It’s the second-to-last Battle of Alberta this NHL season as the
Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.
While the Oilers have been eliminated from the playoff
race, the Flames believe they still have a chance. Their probabilities were a
bit better a couple of weeks ago before they lost six of seven.
They are just two points out of a playoff spot but the
problem is that they have played two more games than the Anaheim Ducks, which
is the team they are chasing.
They have a gimme on Saturday night with the Edmonton
Oilers on tap and that should allow them to get back on track.
The Calgary Flames
Can Win Because…:
The Edmonton Oilers are brutal.
If there is one team you want to face when you are
slumping, it’s the Edmonton Oilers. They have been the worst team in the NHL
throughout the majority of the season and once again they are in the midst of
an extended losing streak. The current stretch has seen the Oilers lose eight
straight and they can barely even score these days.
Edmonton has managed a paltry seven goals in those eight
games, scoring more than one goal just once in that span.
Part of the problem is that they are decimated by injury.
Taylor Hall, Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Gilbert Brule are out.
That’s a lot to take off of a team that was short on talented scorers to begin
In their latest outing – a 4-0 loss to the St. Louis
Blues – the Oilers managed a season-low 12 shots and didn’t even register a
shot in the third period until there was 68 seconds remaining.
They are about the equivalent of an AHL team right now
and if Calgary has even a morsel of pride to them, they are going to roll the
Oilers in this contest.
Oilers Can Win Because…:
The Calgary Flames are slumping just as much right now.
They have just one win in seven tries and while Edmonton
has the excuse of losing in a time when they have nothing on the line, the
Flames are supposed to be chasing a playoff spot and they can’t get it
For all of the problems that Edmonton has had scoring,
the Flames have had equal problems stopping their opponents from scoring.
Calgary has allowed 26 goals in their last seven while permitting three or more
in five of those seven games.
Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff has lost his way once again
as he has just one win in his last six outings while posting a GAA of 3.95 in
that span. If there is one goaltender that might get the Oilers out of their
scoring funk, it might be Kiprusoff.
Outlook & NHL
There’s no question that Calgary is the NHL odds favorite here, and that they should walk away with
the win in this contest but the question is whether the ticket is worth the
Calgary has just one win in their last seven and laying
juice in the neighborhood of -200 might not be the shrewdest financial
But in this case, don’t shy away from the moneyline. The
Flames need this one badly and the Oilers have simply tapped out. They can’t
score, they can’t win and they can’t stay healthy. All signs point to a Flames
win in this contest.