Tonight marks the fifth of six meetings between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, with the Flames having taken 3 of 4 games thus far. As always, Rexall Place will be jumping for the Battle of Alberta.
Is it better to be an Oilers fan or a Flames fan these days? Is it better to have a promising future or be part of a spirited fight to make the playoffs? I am horribly biased, but I will take the Oilers current situation over the Flames every day of the week.
The Oilers come into tonight’s game having lost eight in a row. Already thin on talent, the Oilers have cobbled together a lineup better suited to play in Oklahoma City. With Hall, Hemsky, Horcoff, Brule and Gagner on the shelf, tonight’s team won’t be full of household names. I had to go onto the Oilers website to get the first names of Chris Vandevelde and Teemu Hartikaninen. Ryan O’Marra, Liam Reddox and JF Jacques round out the AHL All Stars that will suit up tonight.
The Flames come into tonight desperately tying to end their three game losing streak. A loss tonight will likely be the final nail in the coffin to a team that looked like it had run out of gas against San Jose Wednesday night. A great stretch of hockey from late December through the Heritage Classic on February 20th got the Flames right in the playoff picture. A 6-6-3 slide since the Classic now puts the Flames in 10th place with 85 points and only six games left to play. They are chasing Anaheim, with 87 points and eight games left, and Chicago, with 88 points and nine games left. It doesn’t look good. Continue reading
With the Heritage Classic up next on Sunday for the Calgary Flames, I have found myself thinking about my least favourite team in the NHL. Generally, my thoughts about the Flames consist of, “Flames suck”, followed by a lengthy daydream about the Edmonton Oilers. In my daydreams, the Oilers always play like they did last night against Montreal.
The Flames have been nagging at me the past couple of weeks as they have gone from bottom feeders back in late December to a four way tie for sixth place in the Western Conference. To shake things up, the Flames fired their GM, Craig Conroy retired and Alex Kotalik was jettisoned to the minors. For the most part, the Flames are the same group of old and slow players they always were, but for some reason they are the hottest team in the league. What gives? Continue reading
I took great joy in watching the Flames get beat down by the Washington Capitals last Saturday night. We were at the Bottlehouse Beer Parlour enjoying some good food with friends and watching the action. As the only non-Flames fan in the place, I was subjected to some good natured needling early in the game as the Flames took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
In an effort to wind up my friends, I jumped squarely on the Capitals bandwagon. I sang the praises of Alex Ovechkin, going as far as promising to order an OV as my next beer when he scored*. At 3:43 of the second OV did in fact score and the beer was ordered. Twelve seconds later he scored again and I suddenly had a lot of beer on our table.
* For those residing outside of the Canadian prairies, OV is horrible beer produced by Molson. It was made popular by grandfathers like mine, who apparently weren’t concerned about taste. The actual name of the beer is Old Vienna. OV? Oh Yeah! Just say OV. Continue reading
I am not sure how I feel about what I am about to write. On the one hand, I am not a fan of the Flames having long ago pledged my allegiance to the Edmonton Oilers. I give a little fist pump every time the Flames lose a hockey game. Why should I put pen to paper to help the team?
On the other hand, I enjoy hockey and I enjoy going to the games. A stroll to the rink means putting in some time at the Saddledome by virtue of my living in Cowtown. As a game pack holder, I was putting out big dollars to watch eight games a year while gorging on fried foods and beer that left me feeling fried. Although I opted to forego renewing my seats for the upcoming season, I will still attend 4-6 games over the course of the season. I have an interest in making my time at the rink enjoyable. With that said, I propose that the Flames embrace Calgary’s heritage and create a unique and exciting fan experience. Continue reading