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2277 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2006 :  14:45:34  Show Profile
The Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames are each one win away from advancing to the Western conference semi-finals. And because the San Jose Sharks (5th seed) and the Colorado Avalanche (7th seed) have already advanced, if Calgary (3rd seed) and Edmonton (8th seed) move on to the next round they will play each other in the 6th edition of the ‘Battle of Alberta’.

The teams reside in the two largest cities in the province and both joined the league around the same time. The fall of the WHA saw Edmonton join the league in 1979; the following season the Flames moved from Atlanta to Calgary and from then on if you lived in Alberta you were one of two things – a Flames fan or an Oilers fan.

During the 80’s the teams met in the playoffs five times with the Oilers winning all but one – yes it was that awkwardly infamous Steve Smith putting the puck in his own net that sent the Oilers packing and the Flames to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1986. My favorite memory was in overtime of game seven during the 1991 playoffs when Esa Tikkanen scored to end the series. I was watching it with my Dad and was drifting away (it was a late game), but jumped up as soon as he scored. As Vancouver Canucks fans we didn’t really have much to cheer about so we took advantage of the situation and celebrated together like it was our team that won.

When it comes to bragging rights… well they don’t call it the ‘City of Champions’ for nothing. The Oilers have five Cups to the Flames one and yes, Wayne Gretzky may have had something to do with the Oilers domination. However, Flames fans shouldn’t feel too bad as Gretzky made every team he played look like an inferior bunch of school girls chasing him around the rink.

The 2006 edition could prove to be the highlight of this years playoffs. The West seems to be the more exciting conference and an Oilers/Flames match up would be something all hockey fans would enjoy. (Yes even us Canucks fans…yes still bitter) Because of my hatred towards the Flames, and my admiration of Ryan Smyth (love to see him in a Canuck jersey) I will be rooting for the Oilers .

There is still a good chance that this it may not come to fruition - Calgary could lose the next two to the Ducks. Same goes for the Oil. Going into the series, the top seeded Detroit Red Wings were heavily favored and if they end up winning the final two games, then the 6th installment of the ‘Battle of Alberta’ could be delayed at least for another year.

Have an opinion on George's article? Let us know. Just hit reply below and post your thoughts. Anything goes...but keep it clean.
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199 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2006 :  17:01:21  Show Profile
You suck George! Flames are going to win tonight and move on to take the Oil in 6.
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113 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2006 :  10:14:30  Show Profile
Looks like no battle of Alberta this year. Too bad as I agree it would have been a great series.
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PickupHockey Pro

364 Posts

Posted - 05/12/2006 :  13:40:00  Show Profile
Ah....there is no Alberta battle anymore. Might want to put up a new article. LOL!
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