There has been roughly 260 fights between the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers over their long history of the inter-provincial rivalry; the Battle of Alberta. But, one fight on Saturday night in particular, made history. When Flames goaltender, Cam Talbot, decided to meet Mike Smith at center ice for a fight, the two goalies became the first on either team to fight their rival’s goaltender.
The altercation was a secondary fight after a line brawl broke out in the Flames’ zone. Then, Matthew Tkachuk got into a fight with Ethan Bear, which ultimately led to the goalies wanting to put on their own show. Smith played for the Flames last season in 42 games and Talbot played for the Oilers in 31 games last season before heading to a short stint in Philadelphia.
Following the altercation, the officials decided to play the final 24 seconds of the second period after the break in order to allow tensions to cool off.
Talbot entered the game after David Rittich was pulled, who had allowed 6 goals on 28 shots. Talbot entered the game and allowed 2 goals on 21 shots. Rittich re-entered the game after the second intermission when it became official that Talbot and Smith were both ejected from the game.
Even Talbot’s wife, Kelly got involved on Twitter saying, “Cam fought and if he didn’t people would chirp him for being scared. I don’t care of [the] outcome, he fought for his team. We can’t win them all with this game.”
The line brawl followed the recent re-ignition of the Battle of Alberta, which has been arguably dead for the past couple of decades. The rising tensions between both teams began a few weeks ago after Tkachuk ran Oilers’ forward Zack Kassian three times throughout the game, which led to Kassian taking out his frustrations by attacking Tkachuk. The player feud grew and has resulted in some intense hockey these past few games.
The Flames lead the season series 3-1 after Saturday’s game. The Oilers dominated the last game and won 8-3 in Calgary. The next and final Battle of Alberta will take place April 6, 2020.