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.