The Edmonton Oilers came out shooting in the season opener tonight and blanked the Flames 4-0 at Rexall Place. The Flames couldn’t get anything going and gave Oilers fans something to cheer about both on the scoreboard and on the ice.
Gilbert Brule opened the scoring for the Oilers, but it was Jordan Eberle’s first NHL goal that will make the highlight reels tonight. Eberle scored a dipsy-doodling goal high over Miikka Kiprusoff’s shoulder after deking his way through the Flames defence. Eberle showed his scoring touch as he dragged the puck around a sprawling Ian White, then moved it to his backhand before lifting it over and into the net. Oilers and Leafs fans were rejoicing in the goal (remember that Phaneuf for White, Stajan and Hagman trade?) and even most Flames fans have to admit that it was a nice goal. Is it worthy of “the goal of the season” as Oilers fans are claiming. Well, so far it is. But the season is still young….
Eberle appeared to add a second goal in the 3rd period, but it was later given to Shawn Horcoff. Ales Hemsky rounded out the scoring for the Oilers who beat the Flames for the first time since the 2008-2009 season.
There were few high points for the Flames tonight, but they did put together a few decent plays to give their fans something to cheer about. Though they couldn’t beat Nikolai “Flame Killer” Khabibulin, they did put some pressure on him. Unfortunatey, the Flames still seem to have a hard time putting the puck in the net and that ended up being the difference tonight.
As my dad says, “You can’t win by scoring zero goals. You need to beat the goalie at least once.” Unfortunately the Flames don’t seem to listen to my dad very often.
To add insult to injury, Oilers enforcer Steve MacIntyre KO-ed Raitus Ivanans in a fight late in the 3rd period. They exchanged a few punches before MacIntyre landed 2 quick, hard punches and knocked Ivanans out. To say that “MacIntyre got the better of his Flames tough guy counterpart” would be an understatement. Ivanans lay stunned on the ice for several minutes before he was supported off the ice by his teammates.
I’ve looked for the silver lining in this game, but unfortunately there isn’t one. We got our asses kicked, plain and simple.
The Flames next game is Sunday at the ‘Dome against the LA Kings. Let’s hope that they show up and find a way to beat Jonathan Quick.