It’s been a while since we saw an old-fashioned hockey line brawl including two goalies fighting. In a heated Battle of Alberta, Cam Talbot (Calgary Flames) and Mike Smith (Edmonton Oilers) were involved in fisticuffs and a classic goalie fight.
The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames came into Saturday’s night game with the same number of wins (27) and points (60). Both teams were chasing the first place Vancouver Canucks for supremacy in the Pacific Division.
The Flames owned the Oilers this season with a 4-0 record. However, in their first meeting after the All-Star Break, the Oilers were sick of being pushed around. They would go on to win 8-3 and led by Connor McDavid’s pair of goals.
The Oilers led 6-3 when the fight occurred at the end of the second period. They’d add two more insurance goals to secure their first victory of the season against the Flames.
“We hate each other,” said Oilers’ winger Kailer Yamamoto. “The hatred is real.”
The Oilers also moved into second place in the Pacific division. With 62 points, the Oilers are now tied with the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars for third-best points in the Western Conference behind the defending champion, St. Louis Blues.
It’s been almost 27 years since a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup when the Montreal Canadiens won in 1993. The Oilers and Flames would love a shot at bringing home the Cup to Canada by representing the West in the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals, but they have to survive the regular season and this jacked-up, Battle of Alberta rivalry first.
Blowout and Blowup in Calgary
The Oilers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of goals (from Kailer Yamamoto and Zack Kassian) in the first 65 seconds. The Flames cut the lead in half mid-way through the first period. McDavid scored a power play goal with less than five minutes to go in the period to extend the lead to 3-1.
At the start of the second period, McDavid scored his second goal of the night and 29th of the season to put the Oilers ahead 4-1.
The Flames answered back less than ninety seconds later with a Matthew Tkachuk goal. Elias Lindholm added another goal for the Flames to trim the lead to 4-3. Just as it looked like the Flames seized momentum, the Oilers regrouped and counterattacked with two more goals.
The Flames were back in the hole and trailing by three goals 6-3. That’s when the fireworks occurred with less than thirty seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Goalie Fight: Talbot and Smith
During a dustup at the net, Talbot took exception to a few cheap shots. Smith took exception to Talbot’s involvement in the scraps. Smith slowly skated to center ice and barked at Talbot.
Talbot made his way toward center-ice. Both goalies dropped their gloves amidst thunderous applause from the Calgary crowd. Game on!
“Talbot gets in there, mixes it up a little bit, throws some blockers,” Smith said. “I didn’t really like that too much. I wanted (to fight). He obliged. Everyone likes to see a good, old-fashioned goalie fight, me included. It got the juices flowing like they haven’t been before.”
Smith got the best of Talbot with a couple of big right-handed punches. The zebras broke up their quick tilt when both goalies fell to the ice.
In a weird twist of fate, both goalies played for the other team last season. They got to taste the fear and experience the Battle of Alberta from the other side of the ice.
Both the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers are 25/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup according to a latest update from William Hill.