After the fireworks we saw in a rejuvenated Battle of Alberta on Saturday night, we’re now looking forward to when these two teams meet next: Jan. 29 in Edmonton. But, actually, at least a few of these players will be in close proximity again just before that showdown.
All-star weekend comes next week from St. Louis, with the skills competition set for Friday, Jan. 24, and 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday. The Pacific Division is slated to have seven forwards on hand, including Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl along with Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk. Mark Giordano of the Flames will be one of the two defencemen.
So what are the chances that the three Alberta forwards will share a shift?
Probably not good.
When Draisaitl was asked on Monday what he would do if he and McDavid found themselves sharing the ice with Tkachuk for some 3-on-3 during all-star, he said simply: “I would probably get off the ice,” per Jim Matheson.
The rivalry between the two teams was fired up again on Saturday, a 4-3 win by the Flames that was defined by the physicality, especially the run-ins between Tkachuk and Zack Kassian.
Tkachuk twice hit Kassian with controversial checks, but the league is reviewing Kassian for potential suspension after he instigated a fight with Tkachuk following one of those hits, and received a misconduct. Tkachuk received some outside flak for not engaging with Kassian in a fight, but on Monday he stood by his decision, telling Eric Francis it “was probably the right thing to do right there.”
The Flames scored what stood as the game-winning goal on the ensuing power play.