Calgary Flames Daily: Battle of Alberta, Sam Bennett’s struggles

CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 21: Sam Bennett
CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 21: Sam Bennett /
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Tonight, we’ll have another edition of the Battle of Alberta as the Calgary Flames play the Edmonton Oilers. We’ll also be looking at how Sam Bennett’s been doing, all in today’s Flames Daily.

Tonight, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will go head to head for the second Battle of Alberta matchup of the season. The first matchup didn’t go so well for the Flames. It was the season opener for both teams and Edmonton won by a score of 3-0 with a hat trick from Connor McDavid.

But things have gone uphill for the Flames since then and they’ve been going downhill for the Oilers. Since then, the Flames 14-9-1 and the Oilers are 9-14-2 and sit in third last place in the league.

The Flames will be looking to win vs. the Oilers for the first time in over a year. They lost all four matchups last season and lost the season-opener this season. But one player they’ll have to look out for is Connor McDavid. He scored a hat-trick in the season-opener and has nine goals and 13 points in eight games vs. the Flames.

Related Story: Mike Smith shines in loss to Oilers

McDavid will be going head-to-head vs. a former friend, whose parents live just a few blocks down from McDavid’s parents house. That’s Sam Bennett. It’s no secret that Bennett has had a rough start to his season. But he’s on a two-game point streak right now and his line with Mark Jankowski and Jaromir Jagr have been doing great.

Via Calgary Sun:

"“With all the analytics we do with Sam, it was the second-best segment as a Flame as far as with what he created and how many chances he had,” said head coach Glen Gulutzan. “It was just a matter of time before he was rewarded and he was rewarded (on Thursday).”“I mean, that top line has been unbelievable for us,” Bennett said. “It’s definitely nice to contribute offensively and we know we have to do that to have success. It definitely feels good.”“I definitely think over the last couple games, I’ve started to feel better,” he said. “Our line has been generated a lot of chances — I know that if the chances are there, eventually the production is going to come.“So, I’m going to keep playing like I’m playing.”"

Two days ago, we talked about the potential of Kris Versteeg requiring surgery and being out for the rest of the season. The Calgary Flames confirmed yesterday that Versteeg would need surgery and he’ll now be month-to-month.

Related Story: Flames Daily: Versteeg may be out for the season

Via Calgary Sun:

"“He’ll be rehabbing here,” said Flames GM Brad Treliving. “I’ll probably have a better idea on Monday because now we know he’s going to have the procedure done. We’ll talk to the doctors and they’ll say, ‘This is exactly what was performed.’ And we’ll have a better idea. But it’s a long rehab process and it’s going to take time. As we go along, we’ll have a better indication (of the recovery timeline).”“I don’t think it’s the end of his career,” he said. “I don’t look at it like that. It’s a hurdle. But Kris isn’t an old man. I think he’s still got a lot of hockey left. I don’t like putting time frames on it — who knows what’s going to happen this year? We’re hopeful. But let’s just take one step at a time.”"

Some links surrounding the Flames

Game Day: Flames vs. Oilers (Calgary Sun).

Versteeg month-to-month with hip surgery (Calgary Sun).

Battered Flames forward Bennett begins recovery process (Calgary Sun).

Jankowski heating up as Flames prepare for Oilers (Yahoo Sports).

Flames sophomore Matthew Tkachuk hits 100-game plateau (Calgary Sun).

Some links surrounding hockey and the NHL

Five things we learned in NHL: Jets take top spot in West (Sportsnet).

NHL.com selects its All-Star rosters (NHL.com).

Cracknell: Striving to get back to the NHL (Montreal Canadiens).

Blackhawks place Crawford on injured reserve (NHL.com).

Next: Underrated centreman - Sean Monahan

That’s all in today’s Calgary Flames Daily!