Given that we’re two days away from Halloween, it only makes sense that the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames arrived at the Heritage Classic in killer costumes.
The Oilers arrived at the outdoor classic decked out as oil rig workers, while the Flames represented their city and its stampede by arriving in overalls and cowboy hats.
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) October 29, 2023
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 29, 2023
Edmonton’s attire is also an extended metaphor for their objectives right now. The Oilers, who many viewed as legitimate cup contenders heading into the year, sit 31st in the standings with a 1-5-1 record.
“We're obviously looking to do the blue-collar hard work tonight to get a win and then roll from there,” Oilers defenseman Mattias Ekholm told reporters ahead of the game as he donned his pregame fit.
Seven games into the season, Edmonton ranks 26th in goals per game (2.43), 30th in goals against per game (4.29) and 31st in team save percentage (.860). Oilers fans booed their own team throughout their brutal 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday evening.
“It’s easy to point fingers. Everyone’s got to look in the mirror and be a whole lot [explitive] better,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse told reporters after that loss.
The Flames were also booed by their own fans on Thursday in the midst of being shutout 3-0 by the St. Louis Blues. With a 2-5-1 record, Calgary is also dwelling in the basement of the league's standings, sitting one spot above Edmonton (30th). Entering the game, Calgary sat 29th in goals per game (2.13), 25th in goals against per game (3.50) and 28th in team save percentage (.878).
"I just want to apologize to our fans, we're playing like [expletive] right now," Flames defenseman Zadorov told reporters Thursday evening.
Also notable, Connor McDavid returned for the Oilers after missing the previous two games with an upper-body injury.