Part 3 of the best of 5 for 2020 edition of the Battle of Alberta was thus far the most anticipated. In the last meeting just two weeks ago, the Flames came out with a win, but the sub-text included Matthew Tkachuk’s railroading of Zack Kassian. Kassian received a two game suspension and complained non-stop for two weeks. His team needs points, and they’re not getting them from the Flames. That hasn’t stopped the incessant complaining from Kassian the Oilers.
The feud, however, seems to have ignited the age old rivalry between the two provincial teams. Calgary and Edmonton haven’t been good at the same time since the 80s. They haven’t hated each other either since the 80s. Well that seems to be changing thanks to Tkachuk. And it seems it will continue for the foreseeable future as the Oilers just signed, get this, (haahaha), Kassian to a FOUR YEAR CONTRACT.
Come back when you stop laughing.
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) January 30, 2020
Back to the game. There was a tension in the air and only fighting was going to solve it. Breaking the ice with some fisticuffs….. Sean Monahan–wait, really? Sean Monahan fought! It was ugly to watch but fans loved it.
Then the start attraction between Tkachuk and Kassian.
Apparently, there’s a “code” in hockey and Tkachuk broke it by smashing Kassian three times with huge hits. That, again, apparently menas you have to fight outside your weight class.
As for Kassian, if there’s a code, then he needs to fight Rinaldo or Lucic next. That’s the “code”. A plug fights a star, you face the music. I think it’s stupid, but here we are, stooping to Zack Kassian’s level.
Full props to Matthew, he comes out of this on top across the league, but once again with the valuable two points.
This game needed a shootout and Monahan had the last laugh after RNH hit the post.
What else did we learn? The Flames seem to perform well under pressure, but still suffer from inconsistencies particularly on defence.
Neal and Lucic are still terrible.
Noah Hanafin, pick up your jock strap off the blue line.
Mangiapane, two goals, finally, showing up HUGE. Took him 12 games to score so hopefully he shows more consistency on that top line.
Buddy Robinson, fresh from the minors, is somehow playing on the second line with Gaudreau. How? We dont know. Why? We don’t know. He’s looked OK, but a minor leaguer simply isn’t the answer to get Gaudreau going.
Next up, Saturday, another re-match, the 4th of 5 instalments. Why the scheduler made it up like this we’ll never know, but it sure makes interesting hockey.