Who will you be cheering for in the Battle of Alberta? Vote below in our poll!
The Edmonton Oilers punched their ticket to the second round after a 2-0 win over the L.A. Kings Saturday night. The Calgary Flames fought hard in sudden-death overtime against the Dallas Stars late into Sunday night with Johnny Gaudreau sealing the 3-2 win.
Head coach of the Flames and fellow Albertan Daryll Sutter told reporters after the Round 1 win, it’s “pretty lucky” to have two Canadian teams in the second round of playoffs.
“Being from Alberta, think we got like six generations of us now, so to have two teams is pretty unique,” Sutter added after the Game 7 win.
Though unknown exactly who the Oilers would face in Round 2, head coach Jay Woodcroft told reporters after their win over the weekend they don’t plan on stopping when it comes to getting into the win column.
“We’re trying to get some rest and some regeneration and prepare for the next challenge,” Woodcroft told reporters on Saturday.
“We said this to our group (on Friday): We didn’t come this far, just to come this far. We’re here to progress and continue to move our needle forward.”
A walk down memory lane
The last time the Flames and Oilers met in a battle for Lord Stanley was back in April 1991. The series went to a Game 7 and it would be Esa Tikkanen to put the puck in net for Edmonton in overtime with the final score of 5-4.
Edmonton went on to win the division final against the L.A. Kings, though they fell short in the Clarence Campbell Conference against the Minnesota North Stars.
So what else happened that year?
- The Gulf War ended
- Al Duerr was mayor of Calgary. Meantime, Edmonton had elected its first female mayor, Jan Reimer
- The Dow topped 3,000 for the first time
- On Sept. 7, 1991 Calgary had — at the time — the most damaging hailstorm in Canadian history, logging 62,000 insurance claims which totalled up to $342 million
- The World Wide Web — yes, the internet — was launched
- The cost of gas per litre in Edmonton was 47.2 while Calgary was 47.6
- Notable deaths include Freddie Mercury, Dr. Seuss and Miles Davis
- Grocery store trends included: Hi-C soda, Bagel Bites and Fruit Roll-Ups
- The Hudson’s Bay Company announced it’s selling its fur business due to declining sales
- Team Canada won its second consecutive gold medal at the World Junior’s held in Saskatchewan against the Soviet Union
- Top songs included “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams, “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Colour Me Bad and “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory
- The price of a stamp in Canada was 40 cents
Who to root for?
With 4.4 million people living in Alberta as of the latest StatsCanada report, how many of those will dawn the orange and blue or the red, white and yellow?
According to Calgary Flames alumni Colin Patterson, the rivalry games will typically split the province — especially for those in Red Deer.
“I think you’re going to have so much energy and excitement from both cities. Everybody’s been waiting for it,” Patterson told Global News Morning.
“I feel sorry for the people in Red Deer because they’re typically split half Calgary fans, half Edmonton fans, but it does bring the best out in the game of hockey.
“I think it’s great for Alberta hockey, I think it’s great for Canada and I think it’s great for the game, for the NHL to have those fierce rivalries get together, finally, again in the playoffs.”
Battle of Alberta schedule
Be prepared to lose a little sleep starting Wednesday. The two Alberta clubs will hit the ice at 7:30 p.m. MT for Game 1 in Calgary while the rest of the potential, seven-game series goes as follows:
Game 2: Friday, May 20 @ Calgary: 8:30 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, May 22 @ Edmonton: 6 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, May 24 @ Edmonton: 7:30 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Thursday, May 26: To be determined
Game 6 (if necessary): Saturday, May 28: To be determined
Game 7 (if necessary): Monday, May 30: To be determined