Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 8 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB
TV: NBCSN, TVAS, SN - Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames (14-12-3, 31 pts) - Edmonton Oilers (18-13-0, 36 pts)
Don’t look now, but the Calgary Flames are a mere five points behind the once unreachable Edmonton Oilers. Now, we aren’t saying everything is fixed, but the Flames are a much better team than they were after defeating the Ottawa Senators 7-3 back on March 4th. Since Darryl Sutter has arrived on the bench the Flames have reeled off three straight wins and are making some noise in the North Division for the first time this season.
Monday night the Flames beat and beat up the Edmonton Oilers and showed a toughness that they haven’t had in ANY game before Sutter took over. They played a similar defence that got them two wins over Montreal, they held McDavid and Draisaitl off the scoreboard until late in the third, they handed Mike Smith his first road loss of the season and they stood up for each other with a ferocity that has been lacking. After Oliver Kylington took a cheap shot from Jujhar Khaira in the first period, Brett Ritchie came on the ice for a faceoff and challenged Kharia to fight. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of fighting, but Kharia had to answer for his transgression and Ritchie made him pay to the point he knocked him out with a big right hand. Put it all together, plus getting scoring from everywhere EXCEPT Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk, and the Flames earned a very large 4-3 victory.
I’m guessing the Oilers will most certainly come out with a chip on their collective shoulders this evening. Edmonton had won three straight against the Flames and looked like they were going to run away from the hated rivals. But Edmonton has only played .500 hockey over their last 10 games (5-5-0) and have dropped two straight after a four game winning streak. A loss to the Flames tonight will have the Oilers seeing a charging Calgary Flames team in their rear view mirror that is hungry and doesn’t look like it’s going to be an easy out the rest of the season.
The key to victory tonight, for either team, will be controlling the emotional aspect of the game. The Flames handled Edmonton’s transgression on Monday night swiftly and then moved on to the business of playing and winning. It will be interesting to see how the Oilers handle the loss, though they created the mess on Monday, so they really can’t complain about Kharia getting his. You shouldn’t be worried about Calgary as Darryl Sutter clearly has a tight grip on the reins of this team and they look very workman like when they hit the ice. The Flames could use a little extra help from the likes of Gaudreau, Monahan and Tkachuk and let’s face it, any time Tkachuk enters the fray against Edmonton it gets a little more interesting.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Markstrom (E): 11-7-2, 2.69 GAA, .910 SV%
Oilers: Smith (E): 9-3-0, 2.31 GAA, .921 SV%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (11), Points- Lindholm (26), PIM- Tkachuk (28), Save%- Markstrom (.910)
Oilers: Goals- McDavid (17), Points- McDavid (53), PIM: Nurse (40). Save%- Smith (.921)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Edmonton Oilers Coverage: Copper & Blue
Hot Links: Tuesday, March 16#Oilers drop a close one in Calgary. PLUS: I’m going to miss Ethan Bear when they trade him. I’m going to be smug when he kicks the crap out of the league elsewhere, too. Like Jeff Petry.— Copper & Blue (@CopperandBlue) March 16, 2021
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 4 - Edmonton Oilers 3
Players To Watch
Elias Lindholm (C): 6 points in last 5 games
Jesse Puljujarvi (F): 3 goals in 5 games against the Flames this season