There is no denying that Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers matches are always a delight for ardent followers of the National Hockey League. This storied rivalry, popularly known as the Battle of Alberta, is pretty intense because it manifests the longstanding discord between the two cities due to politics and the hosting of events. According to Betway, the standard of hockey in Alberta has dropped since these powerhouses won six Stanley Cups in the 80s. Here are some insights into what the future holds for the Battle of Alberta.
Brief History Of the Battle of Alberta
The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers locked horns over who should have the bragging rights of Alberta’s best hockey team immediately after the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980 following the NHL-WHA merger. Since then, the Flames have dominated their bitter rivals in regular-season encounters, winning 136 times compared to Edmonton’s 109 wins.
The Flames have also won away at Edmonton more than the Oilers have prevailed in Calgary. Additionally, the Calgary Flames have a better goal-scoring record in the Battle of Alberta. On the other hand, the Edmonton Oilers have dominated the playoffs, defeating their rivals 19 times and losing just 11. The Oilers have also won five Stanley Cups thanks to the great dynasty team that ruled the NHL from 1983-to 1990. In contrast, the Flames only managed to win their Stanley Cup in 1989, ending the Oiler’s long standing dominance in the process.
More To Come
It is clear that Calgary has the upper hand over Edmonton in the regular season, but the Oilers perform well when it matters most. Additionally, both teams are pale shadows of themselves, having made just one unsuccessful appearance each in the Stanley Cup finals since their last trophy win. Nevertheless, there is a lot to look forward to in the Battle of Alberta, including:
More Matthew Tkachuk-Zack Kassian feuds
There is no love lost between Flames’ pesky winger Tkachuk and Oilers’ tough guy Kassian anytime they meet on the ice. Their bad blood is widely regarded as one of the reasons why the Battle of Alberta remains fierce and one-to-watch in recent times. Tkachuk and Kassian have been at it since 2018, but their feud flared up in a heated game on January 11, 2020. Tkachuk clobbered Kassian with two “predatory” body checks which the latter didn’t take lightly. This encounter led to a brief fistfight, a loss for the Flames, a two-game suspension for Kassian, and some trash talk afterward. Future encounters between these two sides will undoubtedly be fierier if these two spirited players are on the same hockey rink.
Improved Match Quality
Many fans agree that the rivalry between the two sides has lessened because the legendary players who clashed against one another no longer represent them. However, Edmonton has Connor McDavid, the league’s best and highest-paid player, tied down till 2026. The Oilers intend to slowly build a team capable of winning the Stanley Cup around their star player, so they are definitely improving in quality. The Flames have more work to do to rule the NHL again, but their talented young players show a lot of promise that can make them a force to reckon with again. Therefore, expect improved quality in future matches between these two sides.