least if you can get over the fact that he’s an Oilers fan :). TBH, I really respect his posts and articles, because it’s nice to have the perspective of an “outsider”, as long as it’s not some crazed fanatic troll. Gives you a more realistic outlook on your team. This is even more insightful these days because Rex has gone through a rebuild (and still going thru one haha).

      Oilers suck, Flames rule.

      Backlund was awesome. I wonder what kind of contract the Flames will resign him to. Hopefully they can lock him up in the offseason.

    • Brent G.

      “You had a grand total of 1 comment and that too was made way before the game even started! I went back and counted, you had a total of 54 comments on the previous BOA thread written by Jason Gregor.”

      My god man, go outside and enjoy the day. Who wastes there time on that? I actually find Rex’s comments and articles well written and thought out. He reminds me of Kent’s writing from 8 years ago (I can’t remember the name of the blog before Matchsticks, anyone?). He is unbiased, gives great insight, speaks from experience and I look forward to reading anything he writes.

    • supra steve

      Rex, “I think you are a closet Oil fan.”

      Rex has been out of that closet for, well forever. I for one, invite him to stick around for the rebuild, and beyond.

      Am I the only one who would have been even more happy if the Flames had lost and been tied for second last, rather then being 2 points out of 7th or 8th last?

      • Scary Gary

        Yeah Rex doesn’t mince words, he’s a self-admitted oiler fan. I enjoy his comments most of the time, even if they are a bit negative (realistic); it’s nice to get a sobering opinion from a non-flames fan.

        I wasn’t on board with his entire rebuild plan though, a better one was posted in the comments (Chambers).

  • yomamen

    Sweet victory for our beloved Flames. Ruin another pathetic season of Shelbivillians is cherry on top.

    There were long discussion here about who is better, if RNH or Backs in previous blogs. I agree that RNH has higher ceiling that Back, but he should. He was no.1 overall. But I am happy that Backs shown them in this game, why we are so fond of him (and Sven, TJ and Max as well)

    Unsung hero of this match for me is Jackman. I like this guy. He is big, strong, can skate (not flashy but can), and can shoot and pass the puck (simply he can play hockey game). Something that players like McGrattan or P3L or any other 4th line enforcer can not. He will never be a star player, but put him on a line with somebody that can actually play hockey and he can help this team a lot.

    Great game, but it is time to lose few more games

  • Truculence

    Man, loved the win, but it seems like Flames may end up with the fifth or sixth pick if they keep this up. Considering Sean Monohan will still be available, I am not too worried. A heart and soul, two-way center like that may just be what this team needs to kick off the rebuild and add to what we got (which was on full display tonight, btw).

      • Franko J

        I like the fact that they are not going meekly into the off season. As I said time and time again it is not where you pick in the draft, it is picking the right player in the draft.

        While the playoffs are out of reach for this team I like the fact the coaching staff has instilled in the players never quit attitude. The guys are seeing with a good work ethic and playing the coaches system that good things will happen and games can be won.

      • seve927

        Min twice, Detroit, Nashville, Anaheim before ending in St. Louis and Chicago. The next 5 are pretty winnable.

        I do think Monahan is another solid pick, or even Max Domi. Or else Kippers got to come through with some performances that show the value of not trading him.

        • ChinookArchYYC

          This is not an easy schedule for the Flames especially with 5 – 6 kids in the line up:
          MON, 15 APR 2013WILDFLAMES
          WED, 17 APR 2013RED WINGSFLAMES
          FRI, 19 APR 2013DUCKSFLAMES
          SUN, 21 APR 2013FLAMESWILD
          TUE, 23 APR 2013FLAMESPREDATORS
          THU, 25 APR 2013FLAMESBLUES
          FRI, 26 APR 2013FLAMESBLACKHAWKS

          The Wild are actually good at hockey now, the Wings are battling for 8th, the Flames don’t seem to match up well against the Ducks and the Blackhawks are elite. I haven’t looked at the Eastern conference, but I’d be surprised if the competition was this stiff for the basement dwellers there.

          • seve927

            Oh, by no means easy. But I could definitely see riding some good percentages to 4 or 5 more wins this year. I’m ok either way, we’re off the wagon being pulled by Iginla (buried in 4 feet of mud). And if it’s on the back of excellent play by the kids, even better.

    • Franko J

      I think Monahan is the sleeper pick in the top 10 myself. Flames have a strong desire for players with character and hockey sense, he exemplifies those two qualities.
      I just like the fact that this team played hard tonight, gave an honest effort and played with spirit. As a fan all I ask for is the players to have pride in wearing the flaming “C”. Tonight they earned the victory with their effort.