Edmonton Oilers: Looking to Keep Undefeated Streak Alive Against Flames

EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 25: Leon Draisaitl
EDMONTON, AB - JANUARY 25: Leon Draisaitl /

Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames will go head-to-head in the 4th installment of the Battle of Alberta for the 2017/18 season.

The Edmonton Oilers have yet to be defeated by the Flames in nearly two seasons going back to the end of the 2014/15 season. And you can be sure that the Oilers are licking their chops at the idea of adding one more win to a streak that’ll go up to 8 games in a row if they win tonight.

Another reason there’s excitement in the air tonight amongst Oilers fans is that Edmonton has a chance to put a massive dent in the Flames playoff chances with a win.

If Edmonton does indeed defeat Calgary tonight, the Flames’ playoff chances go from 16.3% to 8.3%.

Not only that but don’t forget that the Flames, in their infinite wisdom, acquired Travis Hamonic and a 2018 4th rounder (conditional) from the Islanders for their 2018 1st and 2nd round picks as well as a 2019 2nd round pick (which is also conditional).

That 1st rounder isn’t lottery protected. Uh oh!

Imagine a scenario where the Edmonton Oilers have a direct hand in causing the Calgary Flames to lose out on Rasmus Dahlin, Andrei Svechnikov, or Brady Tkachuk!

Speaking of Tkachuk, Matthew will not be in the lineup tonight as he’s out due to a suspected concussion.

I am quite relieved, to be honest. I like Tkachuk as a player but despise him when the Edmonton Oilers play against the Flames. That said, he adds that element of emotion back into the Battle of Alberta that’s been missing for some time now. Maybe going as far back as the early 90s when Esa Tikkanen and Theo Fleury were running around getting on everyone’s nerves.

What to look for tonight: More production from Connor McDavid!

He’s got the eye of the tiger right now, and the Art Ross is in his sights. Is it that far-fetched to think that he’s going to do whatever he can to try to win the Hart and be the first player since Mario Lemieux (1988) to win it without his team making the playoffs?

There’s also this from OilersNation.com:

"McDavid has 7-5-12 in the Oilers seven-game winning streak over the Flames. He has 15 points in ten career games versus Calgary. He has 18 goals in his past 19 games and if he scores a pair tomorrow he will join Oveckin, Evgeni Malkin and Patrik Laine as the only players to score 20 goals in any 20-game stretch over the past seven seasons. Malkin did it on February 23rd and Laine scored his 20th in his past 20 games last night. He actually has 16 goals in his past 12 games and is ripping it up for the Jets. (source)"

Another strong performance from Cam Talbot.

Talbot has been up to his old tricks since Valentine’s day. In the 12 games he’s played since February 14th, the Oilers no.1 goalie has won 6 games, lost six games, has a .923 SV% and a 2.31 GAA, which is good for 7th best amongst all of the NHL netminders in that same time frame.

Domination from Jesse Puljujarvi.

Can you believe this guy is only 19 years old?!

We need to see some more offense from Puljujarvi down the stretch here. I think we can all confidently say that he’s got the ability to score in the NHL but if he’s going to be a player on this team that drives wins home, we’re going to have to see production too. He’s got an excellent playmaking center in Strome, he’s getting the other team’s 3rd liners, and he’s getting time on the power play now. We should see points converted sooner than later here.

Continued excellence on the penalty kill.

Since Valentine’s Day, the Edmonton Oilers have the 2nd best PK in the NHL with 91.4%, and if they can go another game without allowing a goal being down a man, there’s a good chance they’ll jump out of the last place in the NHL for the penalty kill.

I hope you enjoy the game tonight! Keep an eye out for Mike (@OilersLive) if you’re at the game. He’s looking for some Oilers fans to do some sound clips for his podcast!