Oilers vs Flames: McDavid the key to success in Alberta

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The 42-year rivalry between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers is well on its way to regaining its status as one of the most heated in the National Hockey League (NHL). 

An ongoing feud between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian is the central story powering a renewed bitterness that has threatened to spiral out of control. 

The two players have repeatedly been at loggerheads over the past year, sparking a return to nastiness in the aptly-named Battle of Alberta. 

The head-to-head between the pair could be the catalyst that fires one of these two storied franchises back to the top of the NHL. 

Both teams certainly need something to inspire them given the current state of play in the supremely competitive Pacific Division.  

While they each have several games in hand on the teams above them, there are no guarantees that either the Flames or Oilers will progress to the play-offs. 

This is reflected by the latest Stanley Cup betting, with Betway Insider predicting that both teams are in danger of missing out on the post-season. 

However, with more than half of their regular season games still to play, there is plenty of time for the Flames and Oilers to make a mockery of that bold prediction. 

If the two Canadian teams manage to turn things around, Oilers fans following NHL live streams will be hoping they meet their big rivals in the play-offs. 

There have been five post-season series between Edmonton and Calgary, with the Oilers winning four including two on their way to lifting the Stanley Cup. 

The Oilers famously clinched five NHL championships between 1983-84 and 1989-90, a run which few teams in NHL history can equal. 

While they have failed to win another title since then, many pundits believe they have the ability to end their barren spell. 

The key to their hopes is undoubtedly Connor McDavid, who is widely rated as the greatest player in the NHL right now. 

The 25-year-old also loves playing against the Flames, having bagged 26 goals and 43 points in his previous meetings with the Oilers’ main rivals.  

McDavid has a major point to prove this term after predicting that the Oilers were genuine Stanley Cup contenders last season

They were subsequently defeated 4-0 by the Winnipeg Jets to leave McDavid questioning whether he would ever win a championship with the Oilers. 

Although things haven’t quite gone to plan this season, the Oilers are more than capable of forcing their way into contention during the second half of the campaign. 

The Flames are arguably a little further away from becoming a play-off team, with their young roster lacking the experience needed to get the job done. 

As things stand, McDavid is unquestionably the key to success in Alberta, and Oilers fans will be desperate for their hero to stick around and lead their glory charge. 

He is currently under contract until 2026, but another year without a trophy could persuade McDavid to consider his future.  

Regardless of what happens to McDavid, the return of the rivalry between the Oilers and Flames should continue to inspire both teams to greater heights.

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