Edmonton Oilers Fail To Hold On To Lead Against Calgary Flames


The Edmonton Oilers were haunted by ghosts of games’ past losing against the Calgary Flames in overtime on New Year’s eve. They were unable to increase, let alone hold on to a 2 goal lead in the third period and allowed the pesky Flames to mount a comeback (something of a theme in those lands this season) that ended with the home side taking two points.

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Why We Keep Watching:

  • The Battle of Alberta is back! At least for one night, these two teams were extremely entertaining, not falling behind on a day of great hockey highlighted by the Canada Vs USA match at the World Juniors. There were hits, ejections, fast paced hockey, chances on both ends and a lot of chirping. It was fun.
  • New Oiler Matt Fraser scored a goal. In just his second game, Matt Fraser got on the scoreboard. He and Derek Roy, the other Christmas present, have already made their presence felt. It’s early days, but they may prove to be more than a smoke bomb.
  • The Oilers have played a physical, won’t back down kind of game for 2 games in a row. This is unheard of. I fully credit the new coach for that. The guys looked like they actually want to play for once.
  • For what it’s worth, the team did manage to get a point on the second of back to back games. They had gone all the way to a shoot out just the night before, and were one d man down for two entire periods against a rested Flames’ squad.
  • The Power play showed a pulse, connecting in one of 3 chances.

Why We Seek Therapy On Twitter:

  • Ben Scrivens and his heart attack-inducing puck handling skills. This is a recurrent theme with good old Ben. He just wasn’t graced with the ability to handle the disc. Ben, we implore you to stay in the crease!.
  • Ben was good, but the tying goal was a stinker. He was very soft on the guy in front of him and seemed to lose track of the puck. Then the winning goal, it caught him deep in the crease and sailed about a quarter of an inch past his glove. He needs to have those, he really does. This is the second game in a row where the team in front of him has done a great job, he’s done a decent to great job, but then drops the ball at a critical time. Not unfairly he finished 2014 with a .857 SV%.
  • Speaking of dropping the ball, it wasn’t all Scrivens’ fault. The overtime goal came as a product of a really stupid line change. Both teams were playing 3 on 3 with coincidental penalties and most of the action was happening o the Oilers zone. As the penalties were expiring, both teams went for a change, with the puck still in the Flame’s possession in the neutral zone.Personally I don’t blame Schultz on this one, he was the man high and the logic option for a change. They were gassed, so at least one player had to switch. It was Ference, the leftie and the man behind Schultz who should have stayed. He didn’t even look at the penalty box, otherwise he would have realized the players were coming out.What happened next was, with the Flames’ bench closer to the Oilers’ zone, a fresh flame came in behind the changing Oilers and created a 2 on one with the guy coming out of the box. Taylor Hall did what he could and then Ben Scrivens failed to stop it. Such has been the year for this club.

The Conspiracy Inducing Stuff:

  • The refs were terrible on this one. They assessed a match penalty to Keith Aulie for leveling Matt Stajan at centre ice. They did not take into account that Stajan changed his angle to receive a very compromising pass and that Aulie was already committed. He didn’t leave his feet and the only reasons why Stajan got hit so hard were A) the enormous shoulder pads and, B) Aulie is 6’6, Stajan 6’1. Now the Oiler has a hearing with the NHL’s safety department. At least that hit did hurt someone, but then the refs gave Jeff Petry an embellishing penalty. Anyone following the Oilers knows Petry is the farthest thing from trying something like that, for better or worse. Petry is as vanilla as they come in terms of cheeky behavior and devious tactics. He is the Yang to David Perron‘s Yin. The zebras were just plain ridiculous.

And so ended 2014 for the Edmonton Oilers. The good news is they start the New Year with a new coach and a beatable team in the Colorado Avalanche. Here’s to a better 2015 for the Copper and Blue!