Game Preview: Flames vs Edmonton Oilers

CALGARY FLAMES (34-25-12 80 points) vs. EDMONTON OILERS (27-36-7 61 points) GAME 72

 

PREVIEW:

Whoever isn’t enjoying this latest Flames run can’t call themselves a hockey fan. Another victory last night against Phoenix gave the Flames five straight as they moved within one point of 7th and 8th place, which the Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche currently hold with 81 points apiece. The Flames have to get right back on the horse tonight as they travel up north to duel their provincial rivals for the 6th and final time this season. The Flames have been simply dominate over the Oilers the last couple of years and other than a lackluster 6-1 loss the last time the two teams met, the Flames have won 16 of the last 18 meetings. If the Flames continue to play like they have the past five, tonight’s game shouldn’t be an issue. Saying that the Oilers have nothing but pride to play for at this point and the Flames can’t look past them. The Flames could jump to 7th place in the West with a victory tonight.

It was another solid team effort last night as the Flames defeated the Coyotes 4-1. Rookie sensation, or should I say ‘svensational’, Sven Baertschi had another solid game. Baertschi opened the scoring just 17 seconds in, taking advantage of a horrible Keith Yandle give away and showed great skill and patience on the finish. Baertschi also made a great play breaking up a pass on the back check and overall showed he understands the game in all aspects. Jarome Iginla stayed hot, scoring the GWG to extend his scoring streak to six games, while Matt Stajan continued also stayed hot, extending his point streak to five games.

The Oilers though young have had a disappointing season. After getting off to a fantastic start, where they were challenging for a playoff spot, things have gone south as the Oilers are once again in the lottery conversation for a top 5 pick. I’m not saying that I didn’t expect this from the Oilers but there has just been too many times that Tom Renney has questioned his teams compete and wondered if some of his players need a gut check. Things are still bright in Edmonton as there is no doubt it’s only a matter of time before their youth take over and they become a contender. That top pick this season could be the missing piece for the Oilers as they look like they will get a blue-chip defenseman they so desperately need. Jordan Eberle has led the way averaging a point a game offensively, while Taylor Hall has been hot of late, scoring in four straight games, giving him 27 on the year in just 60 games played.

I’m starting to think and believe the injuries the Flames have suffered this season could be the best thing to not only happen to them this year but also down the road. All the injuries have opened the door for some young players to show what they can do and I think the Flames have to give a TON of credit to these kids. Baertschi has been special, while Roman Horak, T.J. Brodie haven’t looked out of place. The Flames have still been led by Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla, but having those young players around the rink, in the dressing room makes things fun again. They add so much enthusiasm and emotion that has no doubt rubbed off on the Flames veterans. With all these players starting to get healthy, time is running out for the kids to stay in the line-up, especially Baertschi. Let’s just hope when these kids aren’t in the line-up, that enthusiasm stays in the room and the Flames continue this run and become a stronger team with so many players close to returning from injury.

 

PROJECTED LINES:

Flames:                                                                        Oilers:

1- TANGUAY-STAJAN-IGINLA                                     1- JONES- NUGENT-HOPKINS -EBERLE

2- GLENCROSS-JOKINEN-MOSS                              2- HALL-GAGNER-HEMSKY

3- KOSTOPOULOS-NEMISZ-BAERTSCHI                 3- SMYTH-HORCOFF-HARTIKAINEN

4- COMEAU-HORAK-DESBIENS                                4- HORDICHUK-BELANGER-PETRELL

 

1- BOUWMEESTER-SMITH                                         1- SMID-PETRY

2- GIORDANO-HANNAN                                              2- WHITNEY-SCHULTZ

3- BABCHUK-SARICH                                                  3- PECKHAM-POTTER

 

1- IRVING                                                                     1- DUBNYK

2- KIPRUSOFF                                                             2- KHABIBULIN

 

EXTRA- KARLSSON                                                    EXTRA- OMARK, BARKER, SUTTON

 

INJURIES:

Flames: RW- Lee Stempniak (Ankle- Day-to-Day), LW Lance Bouma (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), D- T.J Brodie (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), RW- Tim Jackman (Undisclosed- Day-to-Day), C- Mike Cammalleri (Upper Body- Day-to-Day), D- Chris Butler (Lower Body- IR), C- Mikael Backlund (Upper Body- IR), C- Blair Jones (Ankle- IR),

Oilers: LW- Ben Eager (Back Spasms- Day-to-Day)

 

STATS:

Flames

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

J. Iginla

71

31

31

62

-3

O. Jokinen

71

21

37

58

1

A. Tanguay

55

12

35

47

10

C Glencross

56

25

19

44

-2

M. Cammalleri

59

15

18

33

-10

 

Oilers

PLAYER

GP

G

A

PTS

+/-

J. Eberle

66

30

36

66

3

T. Hall

60

27

26

53

-3

R. Smyth

70

19

25

44

-2

R. Nugent-Hopkins

50

16

27

43

-4

S. Gagner

63

15

27

42

4

 

PP-

Flames: 17.8% (13th)

Oilers: 21.8% (1st)

PK-

Flames: 83.0% (11th)

Oilers: 81.4% (19th)

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS:

 

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

1. ST. LOUIS

72

45

19

8

98

2. VANCOUVER

70

42

20

8

92

3. DALLAS

71

39

27

5

83

4. DETROIT

71

44

24

3

91

5. NASHVILLE

70

41

21

8

90

6. CHICAGO

71

38

25

8

84

7. PHOENIX

72

35

26

11

81

8. COLORADO

73

38

30

5

81

 

9. SAN JOSE

70

35

25

10

80

10. CALGARY

70

34

25

12

80

11. L.A

70

33

25

12

78

12. ANAHEIM

71

30

30

11

71

13. MINNESOTA

70

29

31

10

68

14. EDMONTON

70

27

36

7

61

15. COLUMBUS

70

22

41

7

51

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Last ten games: Flames 6-2-2, Oilers 3-6-1
  • Jarome Iginla, who extended his goal streak to six games, last night also has 8 goals in his last 8 games.
  • Matt Stajan, who added some insurance with his goal last night, has recorded three goals and three assists during his five-game point streak.
  • Svensational, Sven Baertschi also has a three game scoring streak, giving him 3 goals in his 4 games he has been called up for.
  • Jay Bouwmeester played in his 577th consecutive game last night, moving him into seventh on the all-time iron man list.
  • Leland Irving, who was recalled on Wednesday, backed-up Miikka Kiprusoff last night and will start tonight in Edmonton. Irving is 1-2-3 on the season with a 3.22 GAA and a .916 SV%.
  • Before the Oilers 6-1 victory against the Flames on Feb. 21st, the Flames had won nine straight against their provincial rivals.
  • Lee Stempniak and Lance Bouma both skated with the club during yesterday’s morning skate and barring any setbacks should be back any game now.
  • Oilers goalie, Devan Dubnyk recorded his second shutout of the season on Wednesday night. Dubnyk is trying to show the Oilers brass that he can be their number one as he looks to improve his 9-7 record at home tonight.

 

GAME DAY QUOTE:

"It's fun to be back in this playoff race… It's going to be interesting with so many teams here."

– Captain Jarome Iginla

 

 

Follow me on Twitter: @NickSymon

2 Comments

Derrick Newman's picture

Great stuff as always Nick! I fear this could be a let down game for the Flames after last nights big win. I hope not though. Oilers will be pumped to beat the Flames. GFG!

NickSymon's picture

Thanks. Yea I kind of get that feeling too, but let's hope they prove us wrong and have a strong performance in front of Leland. GFG