Edmonton Oilers

A brief look at the history of the Battle of Alberta

Hockey season is finally underway! With the first Battle of Alberta kicking off tonight at 8pm MST, it seems fitting to look back at the history of the BoA.

Flames have an edge on the overall BoA record

The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames have played 260 games since the Oilers left the WHA and joined the NHL in the 1979–80 season. Despite the Oilers utter dominance throughout most of the 80s, the Flames’ regular season record is slightly better as they won 121 games, lost 111 games, tied 19 times and won in overtime nine times against the Oilers.

Oilers dominate in playoff matchups

The Oilers have seen great success against the Flames in the postseason, winning 23 games while only losing 12. Most of those wins came during the Gretzky era until last year’s dominant battle which saw the Oilers win the series in five.

The rivalry is expected to continue as both teams are predicted to finish in the top two spots in the Pacific Division. There is a strong potential for the two clubs to meet in the playoffs for the second straight year, which I’m sure both Oilers fans and Flames fans would love to see.

The greatest Oilers BoA win

The biggest Oilers win came after the peak of the Zack KassianMatthew Tkachuk rivalry in the 2019–20 season. It ended with Kassian laying a beatdown on Tkachuk after he caught Kassian with his head down coming around the net twice. The next matchup between the Flames and Oilers ended in a 3-4 loss in a shootout. David Rittich poke-checked Leon Draisaitl to win that game and celebrated by throwing his stick in the air while staring down Draisaitl; the whole team took exception to this and remembered heading into their next matchup.

On February 1, 2020 at the Saddledome, the Oilers came with a vengeance. This game had everything an Oilers fan could want: plenty of goals, big hits, and of course, fights. This game had over 70 minutes worth of penalties handed out between the two clubs and included a legendary goalie fight between Mike Smith and Cam Talbot that Smith won decisively. The game ended with Draisaitl having a four assist night and the emergence of Kailer Yamamoto, who was a thorn in Calgary’s side all night while scoring two points. The game ended with an 8-3 Edmonton victory.

The biggest BoA upset for the Oilers

For the biggest/worst BoA loss we have to go back in time, all the way back to April 30, 1986 when the Oilers lost 3-2 to the Flames in game 7 of the Smythe final. Although 3-2 does not seem like a huge loss, it was the crushing weight of how the game was lost that made it shoot to the top of the list.

In the third period, young defenceman Steve Smith costs the Oilers the series while trying to make a routine pass out of the defensive zone and banked the puck off Grant Fuhr‘s leg and into his own net. Not only did this blunder cost the Oilers the series, but if they did manage to get past the Flames they would’ve had a shot at another cup to continue the dynisty.

To top it all off, it just so happened to be Steve Smith’s birthday.

What the BoA will look like going into the new season

Given the circumstances and what seemed to be a disastrous offseason for the Flames, having lost 2-3 of their top-line forwards (Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk) over the summer, Brad Treliving managed to somehow bounce back. Tkachuk was traded for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar and then Nazem Kadri signed near the end of the summer. It will be interesting to see how the Flames new players mesh as linemates as well as how they match up against the Oilers tonight.

Edmonton’s roster is looking very simillar to last season’s lineup with the exceptions of Dylan Holloway, a couple bottom six players, and a brand new tandom in net. Ken Holland was able to somehow resign players like Ryan McLeod, who has been steadily developing and reliable as a third line centre, and Evander Kane who has been dynamite on McDavid’s wing during the time he has been in Edmonton.

One thing is certain, both fanbases are excited to start this year’s BoA tonight. It’s a shame that the clubs only play each other three times this season…

What are your predictions for tonight’s game? Comment below!

Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire



  1. It thoroughly pisses me off when everyone blames STEVE SMITH for the playoff loss in 1986. Our powerhouse team still had over 15 minutes to tie the game. Give it a f…ing rest!!! Were you even born then???

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