After what can only be described as one of the most thrilling games in franchise history, the Calgary Flames have to quickly hit the “reset” button and transition into their next challenge. After 31 years, the Battle of Alberta is back as the Edmonton Oilers come to town to start the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Oilers are also coming off of a seven game series against the Los Angeles Kings and probably would love nothing more than to beat their provincial rivals. We have already done a full series breakdown, but in short the Oilers 5v5 and power play offence will be driven by Connor McDavid and company. If the Flames stick to their system and win the goaltending battle it should be their series.
Round 2, Game 1
Edmonton Oilers @ Calgary Flames
As per EdmontonOilers.com:
Draisaitl – McDavid – Yamamoto
Kane – Hyman
Archibald – Nugent-Hopkins – Ryan
Puljujarvi- McLeod – Kassian
Nurse – Ceci
Keith – Bouchard
Kulak – Barrie
Playoffs so far
The Oilers actually had a strong series against the Kings, with their underlying numbers sitting mostly in the top five among playoff teams. The Flames’ numbers were slightly better, but simply were going up against a weaker defense and stronger goaltender.
If the Flames can generate similar amounts of shot volumes and possession against the Oilers, they should be able to break things down a bit more. Of course after facing the Jake Oettinger, who had the best SV% in the league, they now get Mike Smith who has teh second best right now. You can be sure Smith will want to stick it to his former team.
Players to watch
Edmonton: Connor McDavid
As if McDavid wasn’t on another level already, he found yet another gear during the first round series. The Flames entire game plan will be on slowing him down and if they can manage 50% of that it will be a huge win.
Calgary: Matthew Tkachuk
He scored his first goal of the playoffs in Game 7, but now Matthew Tkachuk‘s focus shifts to what type of player he can be against the Oilers. Will he continue his scoring, start being a major pest, or the perfect balance of both? He is the Flames’ most important player in this series.