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Game Recap: Calgary 6, Edmonton 4

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Oilers fall below .500 after poor goaltending performance against rival Flames

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Battle of Alberta hasn’t occurred since February 1, 2020. A year later, we have our first BoA of 2021. Both team’s representatives of the rivalry, Tkachuk and Kassian, agreed that these teams do NOT like each other.

Biggest news for Edmonton coming into this game is based on roster movement: Ethan Bear to IR, and Troy Grosenick to LA via waivers. With Smith coming in hurt, and potentially not good, Ken Holland needs to stop losing the third goalie on the roster to waivers. Such a waste of assets and terrible roster management.

Lines for today:

RNH-McDavid-JP
Kahun-Drai-YamFry
Neal-Turris-Kassian
Khaira-Archibald

Nurse-Barrie
Russell-Bouchard
Koekkoek-Lagesson
Larsson

Koskinen

Here we go!

First Period

Lindholm scores on the first shot of the game for the Flames, right after Markstrom stones Barrie on the other side. 1-0 Flames.

Tkachuk off early for roughing after giving Yamamoto a swinging back fist, which can hopefully give the Oilers a spark after a sleepy start. Only one shot on goal, and the captain left the ice gingerly after getting tangled up along the boards.

However right after the powerplay, Jujhar Khaira keeps the play alive behind the net and then tips home the point shot! 1-1 game. Lagesson with the assist, and his first NHL point on that goal.

The Oilers continue to buzz after the goal, but Markstrom shuts the door on a few good Oilers’ chances by all lines. The third line is starting to produce chances with their renewed chemistry (after scratching Neal last game?) and I think they are due for one. Shots 7-1 for Oilers midway through the period. Bouchard looks awesome, Barrie gets better every game. When Bear gets back... the Oilers need to sit Larsson.

Something of note, McDavid buried Giordano from behind in the corner. He knows that number well. And he might of rattled Giordano, as the Flames Captain clears it over the glass on his next shift. Powerplay Oilers. The Oilers put a few shots on goal, including a golden opportunity for Puljuljarvi, but no goals and still a tie game. Shots 14-2 Oilers.

The Oilers are back to the powerplay after Nordstrom clips Koskinen in his crease. This time, no mistake. Connor McDavid roofs it after a beautiful cross-ice pass from RNH. Edmonton is up 2-1 late in the first period.

A few more awesome chances from guys like Turris, Bouchard, etc, but no more goals. The Oilers go into the break with a 2-1 lead in goals and a 17-3 lead in shots.

Second Period

Once again, the Flames score right away in the second period. Russell is lost in front of the net, defending nobody, and Lucic puts one behind Koskinen. Russell can join Larsson in the press box, as far as I’m concerned. And if that weren’t enough, Backlund scores less than two minutes later. That one is squarely on Koskinen, who has now allowed three goals on eight shots —> PATHETIC. Calgary up 3-2 in no time at all, after the Oilers dominated the first.

The Flames honestly have no business being in this game, but yet lead? If Koskinen allows another, I think I’d like to see Stuart Skinner. Oilers need the next one.

And... the Oilers allow a breakaway to Lindholm, but Koskinen shuts the door. And then Tkachuk wants to take on Nurse? Be my guest.

Thankfully, the Flames take another penalty – hooking on Nordstrom. Not a good effort here. McDavid takes a penalty as well after running into Markstrom. But guess what? Tanev tripped McDavid, yet the referees missed that one. McDavid went right for Giordano though, as obviously his memory is long still (as mentioned before). I think Gio and McJesus will scrap sometime in their career against each other. No damage on the Flames PP.

Tkachuk throws a hit on Koskinen, pinning him against the post. Once again, I do hate him. But at least he’s visible, where the f$%k is Kassian tonight? I thought he lived for the BofA.

Polar opposite periods from the Flames and Oilers. Goaltending the major difference, as the Oilers barely have one. 3-2 Flames, shots are 22-19 for the Oilers.

Third Period

Just over a minute, McDavid and Puljuljarvi exchange a give and go which results in a beautiful goal, JP’s third of the year. What a stud he’s become this year. 3-3. Even Koskinen picks up an apple on the goal after making a big save on the other end of the ice.

However, right after the next faceoff, Jesse is guilty of a slashing call on Tkachuk. Bit of a softie but such is life. Dube slams one home, 4-3 after the PPG. Once again, goes through Koskinen. Another one he needs to have, as his soft goals against often deflate the team. Hard to outscore the Oilers goaltending woes some days.

A miscommunication in the Flames end for the Oilers ends up in the Oilers net. Perfect shot by Gaudreau and it’s 5-3 Flames. I’m ready to call it a night.

Off-setting penalties by Flames and Oilers. Interference on Nuge, embellishment on Lindholm. 4 on 4 for two minutes. Puljuljarvi gave Barrie an open net dime, but he couldn’t cash it. However, Kahun and Draisaitl are able to find Nurse wide open in the slot and he wrists it past Markstrom. 5-4 Flames.

Well, Bennett scores. 6-4 Flames. Missed defensive assignment and it goes through Koskinen again. Never thought I’d say this, but I can’t wait to see Mike Smith again. Oilers press a bit in the last minute, but it’s too late. Drop below .500 with a 6-7 record.

Notes from tonight:

  • Bouchard is awesome and should be a fixture in the lineup going forward (such great passing and not afraid to shoot).
  • Koskinen is the worst starting goalie in the Canadian division; Holland’s only mission right now should be to find a better goaltender.
  • Russell is not better than Caleb Jones or Slater Koekkoek.
  • RNH is not worth $8MM per year. If they put a $7 mil AAV in front of him, he should run with it. He might not even be the third best forward on the team.