Flames Need Win (Again) In Season’s Final Battle Of Alberta


Second chances don’t come around often enough.
For the Edmonton Oilers, they have another shot at officially ending the Calgary Flames’ painful-to-watch, drawn out, playoff aspirations, when the Battle of Alberta takes place for the sixth and final time this season at the Scotiabank Saddledome (7:30 MST on Rogers Sportsnet West in Canada).
Calgary, playing its penultimate 2010/11 regular season game, will need to be much better in the first 40 minutes than it was against the Oilers, 11 days ago in Edmonton. Down 4-1 heading into the third, the Flames somehow managed to scrape away a 5-4 shootout win and prolong the season.
We’re on our third cat and 27th life by this point, so there really is nothing left to leave out. The Flames have won seven straight over the Oilers at the ‘Dome, and four of five this season, but as always the Oilers have nothing left to play for (sending players to next month’s World Championships doesn’t count) besides beating Calgary.
Our neighbour to the north at Oil On Whyte (http://oilonwhyte.com/) has been boisterous in the two consecutive wins over the President’s Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks, but I’ve yet to hear any trash-talking chatter through our collective network yet today.
Maybe it’s because his AHL team can’t win three in a row?
Either way, Calgary needs a win. A scenario they’ve seemed to have had since late December when Darryl Sutter was fired/asked to leave/resigned/disappeared into the abyss – whatever the really story may be. Fans figured out that Calgary had to win two of every three games left, at that point, to potential earn a playoff spot.
Now the team needs to win its remaining two in an attempt to make number three even happen.
We’re tied with Dallas at 91 points, after the Stars shutout the once again lowly Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 last night. Chicago, who earned a point during a 2-1 overtime loss at Montreal, last night, and Anaheim each have 93 points.
But the Blackhawks, Ducks and Stars each have three games remaining, with Chicago hosting the St. Louis Blues (90 minutes before puck drop in Calgary) and Anaheim hosting the San Jose Sharks (30 minutes later than the Battle of Alberta’ start) tonight, compared to Calgary’s two, making the odds unfair in my opinion.
Whatever the results, the Western Conference picture could finally become fairly clear, for the first time since the pre-Rebecca Black era, after this evening’s games.
Go Blues! Go Sharks! Go Flames! Or go golfing!