Exciting battle of Alberta exceeded noble expectations

Exciting battle of Alberta exceeded noble expectations

Edmonton – Listen, I won’t lie to you.

I supported this Battle of Alberta like no one else. Probably more than most.

All those Saturday nights in January, when the Edmonton Oilers had no chance of hosting the barely-lived Calgary Flames in Hockey night in CanadaI was the guy who writes about how one team can change their season by beating the other. How the Ghosts of Battles in the past have continued to guide these franchises, the way Belarusian landfill haunts Tommy Salo’s dreams.

Here’s the truth: For over 30 years, these two franchises have been a pair of derby donkeys.

Neither of them have won Jack since the ’80s, before most of you were born, and haven’t played a big match – a really important match – against each other since Esa Tikkanen’s shot from Frank Musil in overtime from Game 7 back in 1991. I think these two guys They are watching today’s series from Extended Care.

(Exaggeration alert – they are only 57 years old.)

Want numbers? And what about this:

Calgary and Edmonton have both gone to the Stanley Cup Final since the turn of the century, Calgary in 2004 and Edmonton in 2006. Both lost in Game 7.

It took the Flames 10 years to win the next playoff series. Edmonton missed the playoffs for 10 years after their trip to the final, a period known there as the Dark Decade.

In the 21 seasons in which no World Cup matches have taken place for each team since 2000, the two teams have combined to score five consecutive victories – all in the first round. Sutter, “A waste of eight days.”

Someone is going to win round two this year, but that’s not what we’re here to celebrate.

Today, Battle of Alberta doesn’t just have two teams that can defeat you. Today, that sure thing is back.

Back in the day, it was this game that gave us Steve Smith’s goal, or Wayne Gretzky’s favorite, out of the 1,026 joint goals in the regular season and playoff of his career. (You get to guess one what the target is).

Back in 2022, The Battle offers us actions you can’t get anywhere else, like the ’80s 9-6 ode to the first game. Winning an evening series with three more goals?

This series produced 23 goals in two games, the highest total in 35 years. We made a four-goal comeback by Edmonton in the first game, followed by four consecutive goals to wipe out a 3-1 delay in the second game.

“I mean, that’s fun, isn’t it?” Leon Driesitl, who is writing his own chapter in the records, said as he limped through the series about what he believed to be a sprained ankle. “The Battle of Alberta—both cities are so intense around it. They love it, and who knows when this will happen again, right?”

We will admit that the antics have been somewhat conservative.

Today’s version doesn’t have Doug Resbro ripping off an Oilers jersey with his sleds in the penalty area, nor does Glen Sather promising to bill a flame for said jacket. There’s no Craig MacTavish for ripping tongue out of Harvey the Hound’s mouth, like a guy taking a ticket at the deli counter, or Marty McSorley, who stabbed Mike Bullard’s thigh at the end of Koho and claimed amnesia when the media called.

Instead, we’ve got Ottawa Senators Captain Brady Tkachuk in the Saddledome stands, beer in hand and wearing a Calgary red and gold cheering for his brother Matt. Or the rarest of goals, as a player who was not included in a minor coincidentally exited the penalty area first, then failed to reach the blue line before his goal – but was not offside because Mazyah kicked the ball back into the area.

You can watch hockey for 25 years and not see that mix on target.

“It was different,” said Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft. “We won the game last night (where) we had two goals called again – and we found a way to win the match. I mean, how often does that happen?”

The last time Euler scored 20 points in a Stanley Cup playoff was Chris Brugger in 2006—in 24 games. Conor McDavid has 20 points in nine games.

It’s a high-profile business unlike any other, as McDavid rolls the playoffs with eight multi-point games in nine games. He’s the fastest player to score 20 points since Mario Lemieux 30 years ago, and is a solid run through the TV network featuring GTA’s Hart Trophy voters in full revisit mode.

‘Do I think what Connor is doing is special?’ said Woodcroft. ‘I don’t need to tell you that.’ I think we are all witnesses to what’s going on.”

The recipe is an Alberta delicacy second only to perogies and cabbage rolls, which are two hockey teams – one bigger and stronger with better aiming potential, as opposed to the other, a serviceable group behind the greatest hockey player and the other a top 5.

The dish, so far, has been great.

“This is a great time for both teams. A great time for both cities,” said Driesitl. “Obviously we want to not give up nine goals in the first game. But we had a good game last night, and I still think we haven’t shown our best yet.”

If you get better from here, count me.

2022-05-22 00:53:00

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