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Flames @ Oilers Game 62 Preview

The Struggle Of Alberta

And in this corner...
And in this corner...
Jim McIsaac



22-30-7, .864 p/g Ranks 20-34-7, .770 p/g
Western Conference: 13th Western Conference: 14th
28th P/G 29th
28th ST 26th
29th ES 28th
26th Goal 30th
8:00 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Matchsticks And Gasoline

The Struggle Is Real

Let's face it, this is the game all the Oilers fans have been waiting for. The Battle of Alberta's latest incarnation is once again ready to brightly shine in the province's capital. Firmly ensconced in fourteenth place in the West, a win will bring Edmonton within two points of the thirteenth place Flames.

More importantly, it is likely Ales Hemsky's last game as an Oiler. Edmonton's next game is Tuesday, the day of the NHL's trade deadline.

The Oilers are saying

"It happens. It's OK, I think it will be better for sure and I'm just waiting to be in a game again and just play for the Oilers"

That's Oilers forward Nail Yakupov on getting blasted in the foot with the puck, and whether or not he'll be ready for today's game versus Calgary.

Nail Yakupov left Thursday's game against the Wild after absorbing a shot in the foot from Justin Schultz. Fortunately for Yakupov, his foot isn't broken. He might be in the lineup tonight, he might not be in the lineup tonight. Fortunately for the Oilers, they've got plenty of depth Jesse Joensuu filled in on line 3 yesterday in practice, so if Yakupov doesn't go, look for number 6 to get the call.

The Opponent is saying

"I want them in a playoff's going to be a gauge to where we're at, how we can cope with a playoff feeling. At the same time, I believe it's a great investment for everyone because let's face it, we have many young players who don't have or have very little NHL playoff experience"
That's Flames coach Bob Hartley on getting his team in "a playoff mode" for this evening's game. Seriously, what the hell are the playoffs, anyways?

If you're a thirteenth place team in the Western Conference, and you're about to play the fourteenth place team in the Western Conference, I wonder what "playoff mode" looks like...


Have some of this
  • From yesterday's practice - Ales Hemsky was on the top line with Hall and Nugent-Hopkins, while David Perron found his way back onto the second line. If Yakupov plays, throw him on line 3 where Jesse Joensuu practiced yesterday.
  • DID YOU KNOW? The Oilers own a few numbers of distinction this year, most notably the ten shorthanded goals they've allowed in 75% of an NHL season. But, did you know that Thursday's 3-0 shutout loss to the Minnesota Wild was Edmonton's eighth shutout loss of the season? The Flames also have eight losses by way of shutout. This game is going to be great, you guys.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov (5-8-4, .907) is scheduled to get the start for the Oilers. If Edmonton can keep Calgary to 21 shots as they did Minnesota on Thursday, this might all work out. Then again, they need not to allow three goals on those 21 shots. The Oilers are way more complicated than they should be.
  • If this truly is Ales Hemsky's last game as an Edmonton Oiler, let me be one of many people on this site to say that it has truly been a pleasure to watch him play. Hemsky is a talented player who often got his ass kicked in order to make a play happen. It's unfortunate that injuries robbed him of significant playing time on this team, but if (when) he's traded, I hope he flourishes wherever he lands. It'll also give everyone a pocket team to root for in the playoffs. Hopefully it's somewhere nice like Chicago or San Jose.

The Calgary Flames

T.J. Galiardi - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler

Mike Cammalleri - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Paul Byron - Markus Granlund - Kevin Westgarth

Mark Giordano - T.J. Brodie

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Reto Berra


The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Ales Hemsky

David Perron - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Jesse Joensuu

Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones

Andrew Ference - Mark Fraser

Anton Belov - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ilya Bryzgalov