Bat­tle of Al­berta is too one-sided

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

You have to be in your mid-30s, pos­si­bly older, to have any real rec­ol­lec­tion of The Bat­tle of Al­berta in all its glory.

It was that long ago when Cal­gary and Ed­mon­ton played mean­ing­ful and, frankly, won­der­fully in­tense hockey. They played play­off rounds in 1983 and ’84, then again in ’86, ’89 and ’91. And over the past 26 years, noth­ing. The NHL sea­son began on Wed­nes­day night with a Cal­gary-Ed­mon­ton matchup with none of the grit or spark of what once was. What we wit­nessed was a corona­tion of sorts — this is who Con­nor McDavid is, what he is go­ing to be, and the theme be­ing just try to stop him.

The Flames prob­a­bly can’t. What made the hockey so great back in the day wasn’t just what Wayne Gret­zky and Mark Messier and Glenn An­der­son and Paul Cof­fey did on any one night, it was what Lanny McDon­ald or Al MacIn­nis or Joey Mullen man­aged in re­turn. It was Hall of Famers vs. Hall of Famers.

The Flames will have to go back in their his­tory now and find a way to stop McDavid, the way they found a way to com­pete with Gret­zky.

The Flames have lit­tle chance of stop­ping Con­nor McDavid.

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