Game #48 Preview: Canucks @ Oilers

Thomas Drance
April 27 2013 12:28PM


Photo Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Oilers, fresh off of pantsing the living hell out of the somehow playoff bound Minnesota Wild on Friday and killing the dream of a Canucks first round bye, will look to finish another disappointing season off on a winning note. The Canucks meanwhile, have a final opportunity to tune up for the postseason and also another opportunity for a key player to go down with an injury. I know for sure that there will be a number of fatalistic Canucks fans watching Saturday's contest whilst holding their breath...

Read past the jump.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 7 PM PST

Television: CBC

Radio: Team 1040

Setup:

It looks like Kevin Bieksa is going to return to the Canucks lineup on Saturday for a postseason tune up game. That's great news so long as he makes it through the contest without getting further dinged up. Meanwhile Ryan Kesler, the Sedin twins and all of the key defenceman appear set to play, so yeah, hold your breath and hope Taylor Hall doesn't get too frustrated. Meanwhile it looks like Daniel Sedin and Alex Burrows are out of the lineup and will be replaced on the top-line by Dale Weise and Steve Pinizzotto. So yeah, Henrik will probably only manage three assists or so.

I'd expect we'll see Henrik Sedin get limited ice-time (hopefully no more than eight even strength minutes), while the second line has their minutes limited as well and the same goes for the top-two defence pairings - if they play at all. Frank Corrado played over twenty minutes on Thursday, and I'd think he'll see a similar level of burn on Hockey Night in Canada paired with Andrew Alberts. It's possible the Canucks will rest Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis and Alex Edler on Saturday so we might see a Derek Joslin, Kevin Bieksa, Cam Barker, Keith Ballard, Frank Corrado, Andrew Alberts defensive group which, yeah, Luongo better be on his game.

Obviously, based on my last sentence, Roberto Luongo starts again for the Canucks and it could be his last start in a Canucks jersey. Will Jim Hughson gently sob through a series of flamboyant "Great Save Luongo!" calls? Will you sob along with him?

For the Oilers, it's the last game in another miserable season that will see them back in the expanded draft lottery (a lottery they'll probably win, who are we kidding). A couple of plot lines to watch out for on the Oilers? Taylor Hall could hit some bonuses which would be funny (he's currently at 47 points so a couple additional points would put him in the top-10 and cost the Oilers some coin). Also I have a bet with the Score's Scott Lewis that Jordan Eberle wouldn't exceed 35.5 points. After last night's whoopping of the Wild, Eberle's sitting at 35. So that should make things pretty interesting for me personally especially with Barker, Joslin, Alberts, Bieksa, Ballard and Corrado in the lineup. Actually I've probably already lost that particular bet...

Hopefully the Canucks can finish off the season on a winning note, but really, so long as the club can make it through the game without sustaining any injuries that'll count as a victory in my books.

Numbers Game:

Category Vancouver Edmonton
Record 26-14-7 17-22-7
Goal Differential +11 -19
PP% 15.4% 20.2%
PK% 84.2% 83.5%
Corsi% 51.6% 44.5%
Fenwick Tied% 51.98% 42.9%
PDO 101 99.5

Game Day Links:

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Ben
April 27 2013, 12:45PM
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Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler, Daniel, Burrows not playing

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#2 Ben
April 27 2013, 12:47PM
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Aaand I just saw Drance's newest tweet so oops

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#3 Dmac in TO
April 27 2013, 11:01PM
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Just finished watching the game. They looked pretty bad - are they embarrassd. I felt like they let Luongo down after it went 4-2 - he deserved better. Mayson Raymond is not a smart player. First, unrushed, he puts the puck over the glass, giving the Oilers at 5 on 3 PP. Then on another PK, on a 2 on 1, he puts his shot over the net leading to a 4 on 2 rush back by the Oilers. Currently 3-2 for Kings, so it looks like Canucks - Sharkes. Either way, Canucks are in trouble.

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#4 JI123
April 27 2013, 11:15PM
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@Dmac in TO

That is a bit of an overreaction. They didn't have Daniel, Henrik (except for 22 seconds), Garrison, Edler, Hamhuis, and Schneider (who would have started a meaningful game), and Burrows. The Oilers had nothing to play for, and were a bunch of kids in a scrimmage showing off their circus moves and tricks. It is all fine, except for leaving Lou out to dry.

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#5 Dmac in TO
April 28 2013, 08:42AM
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@JI123

No, I dont think it is an overeaction. When they were down 5-2, they were losing all the little battles. AV should have pulled Luongo. The last two goals by the Oilers were just a result of hard work and lack of attention by the Canucks - not circus moves and tricks. AS for line-up, the Ducks were without a few key players, and they pushed the play against the Canucks on Thursday. The Flames, after the trades and missing a few key players, played hard down the stretch. The real issue, IMO, is that they hung Luongo out to dry. As Hrudy pointed out on HNIC, he was exhausted at the end of the 5 on 3. Lu maybe the game one starter and so last nights game is not a good omen.

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#6 JI123
April 28 2013, 09:44AM
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@Dmac in TO

I agree that there was no way that the team should have hung Lou out to dry, he is a classy player and a classy guy, and the players in front of him just gave up. I agree Raymond should just pack up and leave. He is infuriating at the best of times because you know what he can play like but for some reason... he doesn't. Let's not forget Cam Barker played almost 20 (twenty) mins, and was a minus 4. By the end of the game the Canucks didn't really care because they just wanted the season to end and meaningful hockey to begin, without the score reaching double digits. The Ducks game is a bad example because they do not necessarily rely on the players that didn't play as much as we do, and they have much better depth players. I just hope Luongo has some sort of confidence left, if he has to start game 1.

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#7 Dmac in TO
April 28 2013, 10:26AM
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@JI123

Agree all around. Win the first game of the playoffs and all will be forgotten. I am not optimistic about their chances though. San Jose shed players and played better down the stretch. Still, if the defense solidifies, get great goaltending and a forward or two gets hot, then they could go far. Cheers!

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