Saturday, January 26, 2013
Pre-Game: Game #4 Oilers vs. Flames
So, what do the Oilers do for an encore? It was the ol' "you want me to tie it or win it, coach?" routine the Oilers are starting to make famous for themselves. It's something as a team they should establish for themselves. They have the talent to come back in hockey games but it was the belief that was missing. In one bat of the puck, Nail Yakupov established that for the Oilers going forward. While the Oilers will have their nights of folly on defense some nights, their offense and the flair for the dramatic should make this team highly entertaining and adored throughout North America. Whether its a championship formula will have to be a wait and see, but the Oilers should be in every game. The Oilers passed the "will" test on Thursday night, but its something they will have to pass each and every night, thats what champions are made of. The Oilers take on the Calgary Flames in a 2013 version of the Battle Of Alberta. The Flames have struggled out of the gate losing their 1st three games and garnering only one point. It's a very a winnable game for the Oilers but the Oilers have had issues in the past with winning at the Saddledome. If they are to be thinking playoffs, they are going to have to feast on teams like the Flames and Avalanche. If all three teams beat up on each other, then its likely that all three teams will miss the playoffs.
-Oilers have issues with bulkier teams but the Flames center play could very well be the weakest in the league.
- The addition of Mark Fistric gives the Oilers D some much needed balance. Justin Schultz is feeling comfortable adding offense from the defense. Flames D is balanced but lacking in depth.
- Miikka Kiprusoff has been the model of consistency over his career and will be a big reason if the Flames can pull this one out. Dubnyk is looking to have strong back to back games.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Oilers makes hay on the powerplay. The Flames would be wise to keep the penalties to a minimum. The Oilers PK are coming off of a strong game.
- Bob Hartley is struggling to find the right button to puch in Calgary while Ralph Krueger likely has a better feel for his club at this point.
- Flames have had time to work out the kinks having not played since Wednesday while the Oilers are going to have battle emotion after an emotional win against the Kings.
Game Time: 8 PM MT @ Calgary on CBC