Oilers’ glory years gave them a massive edge over Alberta brethren
THE YOUNG EDMONTON OILERS have been pushovers for the rest of the NHL for the better part of a decade, but there’s always a lot of pride on the line when they play their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames.
The battle between the Alberta cities goes well beyond hockey and sport, but it is in the 200-by-85 arena where passions are heightened. The Oilers and Flames were two of the top teams in the NHL through much of the 1980s. Wayne Gretzky and Co. were the league’s last great dynasty and even though they had a huge edge over Calgary that decade, there were no easy games against the Flames. The Oilers have a decided leg up on Calgary when it comes to Cup titles and Hall of Famers, so in Edmonton’s mind, the Flames are more undernourished kid siblings than heavyweight contenders. The advent of social media and online blogs has intensified this rivalry even though both teams are closer to sedimentary rock than the league’s stratosphere.
The two teams meet Oct. 9, Dec. 27, Dec. 31, Jan. 31 and April 4.