Earlier this week, the regular season began for the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers in hockey games against other teams. But you could argue, for the two teams in Alberta, the season really gets going on Saturday night, when the Flames visit the Oilers for the 257th regular season edition of the Battle of Alberta. These two clubs met in the playoffs, and you can bet there’s no love lost between them.
Or their fans.
The festivities begin at 8 p.m. MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Coleman – Backlund – Lewis
Lucic – Rooney – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Dan Vladar starts for the Flames, backed up by Jacob Markstrom. Adam Ruzicka and Connor Mackey are the projected extras.
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The Flames beat Colorado in their season-opener on Thursday night. They were good and deserved the win, but it was the type of game where the Flames had a bunch of things they could improve – particularly their five-on-five breakouts. But the Flames’ special teams were good enough to get them over the top.
This is the first Battle of Alberta for Jonathan Huberdeau, Nazem Kadri, Kevin Rooney and MacKenzie Weegar. But they’ve all played the Oilers before in their careers:
  • Huberdeau has four goals and 10 points in 15 games against Edmonton
  • Kadri has eight goals and 15 points in 16 games against Edmonton
  • Rooney has two goals and three points in four games against Edmonton
  • Weegar has two points in eight games against Edmonton
It’s the first game against Edmonton for Vladar, who backed up Markstrom in the four regular season and five playoff meetings with the Oilers in 2021-22.
Earlier today on the site, Robert pointed out the potential entertainment value of a Kadri/Evander Kane feud. But man, Kadri has been money against the Oilers during his career. If he can maintain that, the Flames could be in good shape.
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The Oilers

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Hyman – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Kane – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Holloway – Nugent-Hopkins – Foegele
Malone – McLeod – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Murray – Bouchard
Kulak – Barrie
Jack Campbell starts, backed up by Stuart Skinner. Their lone extra is Devin Shore, who’s been flipped back and forth from Bakersfield (swapping with Philip Broberg) recently. Both Kailer Yamamoto and Warren Foegele missed Edmonton’s opener on Wednesday, so we’ll see if either of them get into Saturday’s contest. Why are the Oilers only carrying one extra player? Their roster is only 21 players because they’ve maxed out their LTIR relief and are essentially out of cap space.
The Oilers had a rollercoaster first game against Vancouver. The Canucks got out to a 3-0 lead. Then the Oilers went “We are not losing our home-opener to these guys,” and then they scored five unanswered goals to win. That’s the Oilers in a nutshell: they have the ability to dig themselves into a hole, and then get themselves out of it. They have a lot of really good hockey players who can tilt a game.
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That’s exactly what happened against the Canucks. The Flames know this very well, so they’ll need to be on their toes for the entire 60 minutes of play.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Oilers are without Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Oscar Klefbom.

Head to head

There are been 256 previous regular season meetings between Calgary and Edmonton:
  • The Flames have won 128 times (116 in regulation, 7 in overtime, 5 in a shootout)
  • The Oilers have won 110 times (102 in regulation, 4 in overtime, 4 in a shootout)
  • 18 of the games ended in a tie
Last season, the Flames played Edmonton four times in the regular season: the home team won every game, and every game was pretty damn entertaining. Edmonton then beat the Flames in five games in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Oilers Twitter (be nice!):