2019-20 Game 47: Oilers at Flames

I used to live in Red Deer, and some of that time featured the glory days of the Oilers-Flames rivalry. Rod on one radio channel, Peter Maher on the other. Television: ITV, 2&7.

I was in my 20’s, the Oilers were too. I loved them. Beyond fun. Name a player, he did something worth watching. Vicious? That was one guy’s nickname. Crazy? Pretty sure, although no one had the nerve to have No. 11 tested.

Flames looked and acted like a bunch of thugs and I hated them. I remember listening to a game while driving down Gaetz Avenue, looked down and realized I was speeding from rage. Thank goodness no police clocked me. I’d get too riled up to sleep at night, that’s the truth.

The current rivalry is just percolating and we don’t know the quality yet, but there is some promise. Tonight’s game is a Saturday Damnation edition and the Oilers are coming off a poor performance December 27 in Edmonton. Back in the 1980’s, I’d be distracted by 10am, rumbling by 2pm and shaking by 6pm. I’d love to see those days again.

THE ATHLETIC!

The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here. 

  • New Lowetide: Projecting William Lagesson’s future with the Edmonton Oilers
  • New Jonathan Willis: Kailer Yamamoto has impressed the Oilers and especially star linemate Leon Draisaitl
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: 10 bold predictions for the Edmonton Oilers in 2020
  • Jonathan Willis: Mike Smith stars in Oilers victory, but others’ struggles could prompt changes
  • Jonathan Willis: Inside a coach’s impact: How Dave Tippett gets the most out of the Oilers’ players
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Deciding what to do with Darnell Nurse, Mike Smith, Tyler Benson and Evan Bouchard
  • LowetideKen Holland’s targets for his first trade deadline with the Oilers.
  • Minnia Feng: Zamboni Ursula: What if Oilers fans could change something in the team’s past?
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland’s trade deadline options for the Oilers
  • Jonathan Willis: ‘That’s the nicest goal I’ve ever seen’: Connor McDavid’s teammates amazed by his latest effort
  • Jonathan Willis: Oilers notebook: James Neal’s resurgence, Matt Benning’s injury and the Tyler Benson recall temptation
  • Lowetide: Oilers farmhands are pushing hard for NHL jobs
  • Jonathan Willis: Zack Kassian’s breakout performance presents Oilers GM Ken Holland with a familiar dilemma
  • Lowetide: Ken Holland, the Oilers amateur procurement department and the 2020 draft
  • Lowetide: Complete Oilers top 20 prospects list, winter 2019

OILERS AFTER 47 GAMES

  • Oilers in 2015-16: 19-23-5, 43 points; goal differential -22
  • Oilers in 2016-17: 25-15-7, 57 points; goal differential +7
  • Oilers in 2017-18: 21-23-3, 45 points; goal differential -24
  • Oilers in 2018-19: 23-21-3, 49 points; goal differential -7
  • Oilers in 2019-20: 24-17-5, 53 points; goal differential -2

This year’s model is clearly No. 2 among the McDavid Oilers but remains in the range with the playoff crew. I’m impressed with how much tightening we’ve seen in recent games in the goal differential. Work to do but nice progress.

ON THE 10’S

  • First 10 games: 7-2-1
  • Second 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Third 10 games: 5-4-1
  • Fourth 10 games: 3-6-1
  • Current 10 games: 4-1-1. 

OILERS IN JANUARY

  • Oilers in January 2016: 2-2-1, five points; goal differential -2
  • Oilers in January 2017: 2-3-0, four points; goal differential -3
  • Oilers in January 2018: 1-4-0, two points; goal differential -12
  • Oilers in January 2019: 3-2-0, six points; goal differential -4
  • Oilers in January 2020: 3-0-1, seven points; goal differential +4

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM JANUARY

  • On the road to: BUF, BOS, TOR, MTL, CAL (Expected 2-2-1) (Actual 3-0-1)
  • At home to: NAS, ARI, CAL, STL (Expected 1-2-1)
  • Overall expected result: 3-4-2, eight points in nine games
  • Current results: 3-0-1seven points in four games

Insane. Heresy. Liar! Impossible! These are things someone who left the country New Year’s Eve might saw when viewing this January record for the Oilers. This team hit some famous towns and robbed them of their silver and gold. Can they do it tonight?

OILERS 2019-20

Oilers roll into this game having used two goalies, 10 defensemen and 17 forwards. I was fairly certain we’d be at about 35 by now overall, haven’t yet cracked 30. I do think Tyler Benson has to be close though. No one can deny the impact of Kailer Yamamoto, why not send yourself another potential Red Bull?

CONDORS 2019-20

Hell’s a poppin’ in California these days, several Oilers prospects are spiking in the last little while. Tyler Benson is 1-11-12 in his last eight games, Evan Bouchard is 3-3-6 in his last eight, Stuart Skinner is 3-1-0, 2.22, .941 in his last four starts. Benson is the only one I can see being recalled from the trio, but there are some nice things happening in Bakersfield. Word is Bouchard is getting better in coverage too, perhaps the best news of all.

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441 Responses to "2019-20 Game 47: Oilers at Flames"

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  1. JimmyV1965 says:

    This team is two forwards from being very competitive. Holland needs to address this. Also, Bear needs a break. Sitting a rookie for a game or two is not punishment.

  2. buffalobill says:

    Harpers Hair,

    No , early in the game he was hit in the head and his helmet flew off

  3. Harpers Hair says:

    See above.

  4. Bag of Pucks says:

    I would bet there’s not a single Oiler who doesn’t appreciate Kassian taking Tkachuk out for a spin. I’m quite certain he’s one of the most hated players in the league.

    It was one thing to play like that back in the day when you knew you might have to answer the bell, but playing like that now with fighting almost wholly marginalized just means you’re a prick. I just wish Kassian could’ve rearranged his face a little more. Love that HNIC slo mo’d it between periods. Classic Canadiana.

    The Oilers had the entire period to answer back. But from poor puck control by Koskinen to poor cycle defending by the D to lack of a sustained forecheck by the Fs, there was plenty of blame to go around for this loss.

    Overall, a hugely successful road trip and this team is really rounding into shape nicely. Still not convinced on either of the tenders but hopefully they can hold it together for a playoff push.

  5. Bag of Pucks says:

    Was nice to see some battle back in the Battle of Alberta too. I miss the days when hockey was, “If we can’t beat them on the ice, we’ll beat them on the streets.” Hockey is an infinitely better sport when the hard areas are exactly that.

    For all the talk of how much better the players are now, that is one area where the stars of today have it so much easier. NHL hockey used to be a fairly vicious sport until the nanny state had its say.

  6. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks:
    I would bet there’s not a single Oiler who doesn’t appreciate Kassian taking Tkachuk out for a spin. I’m quite certain he’s one of the most hated players in the league.

    It was one thing to play like that back in the day when you knew you might have to answer the bell, but playing like that now with fighting almost wholly marginalized just means you’re a prick. I just wish Kassian could’ve rearranged his face a little more. Love that HNIC slo mo’d it between periods. Classic Canadiana.

    The Oilers had the entire period to answer back. But from poor puck control by Koskinen to poor cycle defending by the D to lack of a sustained forecheck by the Fs, there was plenty of blame to go around for this loss.

    Overall, a hugely successful road trip and this team is really rounding into shape nicely. Still not convinced on either of the tenders but hopefully they can hold it together for a playoff push.

    Zack Kassian: Eff first place in the division. 10th place in the conference and out of a playoff position is preferable. And playing the Fool to Tkachuk.

  7. v4ance says:

    I rewatched it multiple times on DTMTS. I think Bear has the least responsibility on the goal.

    One forward was at the far blueline hoping for a stretch pass and then went for the long change when the forechecker Ryan blocked that option standing in front of the net.

    Bear did have the option to send it to Nurse right away but then Nurse would have gotten Dube coming off the bench right towards him.

    Bear paused to look all over the ice to evaluate his options before going to Haas, which he felt was the safest option.

    Haas did circle back and Bear waited to send it to him on his forehand with his head up. Bear could have sent it to him earlier towards the boards on his backhand but passes have been missed when the forwards weren’t expecting it.

    Gagner came back for puck support or as a quick moving pick on Lucic so Haas could have skated past them and had a clean exit if he’d just put his stick out and taken Bear’s pass cleanly. I think that was the other reason Bear waited was to allow Gagner to help on the developing play.

    Once Ryan recovered the puck and took the shot, Bear boxed out Ryan and waited for Koskinen to freeze it but Koski never reacted and then it got banged home.

  8. Bling says:

    Great game.

    Entertaining as hell.

    The answer to Tkachuk is and always will be, win the damn game.

  9. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10: Zack Kassian:Eff first place in the division.10th place in the conference and out of a playoff position is preferable.And playing the Fool to Tkachuk.

    Unless it happens inside the last minute, one play doesn’t decide a hockey game. They had an entire period to answer back.

    Zack Kassian didn’t make the NHL because of his exceptional ability to turn the other cheek.

    It always makes me laugh when sports fans expect more from the players than themselves. I’m pretty positive if I drilled you twice, you’d want to retaliate with extreme prejudice. They’re hockey players, not diplomats,

  10. who says:

    I have ZERO problems with Kassians play tonight. And I’m sure his teammates don’t either. Tkachuk took 3 clear runs at him. The first one, on the wrap around attempt, was probably the cleanest. The other two were charges when Kassian was engaged with another player. It seems pretty obvious he was targeting Kassian.
    Did any of you guys criticizing Kassian ever play competitive hockey?
    Tkachuk is a punk. If you are going to run around the ice looking to blindside guys you had better be willing to drop the gloves. I’d be embarrassed if I was him. And I’m glad Edmonton didn’t draft him.
    And Brian Burke is full of shit on this one. There was nothing clean about the hit that started that fight.

  11. Bling says:

    Bag of Pucks: Unless it happens inside the last minute, one play doesn’t decide a hockey game. They had an entire period to answer back.

    Zack Kassian didn’t make the NHL because of his exceptional ability to turn the other cheek.

    It always makes me laugh when sports fans expect more from the players than themselves. I’m pretty positive if I drilled you twice, you’d want to retaliate with extreme prejudice. They’re hockey players, not diplomats,

    Sure, but Kassian has hit some guys pretty hard in his career, too.

    Remember that time he broke Gagner’s jaw? If memory serves, he was laughing afterwards.

    Kassian got targeted by a better version of himself. I don’t blame him for standing up for himself, but as GoDot is arguing, there is just too much on the line. The margins are too small, and in seeking revenge out of personal frustration he put himself before the team.

  12. Bag of Pucks says:

    who,

    Yup. He’s basically Matt Cooke the sequel. Is it going take another Marc Savard severity injury before people see that?

  13. duct tape and foil says:

    You deal with young Matthew this way. Roll by the bench making chicken arms, have the crowd make chicken noises every time he steps on the ice. The guy’s ball’s would shrink into peas after a period or two of that. He’s a coward and you just have call him out as such publicly.

  14. Bag of Pucks says:

    Bling: Sure, but Kassian has hit some guys pretty hard in his career, too.

    Remember that time he broke Gagner’s jaw? If memory serves, he was laughing afterwards.

    Kassian got targeted by a better version of himself. I don’t blame him for standing up for himself, but as GoDot is arguing, there is just too much on the line. The margins are too small, and in seeking revenge out of personal frustration he put himself before the team.

    Players like a Kassian HAVE to respond to that. If he lets little turtles like Tchachuk get away with 2 or 3 shots like that a game, then the whole league sees it and will think he’s lost his edge. This is what warriors do. And believe me, the skill players like the tough guys doing this. Nobody in that dressing room is blaming Kass for the loss, nor should they.

  15. Bag of Pucks says:

    As per usual, Burke was a bit of an ass in his assessment imo. Yeah, by the letter of the law, it’s a clean hit. But Tkachuk’s MO is always the same, he comes in behind his target’s line of sight with hits that are right at the borderline of charging or hits to the head.

    Plus, Burke saying Tkachuk shouldn’t have to answer the bell for a clean hit? The old saying, “if you don’t want the horns…” applies here. Tkachuk knew who he was antagonizing all night long. Burke is criticizing Kassian for fighting a smaller player when he knows the Code is pretty much dead. In the old days, if Kassian fought Tkachuk, he’d knew he’d be fighting Lucic later in the game. But those days are dead Brian. If little Mattie doesn’t want to get rag dolled by the light heavy division, then he should only pull this crap when Milan is on the ice to protect him.

  16. godot10 says:

    Bag of Pucks: Unless it happens inside the last minute, one play doesn’t decide a hockey game. They had an entire period to answer back.

    Zack Kassian didn’t make the NHL because of his exceptional ability to turn the other cheek.

    It always makes me laugh when sports fans expect more from the players than themselves. I’m pretty positive if I drilled you twice, you’d want to retaliate with extreme prejudice. They’re hockey players, not diplomats,

    Impulse control and deferred gratification are signs of higher level awareness. The lack of the first and the inability to exhibit the other are signs of immaturity

    Tippett analyzed it correctly #TakeAnEffingNumber.

    Kassian is a loser.

  17. godot10 says:

    who:
    I have ZERO problems with Kassians play tonight. And I’m sure his teammates don’t either. Tkachuk took 3 clear runs at him. The first one, on the wrap around attempt, was probably the cleanest. The other two were charges when Kassian was engaged with another player. It seems pretty obvious he was targeting Kassian.
    Did any of you guys criticizing Kassian ever play competitive hockey?
    Tkachuk is a punk. If you are going to run around the ice looking to blindside guys you had better be willing to drop the gloves. I’d be embarrassed if I was him. And I’m glad Edmonton didn’t draft him.
    And Brian Burke is full of shit on this one. There was nothing clean about the hit that started that fight.

    The Flames are in first place. The Oilers are 10th in the conference and out of the playoffs. Lost a four point games because of stupid immaturity. on the part of a 29-year old.

  18. Bling says:

    Bag of Pucks: Players like a Kassian HAVE to respond to that. If he lets little turtles like Tchachuk get away with 2 or 3 shots like that a game, then the whole league sees it and will think he’s lost his edge. This is what warriors do. And believe me, the skill players like the tough guys doing this. Nobody in that dressing room is blaming Kass for the loss, nor should they.

    Of course no one in the room will blame him. They’re teammates after all, and over 82 games everyone in there is going to screw something up. That does not mean what Kassian did was right or justified.

    Part of being tough is knowing when to be disciplined. I don’t give two shits about Kassian’s rep and I don’t think he does, either.

    Putting your team down a man for 4 minutes with 22 minutes left in the game and messing with the first line for an additional 6 on a team that lacks depth? To settle a personal score? With first place on the line?

    Selfish.

  19. dustrock says:

    This is where you have a Steve MacIntyre on your roster. You start him first shift next game and he picks a Flame and sends him into next week.

    The funniest thing to me is that I think Kassian was restraining himself.

    Refs won’t call headshots for shit so the players do it themselves rinse and repeat, film at 11.

    If I’m out there, Tkachuk is getting a butt end in the teeth and probably a spear to the nuts at various points throughout the game.

    You need to go Full Messier. Game won’t allow it anymore; they’ll just continue to allow the headshots and do nothing and complain that the NHL is less popular than bowling in the US and wonder why.

  20. Bag of Pucks says:

    godot10

    Kassian is a loser.

    Zero chance you’d have the guts to say that to his face, but if you did, I think I know who would be the loser then.

  21. buffalobill says:

    There are lots of hits every game and how many times does a helmet one off ? I think just by common sense it would tell me that at least one of the hits tonight was a hit to the head, no?

  22. dustrock says:

    Bling: Of course no one in the room will blame him. They’re teammates after all, and over 82 games everyone in there is going to screw something up. That does not mean what Kassian did was right or justified.

    Part of being tough is knowing when to be disciplined. I don’t give two shits about Kassian’s rep and I don’t think he does, either.

    Putting your team down a man for 4 minutes with 22 minutes left in the game and messing with the first line for an additional 6 on a team that lacks depth? To settle a personal score? With first place on the line?

    Selfish.

    Sure, and next time Tkachuk does that to McDavid, you let me know how you feel.

    You think this stops at Kassian if he doesn’t respond? The refs very obviously were not interested in calling an obvious penalty and they haven’t been for 20 years.

    What I would have loved is a scrum and that’s it until the 3rd period where Draisaitl sends a Flame into next week. That’s the type of play that a team loves.

  23. dustrock says:

    buffalobill:
    There are lots of hits every game and how many times does a helmet one off ? I think just by common sense it would tell me that at least one of the hits tonight was a hit to the head, no?

    The absolute best part of the whole thing is that Tkachuk leads the entire NHL in drawn penalties. That’s the end of the conversation right there. He has literally no reason to stop playing like he is, in fact if I was the Flames I’d be furious if he stopped being a goof.

    You know what would have worked? If the refs gave Tkachuk 5 minutes for the first head shot on Kassian. Actual fucking consequence for a dirty play.

    I do not blame Kassian one iota. A man can take only so much, see.

  24. Bling says:

    Lost in all the Kassian fuss is that Yamamoto and Nuge had incredible games.

    KY is so smart and aware out there. Two EV first assists and a penalty drawn. Not only that, but incredible poise with puck. He did a heck of a job protecting the puck. So good along the wall as well. Watching him tonight was like reading one of OP’s AHL reports, to the T.

    To do that against a fast and physical club, hats off, kid.

  25. JimmyV1965 says:

    Just rewatched the Tkachuk hit again. He skated about 40 feet full out to blast Kassian in the numbers. I’m not sure how’s that’s not charging or boarding. It was a very dangerous play and we’re lucky no one was seriously injured. If Kassian did something like that, I’m sure he gets suspended. If you watch the replay, you can see the moment when Tkachuk recognizes that Kassian is in a vulnerable position and then he charges without hesitation. If Kassian simply slumped to the ice and pretended he was hurt, Tkachuk gets a penalty and is possibly suspended. This is what makes NHL officiating a joke.

  26. Réal Goudenyéu says:

    Many flames apologists posting in here tonight. The team gave up leads tonight and you are going to blame Kassian? They had 19 minutes to tie it and you’re going to blame Kassian?

  27. Wilde says:

    lmao Yamamoto with the 2.72 P1/60 I’m on fire with the predictions

    have the Condors game stats locked and loaded, will post in the next thread

  28. jake70 says:

    I thought they had no business being in the game with a chance to win, but there they found themselves, and they beat themselves.

  29. meanashell11 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    I’m sorry but I got a lot of personal satisfaction from Kassian’s actions! I just wish he would have done more damage. Cheap shot after cheap shot and you blame Kass.

  30. meanashell11 says:

    I’m sorry but 10th? What standings are you looking at. I see Edmonton in 7th this morning? In God we trust, where’s your data!

  31. meanashell11 says:

    dustrock,

    According to the broadcast last night his brother does, not Matt…….

  32. stephen sheps says:

    You’ve known me a long time now. I’m a fairly measured, diplomatic and calm sort, but I was and still remain angry that a penalty wasn’t called on Tkachuk and really despise the way he plays the game. There is nothing fake or put on about my reaction. Having slept on it, I am still just as upset and hope the oilers submit video evidence of the first hit to the NHL to consider supplemental discipline.

    Head hunting a la Raffi Torres has no place in the game anymore and IMO that’s exactly what Tkachuk was doing – targeting specific players and pushing it right up to (and slightly over) the edge of the defined rules of the game.

    The comments from both players post-game however were ridiculous, WWE style. It’s almost farcical.

    That said, the next game between these two teams is probably going to have a similarly old-timey feel as long as the Oilers find a way to keep pace despite the loss last night. Meaningful games in the 2nd half of the season is a welcome change of pace.

  33. meanashell11 says:

    How is this not a hit to the head?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g11MBII7GLY

  34. Jethro Tull says:

    godot10: The Flames are in first place.The Oilers are 10th in the conference and out of the playoffs.Lost a four point games because of stupid immaturity. on the part of a 29-year old.

    In this week’s episode of “Waiting for Godot”, a series in which we wait for Godot to do things, we’re waiting for Godot to show us their working on the claim that the Oilers are in 10th place in the western conference. Our best scientists, who put a man on the moon, have us as 7th, and in 1st wildcard spot.

    Over to you, Godot!

  35. rope-a-dope says:

    I’m way late here and will probably re post tomorrow but

    re. Tkachuk, I think you have to play him like the Kings played Backes.. there were a couple of series where the Kings took out the Blues during the Kings dominant period. They made a concerted effort to check Backes cleanly and legally and it essentially got in Backes’ head and took him off his game. Whereas during the regular season Backes operated with impunity.

    I see a lot of similarities here, Tkachuk seems to operate without any concern for repercussions, fine. Start checking him clean and hard and see how he reacts. The Oilers have the personnel to do this.

  36. godot10 says:

    Jethro Tull: In this week’s episode of “Waiting for Godot”, a series in which we wait for Godot to do things, we’re waiting for Godot to show us their working on the claim that the Oilers are in 10th place in the western conference. Our best scientists, who put a man on the moon, have us as 7th, and in 1st wildcard spot.

    Over to you, Godot!

    Check out the Woodguy Real** Standings when he posts them in the new thread later this morning.

    **So I am off by two places. Instead of 1st in the division, hanging on to the last wildcard.

  37. godot10 says:

    meanashell11:
    How is this not a hit to the head?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g11MBII7GLY

    The flying helmet from Kassian not using his chinstrap distracts the referees eyes from the hit, and diminishes the potential illegality of the hit, since a flying helmet with an effectively undone chinstrap is effectively an embellishment. All the referees see is the flying helmet. They don’t really see the hit. And the referees think, the helmet flies because Kassian is being an idiot for not doing up his chinstrap. Not because the hit might be illegal. But they don’t really see the hit, because of the flying helmet.

  38. SK Oiler Fan says:

    Does everyone realize Tkafuk is 6ft 2, 209 lbs and Kas is 6ft 3 and 211lbs?
    I don’t get the explanation from Burke that Tkafuk shouldn’t fight Kas since hes in a different weight class

  39. godot10 says:

    SK Oiler Fan:
    Does everyone realize Tkafuk is 6ft 2, 209 lbs and Kas is 6ft 3 and 211lbs?
    I don’t get the explanation from Burke that Tkafuk shouldn’t fight Kas since hes in a different weight class

    Tkachuk doesn’t fight because he realizes it is really stupid to sit in the penalty box and take yourself out of a critical game for 15 minutes like Kassian. Tkachuk has a brain. Kassian doesn’t. Post-game Tkachuk was talking about team. Doing what was necessary to help his team win. Kassian was talking about himself. Kassian is a dumb and selfish and unreliable hockey player.

    A smart player takes a number, and calls back later.

    Two games now. Kassian has done nothing at all to Giordano. So it is like he is a goldfish too. No effing memory.

  40. Nit64 says:

    godot10: Instead of 1st in the division, hanging on to the last wildcard.

    * Huge 2 pt gap between those spots ~

  41. CallighenMan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    nope, you are wrong. I and most people would still seriously dislike him. I didn’t like the way Marchment played either. HH is truly revealing he has gone fully Canucklehead with these last statements of his.

    I’m sure he defended “Biter” on the Dy’s during their wipeout against the Bruins on “Riot Day”

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