BIG BROTHER

Oil­ers’ glory years gave them a mas­sive edge over Al­berta brethren

The Hockey News - Rivalries 2014 - - Team Vs. Team -

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.

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