Monday, October 30, 2023

NHL weekend rankings: Who's had it worse so far, the Oilers or the Flames?

It’s the Battle of Alberta!

Specifically, the battle to see which of these two fan bases should be the most miserable right now.

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Heading into the season, the Oilers were a team that finally had everything lined up just right for a Cup run. And while the Flames weren’t favorites, they’d finally shed the dark cloud of Darryl Sutter and were ready to move forward in a Pacific where the path to the playoffs was wide open. Give the two teams a few weeks to establish themselves, and the Heritage Classic was destined to be a barnburner.

It's fair to say that the barn remains unburned. That’s not to way that last night’s game wasn’t fun, or it’s own kind of spectacle. By now, we all know the familiar beats when it comes to an outdoor game – the funny pregame outfits, the soaring panoramic shots, the alternate jerseys that will never be seen again, the weird-but-intermittently-loud ambience, the local flavor. Last night checked all the boxes. It was fun.

What hasn’t been fun for these two teams: Pretty much everything else. Both fan bases have the right to be cranky right now, with the teams tied for 30th in the NHL with five points each. In the spirit of competition, let’s ask the obvious question: Which team has had it worse, Edmonton or Calgary?

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