Last season, you might have been able to summarize the Edmonton Oilers’ many miseries simply by pointing to their record against the Calgary Flames in the so-called Battle of Alberta: 0-6. In the first time in the 29 years the two spirited rivals squared off, the Oil couldn’t manage a single “W.”
It’s easy to overreact to a single game of success (or failure), but one thing is certainly different from this season to last: the Oilers won’t be swept by the Flames again.
While the other two members of the Oilers “Big Three” (Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi) were held off the scoreboard, Jordan Eberle scored what might have been the goal of the night while playing on the penalty kill. Take a look at this beauty of a goal in his NHL debut.
The Oilers reaped the rewards of their “old” young players, too, as Ales Hemsky celebrated his return from last year’s season-ending injury with a goal while Shawn Horcoff and Gilbert Brule also provided tallies for Edmonton. Ryan Whitney earned two assists in the game as well.
He might not be all the way out of his legal troubles, but for at least one night, Nikolai Khabibulin looked like the goalie worthy of the wacky contract the Oilers gave him. The troubled Russian stopped all 37 shots to earn an opening night shutout.