(Sergei Belski-USA Today Sports)
Tonight, live from the Scotiabank Saddledome, it’s the 225th meeting between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers in franchise history! (And the 221st meeting ever between Calgary and Edmonton!)
The Flames are 1-3-0 after a good start and a flat finish in Winnipeg, while the Connor McDavid Era has begun with zero wins through four games in Edmonton. Rather than a clash of titans, tonight is a game between two teams scrambling to right their ships as the season lumbers on – with a combined record of 1-7-0.
Regardless, it’s an interesting game and a pretty important one for both sides. It goes at 8pm MT on CBC (with Paul Romanuk and Mike Johnson) and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).
For a look from the other side, head on over to check out OilersNation’s preview!
Update: lines from line rushes, sans Bennett.
— Randy Sportak (@SUNRandySportak) October 18, 2015
Coach Hartley noted there won’t be any line-up changes tonight, so here’s yesterday’s lines via your pals (and mine) at Daily Faceoff:
The only change for the home side after last night is Jonas Hiller will start rather than Karri Ramo (or Joni Ortio). Hiller’s started twice and played pretty well both in Calgary’s win in Vancouver and in their loss in St. Louis, and he’s obviously the best Flames goalie right now between the two that have played games.
The Flames need to fix the same things they’ve needed to fix through their first four games: they need to play three good periods, they need to win more face-offs and have the puck more, they need to make smart decisions with the puck, and they absolutely need to generate some offense on the power-play.
The upside is that because it’s Edmonton, they’ll be emotionally engaged from the start. And they’ll need to be.
Your projected line-up for the 0-4-0 Edmonton Oilers, via Daily Faceoff:
Cam Talbot starts in net.
The Oilers have a ton of talent but don’t have a lot of defensive structure right now, which is making it very tough on them to retrieve pucks and generate chances. That said, their line-up is also top-heavy, and teams can make a lot of hay targeting match-ups against their bottom-six.
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Flames and Oilers have played 224 times prior to tonight. Calgary holds the all-time edge, going 114-88-19-3 (with 112 of those wins coming since the move to Calgary). Oh, and they won all five games last year with Edmonton. The Oilers haven’t beaten Calgary since December 27, 2013.
Brandon Hickey and the Boston University Terriers play the Wisconsin Badgers tonight in NCAA action. And in the OHL, Rasmus Andersson, Andrew Mangiapane and the Barrie Colts face the Kitchener Rangers.
HOME ICE HERO
Happy birthday to ‘Dome legend, Doris! The longtime security guard with her favourite Flame, Jiri Hudler! ? pic.twitter.com/zByJ9yV4PC
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 9, 2015
Doris? She’s what I think of when I think about home ice heroes. In your hockey universe, who helps make great things happen off the ice? Who’s the zamboni driver, rink attendant, parent, coach or someone else that makes the on-ice magic possible? Nominate your Home Ice Hero and they could win a prize worth $5,000. Nominate your hero!
SUM IT UP
It’s not quite a must-win for the Flames, but it’s getting there. They need to make the Saddledome a tough place to play, and a good place to start would be by picking up a win against a winless Edmonton Oilers team tonight.