Friday, March 16, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #71 Oilers vs. Flames

Another edition of the Battle of Alberta. Oilers waxed the Flames 6-1 in their last meeting setting up an interesting game between a "playoff hungry" Flames and a "fighting for pride" Oilers. For one night, the Oilers got back to their stout defensive game, beating an undermanned Columbus team 3-0. As I have mentioned in past articles, the Oilers centers had a big hand in the victory. Playing sound, positional hockey and not chasing the game all over the ice and forcing plays. With the victory over Columbus, it pretty much ensure that the Oilers will not be finishing 30th this year (golf clap). At this stage of the year, you can't help but feel for the Oilers' players and coaching staff. Its been a tough year for a lot of them and playing out the string, seeing the pains of their failures really hits the core. This year was supposed to be a progress year, and while some small steps have been made on the special teams and the kids, there has been a lot of underachievement on this team as well. It all washes out in the standings. Its a big offseason in Oilerville, it will be interesting to see what moves are made and if a cleaning out of the management occurs. Flames come into this game winners of 5 in a row. Won 4-1 against Phoenix last night. They currently sit in 9th place, 1 point below the playoff cut line. They are in a full mad dash to get into the post season. This is a crucial game for them. Teemu Hartikainen was called up from OKC and likely to play tonight.

Forwards Oilers
- Love the 3 kids, but the rest could stand to step up and play more consistantly.
Defense Flames
- Flames are getting slightly more offensive production out of their group than the Oilers are getting out of theirs.
Goaltending Flames
- Kiprusoff has practically willed his team into playoff contention.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers till oen the best power play in the NHL. Flames are middle of the pack on both special teams.
Coaching Flames
- Brent Sutter has pushed enough of the right buttons to keep his team afloat.
Intangibles Flames
- Flames just have so much more to play for in this game. They really need this one.

Oilers: (my version)






Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.

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