We had a wild one late on Saturday night.
Everyone with any sense was anticipating a big night during the Battle of Alberta on Saturday night, it was after all the first divisional game of the season for the Edmonton Oilers. Now normally playing your first divisional game of the season after 20 regular season contests would be plenty to get a team motivated for a contest, but when you add to that the fact that the game was between two of the most bitter rivals in the National Hockey League it was a surefire recipe for some fireworks.
Considering there was so much hype on both sides going into this game it could have easily been a big let down for the fans who were very excited for it, but thankfully the game delivered at just about every level you could have asked for. There was a fair bit of scoring on both sides of the ice and it was a relatively close, as well as back and forth, game between the two sides, but that won't be the major talking point coming out of this one.
The big story coming out of the game on Saturday was the level of physical intensity that was displayed by both teams in this game, although I must say that it seems like the Oilers were far more interested in stepping up to the line and perhaps even crossing it a time or two. Arguably the biggest physical play of the night was certainly on the Oilers side of the ice and it came courtesy of Edmonton Oilers bruiser Milan Lucic.
Lucic, who has been on the receiving end of quite a bit of criticism for his play over the past two seasons, made his presence known during the opening minutes of the second period when he flattened Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano with a massive open ice hit. Giordano and the Flames appeared to be building some momentum and were pushing into the Flames defensive zone when Lucic came streaking across the ice and leveled Giordano.
The Flames captain was slow to get up and skated gingerly back to the Flames bench following the hit, but to his credit he seemed to be perfectly fine after a taking a few seconds to shake off the hit on the bench.