Spy vs Spy

The Oilers and Canucks will close out 2016 with a New Year’s Eve affair and we’ve asked writers from both OilersNation and CanucksArmy to give us their take on tonight’s matchup. We’ve also put together a few quick stats to get you ready for the last Nation battle of the year. 


Saturday, December 31st, 2016 – Rogers Place (Edmonton) – 8pm (MST) or 7pm (PST) on CBC/Sportsnet

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Edmonton Oilers Vancouver Canucks
19-12-6 (2nd in the Pacific)  16-18-3 (6th in the Pacific) 
5-2-3 in their last 10 4-5-1 in their last 10
Power Play (PP%): 21.7% (8th)  Power Play (PP%): 14.0% (27th) 
Penalty Kill (PK%): 82.3% (12th) Penalty Kill (PK%): 80.4% (21st)
OilersNation_white CanucksArmy_white

Last Meeting:

When these two teams last met on October 28th, the Oilers walked away with a 2-0 victory in a game that was much closer than the score might lead you to believe. Since that last meeting, the Oilers have cooled from their 7-1 start and the Canucks will look to take advantage of a team that still struggles with consistency. 

Points Leaders:

Connor McDavid (EDM) – 13G, 29A = 42 points

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Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – 14G, 18A = 32 points

Milan Lucic (EDM) – 10G, 15A = 25 points

Henrik Sedin (VAN) – 9G, 15A = 24 points

Bo Horvat (VAN) – 10G, 13A = 23 points

Daniel Sedin (VAN) – 10G, 12A = 22 points


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Player GP GS W L OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO Mins
Cam Talbot  33 33 18 10 5 997 81 2.47 916 .919 3 1,969
Jonas Gustavsson 6 4 1 2 1 122 13 2.90 109 .893 0 270


Player GP GS W L OT SA GA GAA S Sv% SO Mins
Jacob Markstrom 19 16 7 8 2 482 44 2.65 438 .909 0 996
Ryan Miller 21 21 9 10 1 637 58 2.81 579 .909 0 1,240


Why is your team going to win or why will your enemy lose?

Baggedmilk (OilersNation):

Easy. The Sedins are 3000 years old and aside from those two there is no one to worry about? Brandon Sutter? Loui Ericksson? Pfft… get outta here. 

J.D. Burke (CanucksArmy):

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Well, it’s quite simple, you see. We have this player, Sven Baertschi, and he’s pretty great. We’re quite fond of him at Canucks Army. He’s no McDavid, but we don’t have a lot to hang onto, so let us have him. Baertschi’s going to have a big night. Just you wait and see.

Who’s hot? Who’s not?


Connor McDavid is hot fire right now and there’s nothing the Canucks will be able to do about it. Same can’t be said for Jesse Puljujarvi, though. I think the kid could use a Red Bull because his goal scoring wings have been lacking.

J.D. Burke:

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Loui Eriksson has goals in back-to-back games, so I would imagine he qualifies. Though his counting numbers haven’t been great, he’s been a defensive force all season. I’m glad to see it all starting to come together now.

Why should people watch this game?


It’s important for Canucks fans to watch a team that’s on the rise. It will make their plummet into obscurity that much more painful. Thank you. 

J.D. Burke:

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Because that’s the only way to really capture the value of Kris Russell. Don’t just be an arrogant ‘Corsi Guy’ and look at his stats. You’re going to want to see just why exactly Peter Chiarelli is going to sign him to a contract that will make Erik Gudbranson’s extension look good.

Say something nice about your opponent.


I bet the Sedins save a tonne of money on suits since they’re able to share. Adorable. I also love the work Jim Benning is doing for your team. 

J.D. Burke:

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Well, Jim Benning learned from the best. Remember when Pete Chiarelli traded Blake Wheeler? Or Tyler Seguin? Or Taylor Hall? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

Any last words?


Feel free to jump ship, Canucks fans. We have Connor McDavid steering the ship plenty of room on the bandwagon. It’s only a matter of time before the Canucks suck bad enough for you to bail on them anyway.

J.D. Burke:

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I’m so very happy to see your ten-year rebuild finally end(?). 


Join in the conversation on Twitter at @OilersNation and @CanucksArmy to give us your thoughts on the game. Social media not your thing? Keep the battle going in the game day articles at OilersNation and CanucksArmy.

  • andyg

    The Oilers have finally landed some good young talent and the new management has surrounded them with a few vets to lead the way.
    As they get older and improve their D (with maturity or additions) they will be a contender again.
    Nice to see the west coming alive and being relevant.

  • The_Blueline

    The Oiler sure have some players that I would like on the Canucks team (no, Lulic is not one of them). Nice win anyway. Good game from our first line. Now maybe WD could deploy them like one? Granlund had 21min TOI, Baer 13min. That is madness

  • Roy

    Ow. My brain. Not one single post of substance.

    My one criticism of the Oilers is that prior to McLellan, the team had clearly settled into a mindset where losing was normal and accepted. Almost every game. All teams do this once in a while, and the best teams rarely do this, but Edmonton showed up with the acceptance that losing was acceptable 2/3 of the time. For years and years.

    Even at the end of one of its crappiest seasons in recent memory, our captain publicly stated that his team would never accept such a mindset, and they won two in a row.

    The Canucks have never tanked. Tanking is giving up. Literally, a loser mentality. The Oilers have been deliberate losers for years and years.

    I don’t understand how anyone could support a team like that. The only reason the Oilers have most of the roster they do is because they deliberately lost. So the losers got rewarded with the best young players again and again. Every win now is a blue ribbon for the stupidest kid in the room.

    Yeah, that makes me disgruntled. The lottery system is a joke and tanking is the least classy thing a team could do, and the Oilers don’t deserve 80% of the talent on their roster.

    From a former fan.

  • TheRealPB

    Enjoyable game from two teams going in predictably opposite directions. I really wish we could get past the lame trash talk but I guess that’s also predictable. Hard as a hockey fan to really hate a guy like McDavid (or Draisatl and some of the other young Oiler players). Luckily they picked up Lucic so there’s still someone to despise…

    I know I’m biased with all the goals that have been waved off this season but if the NHL really is interested in increasing fan excitement and scoring, all these marginal calls have to stop.

    I’d love to continue these face-off game days (better than a lot of the other previews we tend to get), hopefully we can filter out the juvenile comments and get focused on the more interesting comments from actual fans.

    • The_Blueline

      Good comment.
      Yes, I also hope that we get more of these joint previews. For all the trash talkers: it’s about the game, don’t take you and the love for your team so serious.

  • TrueBlueGreen

    Yup, I’m sure after getting worked over with 335 losses (ouch) since 2009 , that you all went to sleep every night saying , “Well Its ok, I still feel great watching my Oilers lose night in and night out…we have more cups than the Canucks”. Get real! Be more creative. It blows watching my Canucks team lose. The Canucks have just started getting a full healthy team together and are wrapping some W’s together. And In the end it’s what you’re watching today and tomorrow that gets you excited to watch your teams. Not what your Parents have told you about the good ol’ days of their Oilers. I would LOVE to see these two teams meet in the playoffs because when the Canucks win in game 7 we’ll know who the better team is this year…..until I’m reminded how many cups you have.