The Edmonton Oilers are a well-established team within the National Hockey League, known for their passionate fan base and storied history. As with any successful franchise, rivalries have naturally developed over time, igniting a competitive spirit that resonates among players, fans, and the league as a whole.
Some of the most notable rivalries of the Edmonton Oilers include the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, and Vancouver Canucks. These rivalries stem from factors such as geographical proximity and historical clashes, which have collectively fostered an intensely competitive atmosphere on the ice.
Each of these rivalries has its own unique history, moments of intensity, and impact on both the teams and their respective fan bases.
Understanding the nature of these rivalries not only provides an appreciation for the Oilers’ journey so far but also offers a glimpse into the team’s ongoing pursuit of excellence in the face of fierce competition.
As the Oilers continue to forge their path in the NHL, their rivalries will undoubtedly continue to play a crucial role in their story.
The Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames have shared a heated rivalry since the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980. This intense competition is known as the “Battle of Alberta,” as it represents the two largest cities in the province.
Over the years, both teams have had numerous battles and memorable moments, including playoff meetings and intense regular-season games. The rivalry reached its peak during the 1980s when both teams were dominant in the league, and the Stanley Cup often went through Alberta.
Notable moments from the rivalry include a 1984 playoff series, where the Oilers defeated the Flames in the Smythe Division Final on their way to their first championship. The Calgary Flames would eventually get their revenge in 1986, eliminating the Oilers in a historic Game 7.
Another significant rivalry for the Edmonton Oilers is with the Vancouver Canucks, another Western Canadian team. This rivalry stems from close geographic proximity and the fact that they often compete for the same fan base in the region.
The rivalry between the Oilers and the Canucks has seen its fair share of intense on-ice battles and contentious moments. Throughout the history of these two teams, they have met in several high-stakes games and playoff series.
Some memorable moments in the Oilers-Canucks rivalry include the 1991 Smythe Division Semifinals, where the Oilers prevailed in a hard-fought six-game series. Additionally, regular-season matchups have consistently showcased the intensity and passion that define this rivalry.
Modern Day Rivalries
The rivalry between the Edmonton Oilers and the Winnipeg Jets has grown over the years. The two teams have met in various playoff series and regular-season games, which has helped fuel their competitive spirit. A key factor contributing to this rivalry is their shared location within the Western Conference.
Since the Jets’ return to the NHL in 2011, the intensity has picked up as both teams frequently compete for playoff spots. Fans of both franchises eagerly anticipate their matchups, making for a charged atmosphere whenever they face off on the ice.
Las Vegas Golden Knights
The Las Vegas Golden Knights entered the NHL as an expansion team for the 2017-2018 season, and quickly made an impact in the league by reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season. The success of the Golden Knights has led to the development of rivalries with other teams in the Western Conference, including the Edmonton Oilers.
The Oilers and the Golden Knights have had a number of closely-contested games, with each team striving to assert themselves as dominant forces in their conference. The emerging rivalry has seen some thrilling moments and has the potential to grow into a storied matchup between the two franchises in the future.
Notable Game Incidents
Battle of Alberta
The “Battle of Alberta” is one of the fiercest rivalries in the NHL, between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames. Since the Flames’ relocation to Calgary in 1980, they have constantly been at odds, competing for hockey dominance in the province of Alberta.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the rivalry reached its peak as both teams experienced success and frequently met in crucial games. The intensity of the matches often led to on-ice altercations, creating unforgettable moments that only fueled the competition between the two franchises.
In the history of the rivalry, there have been numerous memorable playoff clashes between the Oilers and Flames. The playoff atmosphere added an extra edge to the already intense rivalry, making these battles even more significant.
One such incident occurred during the 1950 playoffs, where Detroit’s young star Gordie Howe misjudged a check on Toronto’s Ted Kennedy. The impact was so severe that Howe fell head-first into the boards and required emergency surgery to save his life. This episode only served to escalate the tension between the teams further.
Another exciting moment in playoff history happened during the Edmonton Oilers’ 1997 series victory against the Flames. In Game 7 of the series, Todd Marchant scored an iconic overtime goal to secure Edmonton’s win and advance to the next round. This goal remains a vivid memory for the fans and continues to be a part of the ongoing rivalry between the Oilers and Flames.
Rivalry Outside the Ice
Edmonton Oilers fans are passionate about their team, and their rivalries extend beyond just the players on the ice. Fans of opposing teams, such as the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, and Vancouver Canucks, often engage in spirited discussions and debate in various forums, such as online message boards and social media.
These fan rivalries can increase the intensity and excitement surrounding games between the Oilers and their adversaries, as each side cheers loudly and proudly for their respective teams. Some friendly banter can occur, but at times it can escalate to heated exchanges between rival fans, adding another layer to the fierce competition playing out on the ice.
Geographical proximity plays a significant role in the rivalries between the Edmonton Oilers and teams like the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. Being located within the same region, fans from these cities often have friends, family members or co-workers supporting the rival team, which adds fuel to the rivalry.
The relatively short distances between these cities also make it easy and convenient for fans to travel to away games, turning up the heat between the teams and their fans during games. Many fans consider these matches as must-see events, intensifying the already high stakes and emotions of these matchups.
James is a big time NBA Golden State follower, who makes sure to catch games when he's in the area. He likes to follow International Soccer, with an interest in small town soccer club, Blackburn Rovers located in the North on the UK.