Flames at Oilers Preview: Those guys suck

Derek Leung

Welcome to this season's fourth installment of the Battle of Alberta. Both teams suck, but one totally does more than the other.

Let's be honest with ourselves: the Flames are not going to make the playoffs this year. Sitting at 51 points with just 23 games left in the season, the maximum number of points the Flames can get is 97: something that could possibly see them get a lower seed in the western conference, if they somehow go undefeated, which they are not going to do.

The Flames currently sit in 27th place, seven points ahead of last place Buffalo. If you're dreaming of Sam Reinhart or Aaron Ekblad, then at this point, you're dreaming for the Flames to lose as many games as possible for the rest of the season.

Games like tonight's are especially important, because the opponent is one of the few teams with a worse record than the Flames.

Does that mean you cheer for the Flames to lose this one? Hell no.

Outside of Alberta, nobody could possibly care about this game. It's two horrifically bad teams with a longstanding hatred of one another. But, as is tradition: screw those other guys I hope they lose everything forever.

Flames news and notes

Chris Butler suffered a lower body injury last game, so the Flames have called up Chad Billins from the Heat. However, it looks like Butler will be in the lineup tonight, which is good, since the Flames are likely aiming to trade the upcoming UFA.

As for the other major trade targets, there has been no news on the Mike Cammalleri front. Lee Stempniak, meanwhile, has been out for personal reasons, which have turned out to be a case of babies:


Well... it's gotta be fun to be on the trading block with that going on.

Markus Granlund will play in his second NHL game tonight, while Joni Ortio is back on the bench in place of Reto Berra. Yay.


Yay!

The opponent

The Oilers, like the Flames, are sellers this trade deadline. There's been a lot of Sam Gagner talk, but the big one for now is the impending trade of Ales Hemsky. Hemsky, an upcoming UFA, was drafted in the first round in 2001 by the Oilers, and it's the only team he's ever known. This could be his last game for them, so hey... that's sad.

(Is it wrong to want to see him go to LA so he can be teammates with Robyn Regehr?)

For more information, check out The Copper & Blue.

Season series

The Oilers have a 2-1 lead on the season series this year, with just two games left.

Game one saw the Flames take a 2-0 lead before getting their teeth kicked in during the third period, collapsing and giving those jerks a win.

Game two almost gave Reto Berra his first win in regulation, until he Reto Berra'd and gave up the game-tying goal to Taylor Hall with 11 seconds to go. It was okay, though, because a flu-ridden Jiri Hudler was there to be the hero in overtime.

Game three was stupid because a perfectly good Mark Giordano goal was waved off for no reason and then the Oilers scored and then they got an empty netter and that kicked off a long string of shutouts and it was dumb and the worst.

Speaking of shutouts, both teams are coming off one. Are you ready for some exciting Alberta hockey?!

Dancing Ladislav Smid

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Dancing Ladislav Smid forever.

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