GDR #34 - Oilers @ Canucks

Cam Davie
December 26 2010 11:47AM

EDMONTON, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 26: Raffi Torres  of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Edmonton Oilers on September 26, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

 

Game Day Recon #34 - Oilers @ Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks last left their fans full of Christmas cheer. With their convincing win over Columbus, the Canucks reached 20 wins in only 33 games, the second fastest they've reached that marked in team history.

So tonight they need to take care of their own house and take a long-time divisional foe to task.

Broadcast Info

Game Time: 6:00 PM PT

TV: RSN-PAC Radio: Team1040

The Intel

The Canucks have beaten up on the Oilers this year, but the young Edmontonians have given their Northwest Division rivals a scare or two. The Canucks are 2-0-0 against the Oilers this year, but both games were only one goal victories. Their last meeting, a 2-1 Vancouver win, was arguably the most lopsided one-goal game of the season. The Canucks completely dominated the game, and the Oilers managed to sneak in a goal with 5 seconds left in the game.

While the Canucks should be encouraged that they can can handily control the tempo of a game against the Oilers, they should be concerned that the scoresheet has not reflected their domination in those two games.

The Canucks cannot let the Oilers hang around in those types of games. And when they do get a lead, they had better put it out of reach. If you recall their first meeting this year, the Canucks built up a 3--0 lead, then let the Oilers tie the game in pretty short order, only to have former Oiler Raffi Torres score his third of the game to seal it for the Canucks.

The Canucks are certainly capable of putting a Blue Jackets-style hurt on the Oilers. And they probably should tonight, if they want to show the Oilers how they should have won their previous two games.

The Three Keys

Here are the three keys for the Vancouver Canucks tonight:

1. Get to the goalie early. With Khabibulin the likely starter, the Canucks need to get to him early. The Bulin Wall has been pretty good in December, so Vancouver needs to get a lot of shots and traffic to the net early.

2. Roll on, Raffi! Raffi Torres has 5 points, including a hattrick, in two games already against the Oilers this year. He obviously loves laying some hurt on his former team. So let him! Get him plenty of ice time and lets see some latin HEAT brought to the ice tonight!

3. Lock down Hall and Gagner. Both Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner have been heating up lately. But neither has points against the Canucks this year. The Canucks need to keep up whatever defense they've laid on the young Oilers and do it again.

The Links

Here are your top 5 links for today's game:

1. Tale of the Tape: Oilers @ Canucks (canucks.com)

2. Game Trax: Canucks vs. Oilers (Fox Sports)

3. Win could push Canucks into West lead (NHL.com)

4. Luongo odds facing Oilers

(Sportsnet)

5. Will Torres do it again? (Faceoff.com/Province)

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Cam was born in Greater Vancouver, raised in Greater Vancouver, and lives in Greater Vancouver. So, yes, he's from Vancouver. He attended his first Vancouver Canucks game on Dec 26th, 1980 and has bled orange/black/red/blue+green ever since. You can reach him on Twitter @tinfoiltuque or on e-mail at tinfoiltuque(at)gmail(dot)com.
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#1 Aleslav Smidsky
December 26 2010, 06:18PM
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I want to be the FIST to sh!t on your parade.

You won't win the Stanley Cup this year, or any year.

If Loungo is so good, why is half of your cap space spent on defense?

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#2 Yankee Canuck
December 26 2010, 06:34PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

First, it's Luongo. Not trying to be that grammar guy, but if we have to remember Paajarvi, you can handle a couple vowels.

To answer your question, Vancouver's goals against per game is 2.54, yours is 3.27, otherwise known as dead last in the league. That helps explain why Vancouver put a premium on defense and you give Jason Strudwick over 15 minutes of ice time.

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#3 Aleslav Smidsky
December 26 2010, 06:37PM
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@Yankee Canuck

Where does 2.54 rank in the league? Where does Luongo's GAA rank in the league also?

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#4 Yankee Canuck
December 26 2010, 06:53PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

7th best in the league.

Luongo's GAA is 17th which obviously isn't great. Dating back to the Panthers, he suffers from slow starts which is a lame excuse, but it is what it is. His December stats have been stronger (7-1, .918 S%, 2.08 GAA) and, if history is any indication, should post solid numbers through March.

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#5 Aleslav Smidsky
December 26 2010, 07:00PM
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@Yankee Canuck

7th best in an oxymoron, grammar guy.

If history is any indication, Loungo will sh!t the bed in the play-offs and you will try again next year, with more hope and optimism ofcourse. Maybe you guys will sign another 3+mill dman to help him out.

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#6 Yankee Canuck
December 26 2010, 09:15PM
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@Aleslav Smidsky

"Loungo will sh!t the bed in the play-offs and you will try again next year, with more hope and optimism ofcourse"

Once again, spelling is your friend.

And of course they will be back at it "with more hope and optimism" in 2011. 29 other teams will be as well. After 40 years of poor results, few teams know that better than Vancouver. Except perhaps your Oilers since not every GM can subscribe to Tambellini's special concept of team-building. Good luck with all that.

But I dig the Oiler's core and hope you guys get better just for your fanbase. After curb stomping you at yearly clip, I'll gladly take a stronger Oilers squad at the expense of, say, the Flames.

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