BOA Round 214: Flames at Oilers

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is the fifth meeting of the season (and 214th meeting overall) between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. It’s their last meeting until next season, too. I’d say the season series is up for grabs, as each team has won twice – the road team always won – but the Flames needed overtime in both wins at Rexall. The Flames need a win to tie the season series in terms of points earned.

That’s about as far as this game goes in terms of “significance.”

Calgary has 63 points and 12 games left. Edmonton has 59 points and 11 games left. The gap can close considerably with an Edmonton win, while a Calgary win probably cements their draft placement.

THE HOME TEAM

It goes without saying that it’s been a disappointing year in Edmonton. I don’t think they spent time and money bringing in Dallas Eakins to lead the club to 29th place. The Oilers lost two nights ago to Buffalo, but have been playing solid lately, winning five of their last 10.

Lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Hall – Gagner – Perron
Lander – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Hendricks – Gordon – Pitlick
Gazdic – Smyth – Jones

Ference – Schultz
Marincin – Petry
Klefbom – Fraser

Fasth

Viktor Fasth gets his first Battle of Alberta start. He was 2-0-0 with a shutout in two games against the Flames while with Anaheim.

The Oilers obviously have some skilled players (that top line, that second line) and are starting to figure out the “depth role player” riddle. That third line is actually pretty solid. But the defense is a bit dodgy, so you can figure out why they are in the general area that they are, standings-wise.

Oddly, Edmonton has the edge on Calgary on the power-play, the penalty kill and in five-on-five goal differential. How come Calgary’s higher in the standings? Probably because Calgary’s gotten some big contributions from their back-end (Giordano & Brodie, primarily) and some from their depth guys, while Edmonton remains top-heavy.

But if they can ever build something around that top group, wowzers. Granted, we’ve been saying this for years, but the Oilers could be scary-good if the guys building the team had a plan besides “draft high.”

THE ROAD TEAM

The Flames are smarting a bit after last night. On one hand, they scored five goals! On the other, they gave up six. To Nashville, who rarely scores. Yikes.

Lines, via Daily Faceoff:

Cammalleri – Backlund – Byron
Glencross – Stajan – Hudler
Agostino – Monahan – Bouma
Westgarth – Colborne – McGrattan

Giordano – Brodie
Butler – Russell
Smid – Wotherspoon

Ramo

Karri Ramo returns after being out since before the Olympics with an MCL sprain. Joni Ortio returns to the AHL and Joey MacDonald is the back-up for the rest of the year.

Now that they’re getting healthy, the Flames are rapidly beginning to resemble an NHL team. Kenny Agostino makes his Battle of Alberta debut after making his NHL debut last night, playing 12:40 in the loss to the Preds. Returning to the line-up is Kevin Westgarth – slotting in for T.J. Galiardi on the bottom line – and God, I hope Westgarth doesn’t try to fight Gazdic again.

The Flames have also won five of their last ten games, so they’re about as “hot” as the Edmonton Oilers right now.

SUM IT UP

It’s a late-season game between two teams that are well out of the playoff picture! The best each club can hope for some emotion in this tilt, as each group tries to gain some momentum to close out the year.

Let’s hope that this time next season, these games have a little bit more significance in the standings, because hockey’s better when the Flames and Oilers are both doing well and Alberta is a place visiting teams fear to tread.



  • beloch

    Combined blueline salary:
    Edmonton: $10.8M
    Calgary: $19.0M

    These two teams clearly place completely different values on defense. Edmonton isn’t getting good value for what they’re spending either. $3.25M of that is for Ference (5on5 Corsi On: -15.77, Corsi Rel: -7.1)!

    The Oilers have a bunch of offensive superstars who are rapidly approaching peak and who do score very well, even if possession and defensive play are not their strong points. They’ve utterly neglected defense in favor of offense. Can someone please explain to me how the Oilers are still 23rd in the league for scoring, and just 0.05ppg ahead of the Flames?

    Anyways, here’s to another Battle of Alberta. It might not be the most meaningful edition of the BoA in history, but it’s still what our two clubs live for!

    • mesa

      Oilers have zero superstars, though I’ll give you Hall is very good at least in the offensive zone, other areas he’s just plain offensive. Sure glad Edmonton has such a great offence, yup, a couple more goals than the Flames who have “zero talent…”

      And for once would you have some pride and win a game at home, you’ve hogged the top picks long enough. Though, I see Oiler fans have already accepted the built-in excuse of a tough finishing schedule so if you can’t win anything for the rest of the season its certainly not because the team is mailing it in or is just plain awful.

  • Bucknuck

    Normally I don’t care about draft position, I just want the team to win. But I’m conflicted with this one. After the Oil dropped an egg against Buffalo, I really stopped thinking they were making progress, and I have ‘who cares now’ feeling.

    But you know what I really care about? I want the Oil to get one of Draisaitl, Reinhart, or Ekblad.

    So catching Calgary in the standings is a real detriment to my desires. So I think I will view this as a “can’t lose” affair. If they beat Calgary, then that’s great… and if they don’t… well that is OK too.

  • D-Unit

    If Westgarth was smart, he would learn to throw an upper cut. Visor don’t protect a chin.
    But, he probably lost those brain cells last time Gaz KO’d him. A good fighter knows his opponent.

  • Chainsawz

    There’s a BOA tonight? Been hard staying interested in who the Oilers are playing and when. Now I’m at least 6 tall boys behind and it’s less than 3 hours till puck drop. Eat ____ Flames!

  • Rockmorton65

    Oh look a scrum at the end of the period with everyone in there except… Jeff Petry. What a p&%%$ Can’t wait till they purge him so I won’t have to here from everyone about how good his corsi numbers are.

    • vetinari

      Buddy… you may not want to use your email address as your name when you are trying to trash talk on an open website… I’m sure no one will use it to sign you up for a lifetime’s supply of viagra or anything like that… but c’mon… use a little sense and cut back on the beers before posting…

  • Serious Gord

    Another jersey – fans booing them out of the building. Petulant coach. Baghdad job for a GM. 7-1 at the hands of a team with a thimble-full of talent by comparison.

    THE lowest point in oilers history.

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Good work flames. Westgarth was a beast. Good on him to go back at gadzik. Taylor hall is a spoiled brat. I don’t see anything to like about the oilers roster. A lot of soft heartlessness.

  • beloch

    Forget about combining the players. If the Oilers could straight up swap their coaching staff for the Flames staff, the Oilers would be fighting for a playoff spot.

    The over achieving Flames and the under achieving Oilers are a direct result of their respective coaching staffs.

    Hartley is humble, seasoned, thoughtful and Eakins is arrogant, inexperienced, and delusional.

  • JSR

    pp goal is nice, but more impressive…. and im no stat guy, so maybe someone can look this up. but I believe that was the first oilers power play this year without giving up a 2on1!!! baby steps…. again…

  • Serious Gord

    Hall and Eakins arguing on the bench…..interesting. If anyone can make Eakins get canned, have to think it would be Hall. Please oh please Hall tell Mr Fitness where he can shove his carrots.

  • Serious Gord

    Gio now has 43 points in what 53 games and is a plus 10 on a poor team..maybe I’m being a homer here but I feel he should be atlest a finalist for the norris