It was only a matter of time before Darryl Sutter suffered his first loss in his return as Calgary Flames head coach. And, even with that Sutter-inspired defensive focus, it was probably only a matter of time before the Flames gave up a big performance by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
Apparently that matter of time boiled down to the Oilers blowing out the Flames 7-3 on Wednesday.
(Blowouts seemed to be in the air on NBCSN. Blowout day instead of “Hump Day” this week?)
Let’s take a quick look at McDavid, Draisaitl, and the Oilers handing the Flames the first loss of the Darryl Sutter sequel. (Flames – Sutter 2: Sutter Sutter-er?)
Flames lose for first time in second Sutter run; McDavid, Oilers put up numbers
Through the first three games of (the latest) Darryl Sutter era, the Flames went undefeated and allowed five goals combined. Again, Wednesday’s Oilers – Flames games ended those patterns.
Mere minutes in, you could tell it would be different. Connor McDavid helped to set up an eventual 1-0 goal from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Edmonton never slowed down. Leon Draisaitl generated one of the prettiest replays, though, with a simple-but-beautiful touch pass for an assist.
This marks the seventh three-point game McDavid’s generated against the Flames. Draisaitl also generated three points.
They weren’t the highest-scorers, either. Despite almost missing Wednesday’s game, Tyson Barrie piled up an impressive four assists. It remains to be seen if Barrie will make sense at a higher rate in Edmonton after this season, but he’s been a useful offensive catalyst, if nothing else.
After the Oilers were really feeling it, they pushed their lead to 7-1. The Flames would smooth out the score a bit to 7-3, but it was far too late. That said, Johnny Gaudreau got on the board; although Gaudreau isn’t a Darryl Sutter guy, the Flames need him.
Among other things, this 7-3 Oilers win over the Flames served as a reminder of how deadly Edmonton’s power play can be. McDavid, Draisaitl, Barrie & Co. went 3-for-4 on the power play in this one. It’s the third game this season where Edmonton scored at least three power-play goals. Yow.
Ultimately, this was bound to happen for Calgary. They need to brush themselves off — and maybe be glad that they’ve already been through six games of the “Battle of Alberta.”