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Why Edmonton Oilers vs Calgary Flames is such an important rivalry

Every sport, and every league, has its fierce rivals. When it comes to the NHL, there is no rivalry that comes close to that between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. It was in 1980 when the Atlanta Flames moved some 1,900 miles to Calgary, and it was this move that has given us 42 years of games that contain some of the most exciting moments that we have witnessed.

2022 sees these teams facing each other yet again, but what makes these games quite so entertaining for fans? What is it that can bring two teams to the brink of hatred towards each other and lead to levels of intensity that have never been seen before in the NHL? Let’s take a look.

The highs of the 1980s and 90s

There have been over 250 meetings of these two teams since the formation of the Calgary Flames. According to research carried out by Betway Insider, it is the Calgary Flames that have the edge when it comes to recorded wins. The Flames have an impressive 126 victories against 109 that the Oilers have achieved. It was the games played during the 80s and 90s that saw the rivalry grow and grow, with players almost brawling and numerous wars of words.

One area where the Oilers have the upper hand over the Flames is the Stanley Cup. With wins in 84, 85, 87,88, and 1990, the Oilers have dominated here when you consider the single 1989 victory enjoyed by the Flames. The truth is that the 80s and 90s saw both teams playing great hockey and it was this greatness that sparked such rivalry amongst local competition.

A millennium lull

What saw such rivalry in the 80s and 90s was that the Oilers and the Flames were playing with a purpose. They were both regarded as top-notch teams and they both had something to prove. Every game mattered whether it was part of the regular season, playoffs, or the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, things then took a turn, and this dampened down the sense of excitement and intensity that would normally be experienced with these two teams.

From early 2000, both the Oilers and Flames seemed to lack any direction. Their playing took a dive as did their string of results. This meant that whenever they faced each other, the previous passion was lacking. 2010 onwards saw a return to form and a return the fierce rivalry that the fans all enjoy.

Reignited passion

It was the 2019-2020 season that brought back all that was great about these two teams. The sight of Matthew Tkachuk taking runs at Zack Kassian reminded us all that these teams aren’t just rivals: when the games matter, they do actually hate each other. What cemented this hate was the brawl that ensued and a goalie fight.

The rivalry between the Oilers and the Flames is one that will always matter to the players and the fans. What keeps the rivalry so intense is the successes each team has elsewhere. While these teams are on the up, the rivalry will reach boiling point once again.

Every sport, and every league, has its fierce rivals. When it comes to the NHL, there is no rivalry that comes close to that between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. It was in 1980 when the Atlanta Flames moved some 1,900 miles to Calgary, and it was this move that has given us 42 years of games that contain some of the most exciting moments that we have witnessed.

2022 sees these teams facing each other yet again, but what makes these games quite so entertaining for fans? What is it that can bring two teams to the brink of hatred towards each other and lead to levels of intensity that have never been seen before in the NHL? Let’s take a look.

The highs of the 1980s and 90s

There have been over 250 meetings of these two teams since the formation of the Calgary Flames. According to research carried out by Betway Insider, it is the Calgary Flames that have the edge when it comes to recorded wins. The Flames have an impressive 126 victories against 109 that the Oilers have achieved. It was the games played during the 80s and 90s that saw the rivalry grow and grow, with players almost brawling and numerous wars of words.

One area where the Oilers have the upper hand over the Flames is the Stanley Cup. With wins in 84, 85, 87,88, and 1990, the Oilers have dominated here when you consider the single 1989 victory enjoyed by the Flames. The truth is that the 80s and 90s saw both teams playing great hockey and it was this greatness that sparked such rivalry amongst local competition.

A millennium lull

What saw such rivalry in the 80s and 90s was that the Oilers and the Flames were playing with a purpose. They were both regarded as top-notch teams and they both had something to prove. Every game mattered whether it was part of the regular season, playoffs, or the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, things then took a turn, and this dampened down the sense of excitement and intensity that would normally be experienced with these two teams.

From early 2000, both the Oilers and Flames seemed to lack any direction. Their playing took a dive as did their string of results. This meant that whenever they faced each other, the previous passion was lacking. 2010 onwards saw a return to form and a return the fierce rivalry that the fans all enjoy.

Reignited passion

It was the 2019-2020 season that brought back all that was great about these two teams. The sight of Matthew Tkachuk taking runs at Zack Kassian reminded us all that these teams aren’t just rivals: when the games matter, they do actually hate each other. What cemented this hate was the brawl that ensued and a goalie fight.

The rivalry between the Oilers and the Flames is one that will always matter to the players and the fans. What keeps the rivalry so intense is the successes each team has elsewhere. While these teams are on the up, the rivalry will reach boiling point once again.

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