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The Flames Take On The Oilers In Their Preseason Opener

Because why not Edmonton?

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 7 PM MT, Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary AB

TV: Stream at CalgayFlames.com - Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames and Oilers open their preseason tonight, continuing a bitter rivalry that has been going 41 years strong. These two teams each met 10 times last year in the All-Canadian North Division, with the Flames losing 6 of the ten meetings, but they did have a 3-2-0 record at the Saddledome. In the end this game really means nothing. It’s one of eight preseason games, two of which feature the Oilers.

Each team had some significant additions in the offseason, with the Flames adding back to back Stanley Cup Champion Blake Coleman and Edmonton bringing in former Flames forward Derek Ryan. This season will provide each team with challenges, but it also will leave lingering questions if either team underperforms and fails to make the playoffs. The Flames will be looking down the barrel of a free agent Johnny Gaudreau, a coach that may not want to sit through a rebuild and a GM the will certainly be fired. On the Edmonton side the biggest question is “how long will Connor McDavid stay if the Oilers continue to surround him with next to nothing?”

Both teams have the bodies to produce a ton of points, but Edmonton has been doing it better than the Flames. The Oilers finished 7th overall in the league last year with 183 GF, while Calgary found themselves 20th with only 155 GF. Edmonton’s duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl finished 2nd and 4th overall with 33 and 31 goals apiece. Those two were also the best point producers with 105 and 84 respectively. On the Calgary side their best point producer was Johnny Gaudreau with 49, good for 30th overall in 2021. Calgary’s next best point producer was Elias Lindholm with 47, making those two the only Flames in the Top 50. And as crazy as it sounds, last year Edmonton had better goaltending than Calgary. Mike Smith posted a GAA of 2.31 and a Save% of .923 compared to Jacob Markstrom’s 2.68 and .904. So soup to nuts the Oilers had a better overall season than the Flames.

What does any of that matter when it comes to the 2021-22 season? Nothing really. Calgary has had a full offseason with Darryl Sutter and Brad Treliving building the team they want to take the ice in October. They’ve pretty much constructed this version of the Flames and the results are mixed to say the least. Tonight certainly won’t tell us exactly what the Flames will look like and or play like once the puck drops on the regular season, but it’s a start and hopefully the results on the ice are better than what we saw last year.

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Edmonton Oilers Coverage: Copper & Blue

Calgary Flames Projected Lines

Forwards

Dillon Dube - Mikael Backlund - Tyler Pitlick

Milan Lucic - Brad Richardson - Trevor Lewis

Jakob Pelletier - Glenn Gawdin - Matthew Phillips

Martin Pospisil - Adam Ruzicka - Brett Ritchie

Defence

Nikita Zadorov - Rasmus Andersson

Juuso Valimaki - Erik Gudbranson

Connor Mackey - Andy Welinski

Goaltenders

Dan Vladar

Adam Werner