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CANUCKS ARMY GDT 1 – CANUCKS VS. OILERS

And so it begins.

The Vancouver Canucks open their season at home against the Edmonton Oilers. Unfortunately, this game will be less about what’s new with the Canucks and more about Connor McDavid’s point total.

There is a lot to talk about as the season gets underway but for tonight, enjoy having hockey back in Vancouver. No tanking, no power play issues just a clean slate. It may not last all that long, but for one night, at the very least, the Canucks are a team that brings hope.

Let’s do this!

WATCH / LISTEN / FACE-OFF

TV: CBC (Hockey Night in Canada)

RADIO: SN650

PUCK DROP: 7:00 PM

LINES

Thomas Vanek with the Sedins. That’s where we start. Is this the year the Twins get back to relative normalcy or will their linemates secure their fate and force them to retire? Loui Eriksson will begin with arguably the best line on the team last year in Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Wunderkind Brock Boeser will start with what looks to be Sam Gagner and Alex Burmistrov, hopefully, that doesn’t last too long.

Derek Dorsett is back in Canucks blue and green and will bang around on the 4th line.

Jacob Markstrom will man the pipes.

Vancouver Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

 

The Oilers have loaded up their top line which could quickly dispose of the Canucks. McDavid has already put up a hat-trick to start the season, and that might be the warm-up for what could occur tonight. Edmonton’s second line could be electric as well with the talented rookie Kailer Yamamoto getting shifts with Milan Lucic and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

This could end up being a long night.

Cam Talbot will get the start.

Edmonton Oilers lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Your Bud Red Light glasses from last year. Make sure you have charged batteries in them, wifi turned on and Canucks setting turned to green (that mean’s you want to see them score goals). Another thing to add, make sure the glass is visible to not only you but everyone else in the room, people need to know the Canucks can score. Even a gimmicky glass won’t lie in this case.
  • The most underrated story going into tonight’s game is Sam Gagner’s eight-point night sequel. Am I saying bet big on this, no? No one would see it coming if he repeated this and with Brock Boeser on his line, he has a ten… maybe 12% chance of getting it done.
  • Bo Horvat had five assists in his last ten games to end the season and one goal in his final 18. The season was written off, sure, but for a player that is expected to lead this team forward and be its top point getter, he’ll need to show early on he can handle the challenge.
  • Michael Del Zotto has been brought in to help the Canucks PP and with 34% of his 189 career points coming on the man advantage, his talents will hopefully come in handy. Del Zotto currently has 66 PPP so three or so points would be pretty nice to start his tenure.
  • Latest addition Thomas Vanek gets the nod with Henrik and Daniel this evening. He too is only three points away from a career milestone which in Vanek’s case is 700 points. This game could be a shootout, but it’s unlikely. Regardless, at some point in the next week or two Vanek will reach that total and could potentially add a healthy amount more if either the Twins have some kind of renaissance or Vanek lands slightly younger linemates. Either way, he’s a Canuck so we shouldn’t hope for either.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Well, then I have no idea, Jeff. Maybe Eriksson?

MY TAKE

I love the Canucks –I really do — but this Oilers team looks dangerous, and this could be a season where no team has an answer for Connor McDavid. His end-to-ender on Wednesday was a thing of beauty and reminded some of a player that once tore up the Pacific Coliseum. Vancouver is probably going to lose their opener, but they just don’t have the firepower to keep Edmonton at bay.

OVER/UNDER

McDavid point total +/- (5)                 Go with the over, he’s that good.

Sedins hooking penalties +/- (2)         I feel like they hit three on this one.

  • truthseeker

    We’ll see. That’s why the games are played and not based on lineup charts.

    Their 3rd and 4th lines can be scored against and their D is still their weak point. They are the much better team for sure, but this is 2017 in the NHL. Even the worst teams have their night against the better teams. Parity has lessened the effects of a superstar.

    • valleycanuck

      Every modern NHL team has it’s weaknesses ne you’ve certainly nailed your assessment of Edmontons. I see a Canucks lineup built on containing their top line (Horvat and Sutter, top D pair) and outscoring the rest. Based on these two rosters I doubt there is a better way to approach this game for the Canucks.

  • I don’t see Jake Virtanen in our lineup. I would line match and have Jake shadow McDavid for sixty minutes, shift after shift. Neutralizing McDavid is obviously necessary and Virtanen has the speed and enough bite to get it done, similar to what Cole Cassels did in junior.
    Also, we have to get in Talbot’s face, someone has to block his view. On the other end Markstrom has to play well. He’s now in his prime years, so it’s time to shine.

    Should be good a game. Hope we don’t come out flat, like the Flames did the other night.

  • wojohowitz

    I don`t think these defensive pairings will work. Edler and Stecher worked well last season. Tanev and anybody can do the job. Guddy and Zotto will be an adventure. Hutton and Stecher are not ready to be a pair. The way it looks Edler and Tanev will play 25 minutes each and they can`t do that for a whole season

    Edler-Stecher

    Hutton-Tanev

    Zotto-Guddy

    • DJ_44

      I would think Green will match Edler-Tanev against McDavid/Draisaitl all night, along with Sutter/Granlund.

      These lines and defensive pairings are set for the Oilers and I expect them to change for other teams.

    • hank_n_dank420

      just because theyre written that way doesnt mean its stone, greens been talking about defence hopping up and look to hutton or stetcher to bring the puck up the boards past the oilers fat boys for some odd mans (and granlund save the day rushing back all year) with horvat more offence based ol grannys gonna be unsung hero 2way ninja

    • Killer Marmot

      Further to my post, who’s going to kill penalties for the Canucks? Everyone talks about the power play, but the PK is just as important.

      The Canucks lost two penalty killers with Hansen and Burrows. And a third PK, Gaunce, is out with injuries. Horvat killed penalties last year but was bad at it. The free agents they signed over the summer don’t kill penalties with the exception of Burmistrov.

      So that leaves Sutter, Granlund, Dorsett, maybe Burmistrov and Eriksson, and not much else. If you’re wondering why Green makes the decisions he does, this explains some of it.

  • Canucks Realist

    Connor licking his lips about facing slug-branson, edler et al. Jagr has tipped McDollars for 100 goals in a season… like Gretzky did, he will feast on us for most of em. Happy days!

  • Beer Can Boyd

    These are terrible lines! Granlund is the only one who can make the Sedins play at todays pace. And he’s on the 4th line!And why waste Tanev with Edler? he should be making one of the young puck movers better. If Green keeps up this crap, they will be eliminated from the playoffs by Xmas.

    • Wanda Fuca

      Agree that Granlund would probably be a better fit with the Sedins. Also would like to see Virtanen in place of Dorsett. Major unanswered question: how quickly the new coach can adjust? The biggest knock on Willie was his inflexibility and reluctance to change when things weren’t working. I suspect Green will handle adversity much differently. It will be an early red flag, of course, if Jake isn’t in the lineup after the training camp he had, and considering that what he brings may be what we need to defend against a fast and superior Oilers team: speed, hitting, and potential scoring. But let’s wait and see who is actually on the ice when the game starts…

    • LTFan

      I know this hindsight, as the game is now finished and the Canucks won 3 – 2. There is a reason why Coaches and GM’s don’t listen to fans and your comment is one of the reasons. I know it is only one game but I’m sure Oilers fans are dumbfounded and Flames fans over joyed.

  • Peggy McIntosh

    Hopefully Dorsett getting in the lineup over Jake is just a veteran thing for opening night.

    If Green wants a fighter, put Jake in there and tell him that McDavid’s face is a hot dog.

  • TD

    Besides losing fights, what does Dorsett offer in any category that is better than Virtanen. Worse shot, doesn’t hit nearly as hard, slower… I wish they’d waived Dorsett and kept Archibald.

  • Break The Canuck's Curse

    The Canucks are not the Flames. This has more potential then we think.

    Can’t wait to read the explosion of curses on the Oilers board if the Canucks win this one 😉

  • wojohowitz

    I really don`t like what I`m seeing with this lineup. All these veterans will accomplish nothing. In comparison look at who scored for Columbus last night in a 5-0 victory; Milano 21 years old, Atkinson 28, Murray 24, Werenski 21 and DuBois 19. Now there`s a young team going in the right direction. This is a transitional year for the Canucks and the sooner it starts the better. I don`t think even Travis Green is happy with this group – it`s like treading water. It`s not like they are going to make the playoffs anyway so start now with the transition. I use to think Aquilini was the problem always dreaming about playoff revenue but now I wonder if it`s Benning who can`t accept reality.

    • I am Ted

      No idea why he’s a scratch. The only thing that would be acceptable is if Brock has some type of injury. Virtanen is Green’s project so I am not shocked he makes it in.

      Honestly, I thought Virtanen would’ve really benefited from prime-time minutes in Utica. He made significant strides after one season and then they yank him out of there and back up here. Ugh.

      Canucks probably want a bit of a heavier lineup. Why not scratch Burmistrov? Anyway, is it too early to hope for a lottery pick?!

  • Steamer

    No Virtanen? Should always dress him vs. Oilers: keeps McD thinking about a hit & likely to get Nurse off his game – + can score himself – think I would have given Boeser the seat tonight instead. We’ll see. As of now, Loui Eriksson has 410 more games to play as a Canuck. Four hundred and ten…

  • Steamer

    So, just noted that Boeser is out, Virtanen in – now time will tell if Virt was the right choice vs. Oil; as posted earlier, this is what I would have done & was surprised that Boeser had been pencilled in over Virt – think playing Edmt suits Jake’s game.