The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames will both make the playoffs. If you base your opinions off of the folks at NHL.com it is a bold prediction as only 4 of their 17 predictors agreed with me. Interestingly enough, 4 other NHL.com predictors have neither Alberta team making the playoffs. Yes, I know tonight is only Opening Night in the league but as former NHL’er Brian Boucher said yesterday on XM Sirius NHL Network Radio, “a player looks forward to game one then the playoffs”.
Speaking of interesting, here’s a quick story about how rival teams and team fan bases joined together in trying to unseed the damn Los Angeles Dodgers (5 consecutive division titles). The Arizona Diamondbacks fielded veteran laden teams in the final week of the season against the Dodgers bucking the usual late September overuse of call-ups. The San Francisco Giants pushed their best starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s start a day later so that he could face the the Dodgers. Diamondbacks fans and Giants fans pledging momentary allegiance to the Colorado Rockies (the last team standing to unseed them) united their disdain for the West Coast Evil Empire…now back to hockey. How come this kind of support can’t happen between Edmonton Oiler and Calgary Flame fans?
I’m not asking that Oiler and Flame fans come together and sing “kumbaya” cause the Battle of Alberta rivalry needs their respective fan bases trash talking each other. Flames fans forever hearing about Connor McDavid as the Oilers “Drai” try to develop a second line. Oilers fans trying to sell ocean front property in Saskatchewan to anyone who believes Mike Smith is a viable option at goaltender for a team with playoff aspirations. Game day banter fuels rivalry. Rivalry fuels sport.
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There are common enemies for Oiler and Flame fans, namely any team in the Pacific Division. The seven Vancouver Canucks fans left after the retirement of the Sedin twins hear the same smack talk from Albertans whether they are from the north or the south. I think we can all have a round of beer together discussing the dirty bastards that play for the Anaheim Ducks. So you’re thinking to yourself, dude why do you want Edmonton and Calgary to cheer for each other?
Because playoffs! Because I’m tired of having the discussion being the very lame:
- Oiler fan: “We swept the regular season series”.
- Flame fan: “yeah but your still looking up us in the loser pool of playoff candidates”.
That conversation becomes much cooler if both teams make the playoffs. Surely you remember how much more exciting the conversations were entering last season as to compared to exiting last season. Plenty of examples can be found HERE. My gawd imagine the pandemonium if the Oilers and Flames met in the playoffs. Could care less what round or what seeding. How can you not cheer for that?
It’s the same train of thought that hopes the Edmonton Eskimos make the CFL playoffs through the East crossover so they can face the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup. I’m sure as hell not cheering for the Stumps but the idea of completing their hat-trick of Grey Cup flops makes me hope they make it there. Surely I cannot be the only one who hopes the best for the teams biggest rival just for the chance to beat them on the grandest stage.
Let me ask you again, even if means hoping the bad guys win a series, how can you not cheer for the Oilers and Flames to meet each other in the playoffs?
|St. Louis||San Jose|
Are you ballsy enough to share your predictions?