The Flames have already lost this year’s Battle of Alberta

For the longest time, the Calgary Flames saw the Edmonton Oilers as one thing: a punching bag that was a great source of points. It’s mean, but it’s true. Even at their most mediocre, the Flames could count on their games with the Oilers to prop themselves up in the Western Conference standings.

To show how far the Oilers have actually come in making the Battle of Alberta a rivalry that actually matters in the grand scheme of things, we’ve dug into old media guides and the annals of Hockey Reference to put this season’s resurgence by Edmonton into proper context. Regardless of how Saturday’s game between the two clubs turns out, the Oilers have already made a great deal of history within the Battle of Alberta.

The Flames have gone 0-2-1 against Edmonton this season and are guaranteed to lose the season series. It’s the first time they’ve lost the season series against the Oilers since 2000-01, when Calgary went 0-4-1 head-to-head. (Back then, the third number represented ties.) The Flames’ collective record during the 14 consecutive seasons when the Flames won their season series outright or tied by earning half of the available points? An impressive 54-23-6.

It’s the first time they have lost three games in a row against the Oilers since 2000. To be more precise, it was a stretch from April 8 to Nov. 19 that was part of a six-game winless skid against Edmonton that saw the Flames go 0-5-1.

Saturday’s game is important not only due to the Western Conference’s tight playoff race, but also because of a bit of Battle of Alberta history: the Flames have gotten at least one win over the Oilers in every single season series except two – 1983-84 and 2000-01. (For what it’s worth, the Oilers went winless in the season series in 2009-10 and 2014-15.) If the Flames lose on Saturday, it’ll be just the third clean sweep of the Battle of Alberta by the Oilers.

      • Ogie Oglethorp

        So much complaining about McDavid and 1st overalls. Who cares. Its tiresome and pathetic. Be better.

        Sure the Oilers were gifted a player and sucked for 10 years. Who cares. What does that have to do with which team is better. This is sports not some sort of ethical, who ‘did the right thing’ contest. They basically did the exact identical thing that Pittsburgh did. Luck in sports. Wow crazy.

        Get over the complaining. Lets focus on what we got. I don’t think I’ve ever heard one Oiler fan say “we built this machine perfectly, and should have movies made about our organization”. Nope, they all say their org is a joke. But they are happily giving us a big suck it after we collectively, and rightfully mocked them for 10 years.

        Pointing out the invalid tactics of someone who punches you in the nose doesn’t help it not hurt. We need to beat them, and quit being whiney babies.

        /end rant

      • jakethesnail

        With the stockpile of Number 1 picks this is the first year oil are a team that can compete for a playoff spot. And they had to trade away their first number one pick to do that!

    • PrairieStew

      Are you sure ? Don’t let the early season performance bias bite you.

      The Flames started the season with 2 new goalies. Both struggled. Monahan was playing injured and Johnny was coming off his contract hiatus. The Flames were implementing a new defending system under a new coach, and in the first 2 weeks of the season gave up a bunch of 2 on 1’s and breakaways to among others – the Edmonton Oilers – in 2 bad losses. At the end of the first 2 weeks of the season everyone in Edmonton was celebrating the arrival of a competitive Oiler team that had a 5-1 record – Hurray !Meanwhile in Calgary the Flames were 1-4-1 and people were calling for the coaches head.

      What has happened since then ? Let’s give the Oil the benefit of the doubt and say they win tonight vs Nashville. That would mean Edmonton is 21-14-7 in the last 42. What’s the Flames record since the first 2 weeks of the season ? 23-17-2. So – since that first 2 weeks of the season Edmonton 49 points on 21 wins and Calgary 48 points on 23 wins.

      The OT/SO loss thing usually evens out over the course of a year – expect the Flames to close that gap a little. I expect Calgary to win more than they lose, while the Oilers are playing with fire riding Talbot as hard as they are. The Flames should get more out of Gaudreau and Bennett, but will the Oil get more out of perpetual disappearing acts Eberle, Pouliot and Nugent Hopkins. Maroon has put up great numbers, but do you really think that is sustainable? Lucic has just 3 more goals than Alex Chiasson.

  • McDavid's Comet

    Here’s a question for all Calgary fans:

    Would you want to spend the next 10 yrs. watching the team you bleed for, lose yr. after yr. and get lottery picks yr. after yr. if there is ONLY… a possibility of acquiring a generational player?

    Edmonton got phenomenally lucky (ironically), if not for McDavid this wouldn’t even be an issue. Edmonton would STILL be the joke of the NHL.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    It pains me to say this, but Edmonton and Toronto play an entertaining brand of hockey…..while Calgary not so much. Edmonton has shown an ability to stay in a game and secure the loser point which will be very valuable. On the other hand, the cardiac kid mentality which was prevalent for a couple of years, is nowhere to be found. Quite simply, Edmonton has shown that they are never out of a game and Calgary has not been able to overcome late leads.

    • Stu Cazz

      I have stated my concerns in this area numerous times…unlike you my concerns are more based on the quality of prospects rather than the coaching. My finger is now pointed at Todd Button…with few exceptions he is not finding the so called gems beyond the 2nd round….

      • The GREAT WW

        Interesting take…

        But If you look at the players we drafted that are currently on the Flames, most bypassed Huska…other than the ones he turned into fourth line grinders….

        WW

  • dontcryWOLF88

    The fact many of our top picks bypassed husk is probably the same exact reason he’s dealing with mostly grinders. Other more stocked nhl team affiliates don’t have room in the big league right away for a guy like Bennett. Flames do. That means our team down south doesn’t have much for high end talent though. Is what it is.

  • The GREAT WW

    I love watching Oilers home games; McDavid cross checks a guy 3 times… no call…McDavid takes a dive and gets a penalty…..Lucic hits a guy; no call…then takes a dive and draws a penalty….

    Yet The Flames get the worst goaltending in their own barn….

    WW

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    Janko continues to impress, pretty impressive for a rookie to lead his team in scoring, score at a point a game, and be selected to the All-star game. It is time to pay him his due, the kid has a lot of doubters but so far he has done everything we have hoped for and more.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Hey, Pike, whose side are you on anyway? Could have spun your story a dozen different positive ways but instead you chose to kick the boys while they were down. You might call it reporting the facts. I call it defeatism and showing far too much respect for the enemy and not nearly enough love for our guys.

  • reidja

    Flames are still in rebuilding. You can’t rush this stuff, as the oilers learned well over the last decade. Good on the oilers turning it around but this is a long game… it’s a race to the Stanley Cup and the Flames look to be slightly behind at worst.