Happy holidays! The Calgary Flames were, fortunately, able to enter the Christmas break feeling somewhat good about themselves, having finally snapped an eight-game losing streak. Their provincial rivals, uh... less so, as they entered the holidays on their own eight-game losing streak. This is the second of five Battles of Alberta this season, and despite being horribly outplayed the first time, the Flames took the 1-0 series lead with a 5-2 win, featuring a hat trick by Cochrane native Mason Raymond. It was awesome. I hope it goes on like this all season.
But I digress. Last time we saw the Flames, they were down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings, and well on their way to their ninth straight loss. And then Johnny Gaudreau got his first career hat trick to force overtime, and Mark Giordano beasted his way to an overtime goal. It very quickly went from dismaying to freaking awesome. For real let's see more of that. | Recap | Stats | Boxscore | JOHNNY GAUDREAU, THOUGH:
As for the Edmonton Oilers, they suck. Oh my gosh, they suck so hard. It's the most beautiful thing in the world. Some people say it's sad, and it'd be nice to return to a more competitive Battle of Alberta. I disagree. I love this. I love the endless floundering, I love the constant losing, I love the neverending patheticness, and I hope it never, ever ends. That is, of course, an unrealistic wish (in theory. I mean... it's the Oilers), so I'm going to enjoy every last second of it. Because the Flames having an entertaining rebuild is one thing, but what's going on just three hours to the north? Makes it all the better. Thank you so much, Edmonton.
Just how terrible are they? I can be fair: they have better possession numbers (Calgary's are abhorrent, though, so it's not like it's a hard thing to do). They're tied for last in the league in PDO, which tends to mean they've been horribly unlucky as of late (although horrifically bad goaltending will do that to you; fun how the Oilers decided former Anaheim Ducks backup Viktor Fasth was a smarter get than former Anaheim Ducks starter Jonas Hiller. I mean wait. What? Also entering the season with more than one NHL centre might have been a smart thing to do, just a thought though).
Anyway, they've lost 19 of their last 20. The Arizona Coyotes, who are not exactly super great themselves, swept their season series 5-0, and outscored them 21-9. The Edmonton Eskimos won 12 games in 2014; the 2014-15 Edmonton Oilers can't leave 2014 with more than 10 wins. They've had more press conferences (two) than victories (one) in that time. The Copper & Blue might have more substantial information, I guess, but isn't that all you really need to know?
Game time: 8:00 p.m. MT
Channel: CBC: Hockey Night in Canada!
All-time record: The Flames are leading, 121-107-19-3, with a +13 goal differential. I was born in 1991, so I've been told the 80's were quite the time. Guess recent history hasn't been super kind to the City of Champions (I know the slogan is actually about tornadoes and I don't care).
Common threads: These two teams tend to not interact much, which is for the best. That said, a little over a year ago, the Oilers traded Ladislav Smid and Olivier Roy to the Flames for Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit. None of these players will actually be dressed tonight, what with two of them no longer part of their respective organizations, Brossoit chilling in the AHL, and Smid on the shelf indefinitely thanks to Simon Despres launching himself into his head for no apparent reason, but, you know.
Although Oilers captain Andrew Ference was a Flame once upon a time, and he's doing a bang-up job currently, in my opinion. Corey Potter, the Flames' current seventh defenceman, was also an Oiler once. He did this:
And Keith Aulie got his start with the Flames. He was part of a package alongside Dion Phaneuf. And now he's an Oiler. What an adventure.
Approaching milestones: Nothing imminent, but after promoting it for the past several games, it's only fair to shoutout to Jiri Hudler for finally getting his 200th career assist (and 201st!) against L.A.
Current records and leaders
|Calgary Flames||Edmonton Oilers|
|18-15-3: 39 points||7-21-7: 21 points|
|Pacific Division: 5th||Pacific Division: 7th|
|Western Conference: 9th||Western Conference: 14th|
|Time on ice|
Defence: TJ Brodie (24:58 per game)
Forward: Sean Monahan (19:32 per game)
Defence: Justin Schultz (21:34 per game)
Forward: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (21:20 per game)
Goals: Jiri Hudler (13)
Assists: Mark Giordano (24)
Points: Mark Giordano (34)
Goals: Taylor Hall (10)
Assists: Jordan Eberle (14)
Points: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (22)
Shots on goal: Sean Monahan (97)
Shooting percentage: Jiri Hudler (19.7%)
Shots on goal: Taylor Hall (88)
Shooting percentage: Boyd Gordon (13.5%)
|Sean Monahan (49.6%, 781 taken)||Boyd Gordon (55.7%, 585 taken)
Penalty minutes: Brandon Bollig (40)
Hits: Lance Bouma (105)
Blocked shots: Kris Russell (109)
Penalty minutes: Keith Aulie (32)
Hits: Matt Hendricks (85)
Blocked shots: Mark Fayne (71)
|Corsi/Fenwick (minimum 1/2 team's games played)|
Corsi for%: Jiri Hudler (48.3%, 35 GP)
Mark Giordano (48.0%, 36 GP)
Fenwick for%: Johnny Gaudreau (49.7%, 35 GP)
Josh Jooris (49.4%, 28 GP)
Corsi for%: Teddy Purcell (52.7%, 34 GP)
Leon Draisaitl (52.3%, 33 GP)
Fenwick for%: Leon Draisaitl (52.8%, 33 GP)
Teddy Purcell (51.9%, 34 GP)
Possible starting lineups
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Curtis Glencross||Sean Monahan||David Jones|
|Johnny Gaudreau||Markus Granlund||Jiri Hudler|
|Mason Raymond||Joe Colborne||Paul Byron|
|Brandon Bollig||Matt Stajan||Lance Bouma|
|Left Defense||Right Defense|
|Mark Giordano||TJ Brodie|
|Kris Russell||Dennis Wideman|
|Raphael Diaz||Deryk Engelland|
|Left Wing||Center||Right Wing|
|Taylor Hall||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Teddy Purcell|
|David Perron||Boyd Gordon||Jordan Eberle|
|Nail Yakupov||Leon Draisaitl||Tyler Pitlick|
|Luke Gazdic||Mark Arcobello||Steve Pinizzotto|
|Left Defense||Right Defense|
|Andrew Ference||Jeff Petry|
|Oscar Klefbom||Mark Fayne|
|Brad Hunt||Justin Schultz|
Jonas Hiller will once again never, ever stop starting games, it seems. Meanwhile, while Josh Jooris did skate, he remains out of the lineup with an upper body injury.