Calgary Flames @ Edmonton Oilers (1/19/2019)


Third Round Battle of Alberta. The Oilers were dropped by the Flames in Calgary but then responded with a narrow 1-0 win in Edmonton a few weeks later. This is the record of your game day.

1. After last night's 6-4 victory at home to the Detroit Red Wings, Flames had a three-point grip in first place in the Western Conference. They have a percentage of 0.684 points in the season (a 31-13-5 record) putting them at a pace to put 111 points in the standings. That would be the second best season of all time in the 1988-89 season where Flames won the Presidential Cup and the Stanley Cup.

2. The Flames are currently the best team in the West, thanks in large part to their productive violations. Calgary is ranked second in the league with 182 goals (good for 3.7 goals per game) behind only Tampa Bay Lightning. Violation of Flames gives them plenty of room for mistakes. Last night against the bad Wings team, Mike Smith allowed four goals, but the Flames fought back from three separate one goal deficits before retreating in the last few minutes of the third period.

3. The big key when playing Flames is to move away from the penalty box. We all remember the Battle of Alberta Round One where the game came out after Matt "The Turtle" SinTkachuk entered the head of the Oilers. Edmonton took a lot of penalties in the second game and a late-period goal of power left the Flames to play again. Flames scored 23.95 percent of their chances of playing power, which finished eighth in the league. That, of course, was a mismatch of the 24 Edmonton rankings.

4. When The Oilers allow no more than three goals, their record is a glittering 21-2-1. But when they let three goals or more, they were 2-19-2 ahead. The formula for Oilers is quite simple – don't allow more than three goals. Edmonton violations, as we know, are very one dimensional. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can only do so much.

5. The Flames have scored more than three goals in just under half of their matches this season. They have scored four or more times, three goals 10 times, two goals eight times, one goal four times, and they have been issued just three times. One of the shutouts came in Edmonton in early December when Mikko Koskinen stopped all 24 Flames shots sending his way in a 1-0 victory. This time will be different when Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik are not in the lineup. On the other hand, the Oilers will be without Oscar Klefbom, who recorded 28 minutes in that match.

6. The Flames are almost completely healthy at this time (except injuries for defender Michael Stone and Juuso Valimaki) and they roll on one of their hottest lines this season. The Flames currently drive seven points in a row, and, since the Christmas holidays, Calgary has points in 11 of 12 matches.

7. The surprising thing about Flames and their potential violation is how badly the season experienced by James Neal. Neal, who is one of the most wanted free agents on the open market, only has five goals in 47 matches. Before joining Flames, Neal had played in the league for 10 seasons between Dallas, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Vegas, and he had managed to reach the 20-goal plateau in all. It looks like the stroke will end this year.

8. Elias Lindholm has quite a number of roles assumed by everyone by Neal. When they signed Neal, I thought he was the perfect winger to complete Calgary's top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Conversely, Neal has played most of his season in the bottom six with people like Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski and Derek Ryan. Lindholm, who was acquired in a deal with Dougie Hamilton with Carolina, has enjoyed a breakout season in the top row. Lindholm has surpassed his career in both goals and points in 49 matches played. He has 21 goals (his previous high career was 17) and he has 56 points (his previous high career was 45).

9. Johnny Gaudreau made a serious push for the Art Ross trophy. In the span of 12 matches since the Christmas holiday I mentioned earlier, Gaudreau has 24 points in 12 matches. He now sits second in the league after Nikita Kucherov with 72 points. That's two more points than Connor McDavid has, but McDavid has played three fewer matches. I still bet McDavid won Art Ross for the third year in a row. It was impressive he was so close in the hunt for points to Kucherov and Gaudreau given the fact that they played in the two most productive offensive teams in the league while McDavid brought Oilers on his back.

10. McDavid is ready to destroy his career in the highest points of the season. He played at a speed of 1.52 points per match, making him able to increase 123 points if he didn't miss the match for the rest of the season. I imagined we would see McDavid spinning the dish more offensively when the fight over the playoff place. There is also a very good opportunity that we will see this year's Art Ross Trophy winner putting the most points in a season in the post-lockout era. Joe Thornton's 125 season points in 2005-06 when he traded to San Jose were the highest total points since the full season lockout. We can easily see four players – Kucherov, Gaudreau, McDavid and Mikko Rantanen – reaching that number this year.

From peers to pros, Albertans likes the atmosphere, energy, and life lessons that occur in the arena throughout the province. And where there is an arena, you will find an ATB branch nearby – with our team members cheering and raising funds with you. See more information at

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 1/19/2019 – 12:00 noon MST


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