Saturday, 3 December 2011

Battle of Alberta, Edmonton, 8:00 PM, HNIC

Every Battle of Alberta means something.

Even to the most insignificant ant, or to the largest elephant, it's a freaking Battle of Alberta.

The passion
The anger
The outright outrage of a Battle of Alberta.

A guaranteed fight, a guaranteed goal that gets you out of your seat, you're always rooting for one or the other.

Here's hoping you pick the Oilers.

Game Story
With the team already near the basement, it's impossible to imagine how it would be without the stalwart and injury free play of Mark Giordano.

The Oilers and the Flames are coming off beating the basement silly - Columbus was dropped in a shootout against the Flames, while the Oilers decided to wake up for one period of hockey and score 5 goals. If they played for three periods, they could most likely score 15. That's the way statistics goes*.

The Oilers have been trending downward since their fantastical start. They've been beyond .500, which is great for a team that has finished 30th twice in a row, but with losses in winnable games to Minnesota and the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers find themselves on the outside looking in.
A better team than the stats reveal? Time will tell - but the Oilers have been a fantastic home-team. If they got their road game on track... this could be some kind of wonderful.

The Flames have been stagnating, which is not a place to be when you are placed in the bottom tier of teams in the NHL. Without Mark Giordano in their lineup, likely out 2-4 months with a leg injury, the Flames could be looking at some serious D-deficiencies.

With an aging Mikka "I-play-every-night" Kipprusoff in net, the Flames and their age might just have reached the breaking point.

At least they still have Iginla**.

Is it just me? Or is Taylor Hall ready to come back from his injury, like, now? They'll probably give him another week, just to be on the safe side, but the kid is raring to go.

With him in, we'll have three offensive, dynamic lines, and one line featuring Darcy Hordichuk.

The biggest change from last night will be the insertion of Khabibulin over Dubnyk and possibly the insertion of Lander, which is still pending his infected wrist.

O'Marra has done an admirable job of keeping up the reputation of the name of Ryan, which was obviously a given.

Glorious Prediction - Are you serious? These young guns, one of the high flying teams on offence, vs that defence? No contest. Oilers romp, with Eberle being number 50 to score a MadHatter with an Oilers jersey. 7-1.
Realistic Prediction - At the risk of cursing and ultimately dooming this team and being right, the Oilers should take this one with a solid outing by every facet of the team. Gagner scores to make it 3-1 in the third, although Iggy comes back with a goal, a little too late. 3-2.
ELPH Prediction - The ultimate ELPH prediction - we lose the Battle of Alberta on national TV when Olli Jokenin feeds Curtis Glencross for his hat trick. 5-0 Calgary.

*As per The Stats School of realnairrishi
**Pending the next episode of Trade-or-no-trade

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