Saturday night is the first installment of the fabled Battle of Alberta between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers for the 2020-21 season. There’s an awful lot of history between these two clubs, so we thought we’d provide a handy numerical primer for the occasion.
Here’s a decades-long rivalry, by the numbers.
The Edmonton Oilers joined the NHL in 1979-80, merged into the league from the World Hockey Association. The following season, the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary. The Flames were in the Patrick Division (with natural rivals Philadelphia, Washington, the Rangers and the Islanders) for 1980-81 before joining the Oilers in the Smythe Division in 1981-82.
Since the Flames’ move north, there have been 242 regular season Battles of Alberta. Calgary has a 122-96-8-6 record in Battles, and have out-scored Edmonton 827-781 in the process. They’ve also met five times in the Stanley Cup playoffs, with the Flames’ 1986 series win – by way of Steve Smith scoring on his own net – representing their only playoff triumph over Edmonton.
The Flames have won one Stanley Cup, while Edmonton has won five. Between1983 and 1990, every Stanley Cup Final featured one of the two clubs.
The Flames and Oilers have played at least four times in every season dating back to 1980-81. This season’s scheduled 10 games is the most they’ll ever play each other in a regular season – the “usual” most they had was eight games, which happened throughout much of the Smythe Division era.
In terms of individual seasons, the Flames have been pretty streaky in season series against the Oilers. They won it in 1980-81, then lost the series outright to Edmonton from 1981-82 through 1985-86. Their playoff win in ’86 seemed to give the Flames a bit of swagger, as they went on a nice run: from 1986-87 through 1995-96, they finished at least .500 against the Oilers in every season series.
The Flames have gone winless against Edmonton in three season series: 1983-84, 2000-01 and 2016-17.
The Flames have gone without a regulation loss against Edmonton in three season series: 2003-04, 2009-10 and 2014-15. (In 2003-04 they lost once in overtime. In 2009-10, the Oilers lost once in a shootout, and in 2014-15 they lost once in overtime.)
- Jarome Iginla played in 89 Battles. The active leader is Mark Giordano, with 57.
- Iginla scored 34 times against Edmonton as a Flame. The active leader is Johnny Gaudreau, with 10.
- Al MacInnis registered 82 points against Edmonton as a Flame. The active leader is Giordano, with 31.
- Tim Hunter registered 380 penalty minutes against Edmonton. The active leader is Giordano, with 69.
- 32 different goalies have started against Edmonton for Calgary. Mike Vernon leads all-time with 58. David Rittich is the active leader with seven.
- Miikka Kiprusoff won 33 games as a goalie against Edmonton. The active leader is Rittich, with four.
- The Flames have shut out Edmonton nine times. Three of those were by Kiprusoff.
- Kevin Lowe played in 94 Battles. The active leader is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, with 37.
- Glenn Anderson scored 45 times against Calgary as an Oiler. (Gretzky scored 44 times, and in 25 fewer games…) The active leader is Connor McDavid, with 15.
- Gretzky registered 133 points in Battles. The active leader is Nugent-Hopkins, with 28.
- Kevin McClelland registered 313 penalty minutes against Calgary. The active leader is Zack Kassian, with 93.
- The Oilers have used 32 different starters against the Flames. Grant Fuhr leads all-time with 47. The active leader is Mikko Koskinen, with six.
- Grant Fuhr won 21 games as a goalie against Calgary. The active leader is Koskinen, with two.
- The Oilers have shut out Calgary eight times. Two of those were by Tommy Salo.