Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin – USA TODAY Sports

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The Canucks are the 3rd hottest team in the NHL right now after a sizzling 3-2 OT winner against the Ducks last night (Blue Jackets and Wild are the other two but you knew that). The Oilers are coming off a big win against Milan Lucic’s old team, the Kings. It has the makings of a championship bout after the undercard is played (again, Jackets and Wild). 

I can’t think of a better way to finish off 2016 but to read this action packed GDT and watch said game it is about. It’s not the Flyers and I doubt the Canucks lose 8-0. The Canucks DO have to fly to Edmonton for this one so there’s a chance the first period goes poorly because of the shock of being in Edmonton.

Go Canucks Go! 

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Can’t imagine any changes to the lineup for tonight. How do you mess with an absolutely perfect performance against the Ducks last night? I would start with the 1/7 power play and putting Loui Eriksson with the Sedins but no one asked me personally.

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Jacob Markstrom gets the nod this evening. He’s waited patiently so I’m sure he’ll be amped to stop the pucks.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of

They have been promoting this Connor McDavid kid and I hear good things. Un-Canuck Milan Lucic is his Dave Semenko and the pattern in his last 5 games suggests Lucic is shutout. There are a lot of names on this Oilers team I can’t pronounce so maybe just read who they have and we’ll both nod in agreement.

The Oilers have also recalled Jordan Oesterle, plot twist.

Cam Talbot looks like he is the starter tonight. The Edmonton Journal is pretty confident you can’t miss with this guy.

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Edmonton Oilers lines courtesy of


  • Vancouver hasn’t played on New Year’s Eve since 2011, the time before that was in 2010. The Canucks split those contests by the same score of 4-1, with the Kings winning in 2011 and Vancouver beating the Stars in 2010 (Cory Schneider was a monster in that one.) That score has been pretty popular this season for the Canucks so you should count on it being tonight’s final result, either way.
  • Bo Horvat is looking more and more like the player he will become. His little pass to himself off the net last night set up the Jack Skille goal and his drive to the puck every play paints him as our next superstar. It could be the Horvat/McDavid show tonight.
  • No one will be happier to see December end than Jacob Markstrom. He has one win against the Jets. In those losses, he’s averaged 2.4 GA/GM. You better wish for that 4 goal performance from the Canucks because it looks like we’ll see at least 2 goals against. 
  • Ben Hutton has an assist in his last 2 games, this is fact. Does anyone remember when he cut the mullet? I feel like that was his reverse Samson moment and he could be in line for a plethora of points.
  • Jack Skille has been a competitor this season. He isn’t blowing the doors off the building or anything but he seems to show up when the top lines fade out. He isn’t a terrible player and the Canucks may have found a 4th line staple for years to come. 


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Since 2006, the Oilers have been poor every night of the week, but Saturday—and national television—have offered their own special funk for the town team. I don’t have to look up the record to know it, because Saturday night HNIC has been special for me since the 1960s.

The Oilers are exorcising demons all over hell’s half acre this season, on their way to a truly respectable record. Please, baby Jesus New Year baby baby, let this night be the beginning of a new dawn, a new day, get us feeling good for Saturdays to come. Amen, hallelujah, amen.

How can you disagree? This is Canada’s team, right?


Canucks win to finish out a horrendous 2016, I get to eat wings and shoot fireworks tonight, maybe don’t watch the Canucks game and see what kind of shenanigans I get up to. 


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I think so. Not much has changed. I suppose Jim Benning could make a big trade and a free agent sees it and wants to sign here and some kind of chain reaction happens but I’m guessing they just lose some more games.

  • Oh no, not these parade planning clowns from Alberta again.

    Oilers are a one man show. The Connor McDavid show. After ten years of suck (I think they call it the decade of darkness) a teenager comes along, and turns a Billion dollar franchise into a winner. A teenager does all that. Unbelievable.

  • Laxbruh15

    I like edler paired with gudbranson when he gets back. He’s kind of a reflection of who he plays with and is complimentary not an anchor. This would give us a solid top pairing as he’s shown he can play when someone else is driving play. Tanev could be paired with Stecher and Hutton or sbisa with tryamkin. Preferably sbisa. Horvat looks like a future number one, like scheiffle or toews. Once virtanen gets back they’ll have a legitimate first line with him, Sven, and bo. It’ll also let burrows play with the sedins again.

    • Edler and Gudbranson would make an interesting pairing. However, Tanev and Stecher both play the right side. We should have more options next year.

      Edler – Stecher

      Juolevi – Tanev

      Tryamkin – Gudbranson

      Hutton – Pedan/Biega

      I assume Sbisa gets claimed by Vegas.

  • DJ_44

    First off, Eriksson played with the Sedins in the third period last night, with Megna put with Granlund and Sutter.

    While Skille shows up some nights, there is a reason why he is a journeyman on PTO’s …. he only shows up half the nights and then usually only half the shifts. The Canucks really miss Dorset. People slag him for his contract (have you seen Matt Martin’s deal?) but he brings it every night….if only he had a pair of hands.

    I would prefer to see Rodin in on the Sutter line, with either Gaunce or Chaput out, and Megna on the forth.

    With respect to Hutton…in order to get a “plethora of points”, specifically assists, you have to be able to complete a pass: let’s start with baby steps…maybe some defensive coverage if he progresses beyond a crawl. Or better yet, sit him for a couple and let Pedan step in.

  • Not much love for Ben Hutton these days. He had an outstanding season and played well above expectation. This year not so much. The sophomore slump is real. Horvatt went through it last year. I hope Stecher doesn’t next year. It’s just part of a young man finding his way. Growing pains.

    • Dirty30

      Last year Hutton knew what he had to do and did it well. Had some bad moments, off nights and such, but basically played well.

      This season he seems to have gotten confused in his pairing with Gudbranson– maybe looking for leadership or direction. He also may have thought he could do more with Guddy backing him up and that didn’t work either.

      Hutton’s assignment needs to be stripped down to solid basics — nothing fancy — get the puck, get the puck up the ice, watch the play and pinch if it’s there or drop back if it’s not.

      And the gaffs in Hutton’s play are striking when you watch Stecher do things that seem impossible at times at speeds and situations that defy expectations.

      Hutton will turn it around, he just needs to get back to basics and develop some success and confidence.

      • DJ_44

        I love it….the “Guddy ruined him” narrative.

        Look at his inability to advance the puck on the PP…..that is Gudbranson’s fault. Although that minor bantam look-away Hutton does coming up the ice is sure to fool NHL players.

        He has been worse since Gudbranson has been out… it is Tanev… Tryamkin? Hutton’s inability and laziness to maintain defensive coverage is Gudbranson’s fault? He has developed terrible habits in his zone, where he either loses body position due to lack of hockey sense or lack of effort.

        Please. He has to stop believing the undeserved shade Vancouver media throws his way. Better yet, put him in the press box for three games and send him a strong message.

        I hope he straightens out to up his trade value. He should not be a part of the Canucks D going forward.

        • Freud

          You are offering up a “Hutton is bad” hot take while suggesting others have a narrative on Gudbransen?

          What evidence do you have to back up your Hutton hot take?

          You’ve only stated opinion, after taking issue with someone else’s opinion.

          • DJ_44

            Evidence. Look no further than three events.

            1. Last nights short-handed goal (maybe Gudbrason yelled from the press box and confused Ben about which man to take on a 2-on-2 shorthanded rush).

            2. The almost backbreaking third goal against Columbus which, again, was pure laziness.

            3. Watch 80% of his breakout passes…..either they are ahead or behind the intended target, turned over to the other team, or (if we are fortunate) go for icing.

            It was not my hot take that Hutton has been brutal; we were both in agreement on that. The question was who do you blame: a guy that has been out for two/three weeks with injury, or the player who continually screws up regardless of the playing partner or the situation. I suggest the latter.

  • DJ_44

    Enough with my Hutton rant: on a separate note:

    I think HNIC is going to subject us to the play-by-play call of Paul Romanuk. Apart from Dave Randorff, Romanuk is the worst.

    Give us Shorty…the best play-by-play in the business. He is also the most intelligent, aware and neutral play-by-play guy of all the HNIC guys.

    • crofton

      It’s getting hard to know what’s a good goal and what’s not. For instance, I thought Burrows’ goal had more interference than Granlund’s ungoal, except that when you looked at the angle of Horvat’s skates, it proved the d man put him in there. When you compare goals allowed/disallowed for and against Vancouver, it really makes you wonder. I have said before – part of the problem is they have some 75 (?) refs making calls, so you have 75 varying opinions. All made with the epitome of technology, the 6″ tablet. I was….well…quite outraged at the interference they called on Sutter. I think you tread on dangerous ice if you allow goaltenders to initiate the contact and get the call. Talbot couldn’t get his glove up to make the save? Where is his glove normally? Right. Down by his waist and even lower in the b’fly

    • Bud Poile

      Waited for it myself,and waited and waited.

      The Oilers had their review up 30 minutes after the game.

      The Canucks beat three divisional rivals in a row,all of which are playoff contenders and we Canucks fans get nothing.

        • DJ_44

          I suggest everyone ease off on criticizing the CA folks. It is a free blog, it was NYE, and they may have a very valid excuse we do not know about.

          Happy New Year CA and everyone!

          • Bud Poile

            I don’t know of any blogs that charge and this site has paying advertisers while some CA bloggers aspire to greater ends through this blog.

            Given the participation on the Canucks Nation board while Oilers Nation,Jets Nation and Leafs Nation all wrote PGT’s that valid excuse is looking suspect.

  • crofton

    Another nice effort. They played well as a team again, didn’t give up. I think one reason they have some success (when they do have it) is when the forwards are getting back at EXACTLY the right time, picking up misplayed drop passes, deflections, being in the right place to support the d and take those quick Stecher passes, whatever, so the d zone exit is quick and effective. I thought also the 4th line had some really good O zone shifts, hemming in the Oil nicely. Their team face off % was sky high…that sure helps. Said it before, not sure what Malhotra has to do with that, but good hire there.

  • DJ_44

    Here’s my review.

    The Canucks dominated the game. The only real chances the Oilers had were on the PP. and those were minimized. Sutherland calling Sedin for hooking with under two minutes left was terrible. Even the HNIC crew commented on that. He is a very weak official and should hang them up.

    As for the video reviews: I thought they got both of them correct. The Sutter was close, but he was in the crease adn while there was a slight arguement that he had a push from the D-man, it impeded the goalie. The second one, the d-man can-opened Horvat and it was his stick that cranked Talbot’s pads (not that he would have made the save anyway.

    I loved the effort. The forwards plain out-worked the Oilers at every turn. The Granlund-Sutter-Eriksson line was matched against McDavid and they did an excellent job, collectively defending against him.

    The defense was also very good. It was great to see Tryamkin step up and shoot the puck. He will start to get goals with that shot. It is great to see his confidence building with each game. Hutton played well. He is still fighting the puck, but he opted for the simple, low risk plays last night and it showed. Maybe third pairing assignments is what he needs.

    Finally, while Willie takes and incredible amount of flack (some deserved for sure) we should acknowledge that the team plays hard, pretty much every game (Calgary excluded). That is from the coach and veterans in the room. Compare that to what the Oilers used to be, or the Leafs used to be, or Arizona and Colorado now. Good on ya Willie.

  • Tara

    I’m tired AF watching the Canucks beating this Oilers team for the last decade or so. Again again again and again.. Again and again…just f**king tired! Never ending!

  • Great game. Well deserved win. Three game winning streak and no CA response. Kids are sleeping, late night I guess.

    Zebras “missing” the call against Larsson, while he was hammering on Sedins head was a bit much. The penalty against Sedin with two minutes left in the game was just over the top. It’s not possible to miss calls like that. There is more at play here. League needs to review, which they won’t. Incompetence should have consequence.