Game #5 Preview - Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames

The HEN line is coming to town. (Hall - Eberle - Nugent-Hopkins). This dorky kid, who looks like a cross between McLovin and Michael Phelps may soon become one of the most hated guys in Calgary. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Hot Oil and the cool Flames is how the two teams have started the season. The Oilers have exceeded expectations while the Flames have underperformed. 

The good old Battle of Alberta is far from what it used to be. The Flames have stomped all over the Oilers for years and years now. Since the start of the 2003-4 season the record for the Flames has been 32 W - 12 L - 4 OTL. The Flames won 5 of the last 6 meetings last year and 12 of the last 13 meetings. 

The Oilers have really sucked. They are so bad that not even the Gretzky led Oilers of the 80s ever came close to the kind of ass-whooping the Flames have laid on the Oilers over recent years. Is tonight finally the night the Oilers start to bring some respect back to their crest? 

Frankly, I hope so because a rivalry is only a rivalry when the other team can step up and compete with you. Something the Oilers have lacked for years. Will we finally see the so called fruit that is supposed to come from being face-down in the gutter for years or will the Oiler pups start whelping and running home to their hockey moms for a home cooked meal and a hug?

The Oilers have been boys facing the men on the Flames for years. The results speak for themselves and take note, little Taylor Hall appears to have got his mom to call in with the game day jitters. It looks like he may not be in the line-up tonight. He remembers what is coming. Time to let Ryan McNuggets know as well...

Note: I don't usually trash talk the Oilers because I feel guilty doing it but boy do I miss it. I'll buy into their hype of RNH for the first game and expect a real game tonight. 

Anticipated Game Style

A chippy affair that could become ugly for the Flames if they do not take control early. Expect at least one fight if not more. The Flames have hybrid boxer / hockey player Leblond in the line-up and the Oilers will certainly respond if anyone makes one their little Boys Blue start to whimper by talking loud at them. 

One on One

(The HEN Line vs the Flames D)

Don't usually do this but RNH is the definitely the man to watch, if you have not seen this kid play yet focus on him and what he does both as a playmaker and a shooter. Hall at this stage looks like a Vanek level player but RNH, this kid looks like he could go ultra-elite. Of course all of that could change in a flash if Sarich lines him up and lays him out. 

Magic 8-Ball

We all know the time will come when the Oilers will go from the joke of the NHL to a real hockey team. The question is when. They are certainly on the rise and the fact is they are hot at the moment while the Flames have started cold. 50/50 game. 

Anticipated Roster (subject to change at game time)

Edmonton Oilers

Forwards

Taylor Hall*

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Jordan Eberle

Ryan Smyth

Shawn Horcoff

Ryan Jones

Magnus Paajarvi

Eric Belanger

Linus Omark

Ben Eager

Anton Lander

Lennart Petrell

Defence

Ryan Whitney

Tom Gilbert

Cam Barker

Ladislav Smid

Andy Sutton

Corey Potter

Starting Goaltender

Devan Dubnyk

Nikolai Khabibulin

Calgary Flames

Forwards

Alex Tanguay

David Moss

Jarome Iginla

Curtis Glencross

Olli Jokinen

Lee Stempniak

Niklas Hagman

Brendan Morrison*

Rene Bourque

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond

Matt Stajan

Tim Jackman

Defence

Mark Giordano

Scott Hannan

Chris Butler

Jay Bouwmeester

Derek Smith

Cory Sarich

Starting Goaltender

Miikka Kiprusoff

Henrik Karlsson

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