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GAME PREVIEW: Game 48/56 Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames

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Team back at it tonight after sweeping Winnipeg in two game series

Calgary Flames v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (29-16-2, 2nd in North) vs

Calgary Flames (21-24-3, 5th in North)

29 April 2021

Rogers Place

7 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Matchsticks and Gasoline

JETS GROUNDED

The Oilers picked up another two points last night in their 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Connor McDavid had three helpers, the Oilers were two-for-three on the power play, and Mikko Koskinen stopped all but one shot to pick up his eleventh win of the season. Edmonton leaves Winnipeg having outscored the Jets by a 9-2 margin in two games, they’ve won seven of their last ten, and they’ve got their sights set for the top of the mountain in the North Division.

The Oilers are right back at it tonight as they host the Calgary Flames from Rogers Place. The Flames are gunning for the fourth and final playoff spot, but they’ll need to do a lot of work to catch Montréal. Will the Oilers keep piling on points, or will we see some pushback from Calgary tonight?

Let’s go to the tape.

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

It’s pretty amazing...We know how special a player he is, but to be able to do it every night is another story. He does it in practice every day too, so we do get a taste of it. But obviously he’s having a special season and he’s a pretty spectacular player.

Source

That’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on Connor McDavid’s three point night, and his season so far.

Nugent-Hopkins picked up a power play goal and an assist in last night’s win. Connor McDavid picked up an assist on every goal, which gives him 84 total points on the season. It’s astounding just how good of a season it’s been for Connor McDavid, he needs 16 points in nine games to hit triple digits.

THE FLAMES ARE SAYING

Usually in a 2-1 game, the team with the lead really protects really well, protects the house...I think we had opportunities … I think we hit the post to tie it up. Those are like playoff games, to be quite honest with you.

Source

That’s Flames head coach Darryl Sutter on his club’s 2-1 loss to the Canadiens on Monday night.

The Flames really could have turned the tables on the Canadiens with a win on Monday night, but are now six points away from the last playoff spot in the North.

The Flames are 10-12 since Sutter has rejoined the Flames behind the bench.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • THE ROAR TO 84: Three more points for the best player in the game today gives him 84 points on the season with nine games to go. Is there any valid argument for anyone to win MVP other than Connor McDavid this season? (I said valid argument).
  • SPECIAL TEAMS: Oilers ring the bell 2 of 3 on the power play last night, you’ll take that any day of the week. With a 26.8% success rate, the Oilers are less than one percentage point behind the first overall power play in Carolina.
  • JUST SCORE, BABY: Since Edmonton’s week off during the middle of the month, the Oilers have scored 19 goals in five games. Nothing lasts forever, but if the Oilers can keep scoring five goals a game for as long as they can, that’d be great.
  • MCLEOD, INC: It’s a safe bet that Ryan McLeod will learn a lot of things about becoming a NHL hockey player if he’s between Devin Shore and Josh Archibald. I don’t know that scoring a boatload of points will be one of them. As long as the Oilers are putting in nearly five goals a game, McLeod can be eased along on the third line. I think he’d benefit greatly from having a player like Tyler Ennis on his left side to make things work out a little smoother.
  • NET GAINS: Mike Smith will look for win number 18 (17-5-2, .923 SV% / 2.32 GAA / 3 SO) tonight after Mikko Koskinen picked up the W last night. Expect Jacob Markstrom (17-17-2, .903 SV% / 2.73 GAA / 3 SO) for Calgary.
  • TWO REASONS: The Flames are probably going to undergo a forensic audit or some other technical jargon at the end of the year in order to figure out why they missed the playoffs. There’s a couple of good reasons, and they’re pretty easy to figure out. They’re ranked 25th in goals scored this year, and the goaltending has been bad. They outspent the Oilers to get Jacob Markstrom for the next six years, and they’ve got a wild .903 SV% to show for it. That ranks him 29th in the league among goalies with 20+ games. If you can’t score and you can’t stop pucks, it’s going to be a rough time out there.
  • SLOW BURN: Calgary looked like they were cooked just a few weeks ago, but they’ve managed to hang around while compiling a 4-3 record since their last meeting with the Oilers. A win against Montréal on Monday would have done wonders for their confidence; but with eight games to go and six points away, everything is going to need to fall just right for them in order to come close to that fourth spot in the North.
  • Oilers are firmly in second place, but they’ll be within 5 of Toronto with a regulation win tonight. Let’s get at it.