Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

CanucksArmy Post-Game: Oil Spill

After a full week off, we all knew we were in for a mess of a game. To be frank, the Canucks weren’t very good tonight. They lost 5-2 to the Oilers and looked pretty rusty.

The Stats

  • Sutter, D. Sedin: 1 goal
  • Baertschi, Boeser, Tanev, Edler: 1 assist
  • Markstrom: 30/34 saves

Game Summary

The game got off to a poor start with Edmonton scoring one minute into the game. Virtanen didn’t look good on this play. He’s being pressured by McDavid in the defensive zone, gives up the puck to McDavid, then lets McDavid do what he does best. The inevitable happened. 1-0 Oilers.

Surrey’s own Jujhar Khaira scored a nice goal to make it 2-0 Edmonton. Once again, Virtanen was a part of this play but didn’t look nearly as foolish as he did on the first goal. Jesse Puljujarvi pulled off a nice chip to himself over the stick of Alex Edler, which drew in the likes of Pouliot and Virtanen. Virtanen loses his check in Khaira, who then pulls of a nice goal to give Edmonton a greater lead.

The Canucks cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second period. With Darnell Nurse in the box for high-sticking Nic Dowd, the Canucks’ PP unit of Boeser, the Sedins, Edler, and Granlund got to work. Daniel Sedin was credited with the goal after deflecting an Alex Edler shot, which gave Boeser the secondary assist. Daniel from Edler and Boeser is how the scoresheet reads, and I’m just going to stop there and not mention what some people are speculating. We don’t need to rub salt in the wound if _____ is credited with the goal, which would result in ______ not _______.

The Oilers’ lead was dissolved in the middle of the second period when the newly-cageless Sven Baertschi made a nice play to set up Brandon Sutter for a wide open net. 2-2 game.

Jesse Puljujarvi stole the Canucks’ thunder late in the period. With a crowd in front of Markstrom, Puljujarvi managed to sneak out and put the puck past Markstrom. 3-2 Oilers at the end of the second.

Puljujarvi continued to have a great game, setting up Leon Draisaitl to make it 4-2 in the third period. Puljujarvi had a really good game. Patrick Maroon’s scored his second goal of the game on an empty net. 5-2 Oilers.

Game Notes

  • The first period was a bit of a roller coaster for the Canucks. In the first half, they looked like a team who had a week off.  Edmonton peppered Jacob Markstrom with shots and had all the momentum. The Canucks were able to come back and have a few chances of their own – most notably Brock Boeser stripping an Oiler of the puck and landing himself a breakaway.
  • The scoresheet might indicate otherwise, but Jacob Markstrom was actually pretty good tonight. The first two goals were no fault of his own, and you could probably say the same for the other goals scored on him. By no means did he stand on his head tonight, but he kept the score close for the most part. The Canucks defense broke down and Markstrom did what he could.
  • Jake Virtanen had a weird night. His play on the ice was average at best, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you looked at his ice time. He didn’t look good on Edmonton’s first goal and he can certainly take some of the blame on their second. On top of those two detriments, he took a penalty in the second period to put the stamp on a bad night. Nevertheless, his leash seemed long as Travis Green kept deploying him alongside the Sedins. He finished the second with over 10 minutes of ice time, hovering around the Boeser area. Come the third period, reality set in. Virtanen had 2 shifts in the latter period, with one being a mere three seconds long. Virtanen finished the night as a -2, 2 PIM, and a team-low 11:54 of ice time.
  • Troy Stecher was arguably the best defenseman tonight. He was jumping up in the offensive zone and making nice passes without putting himself in danger. He was strong in the defensive zone and, for the most part, came out on top when it came to board play. He certainly brings out the best in Edler when they play together. Both are solid in their own end and appear to communicate well. Stecher was caught pinching on the Oilers’ 4-2 goal, but one could say the linesman was a significant influence on that goal. At least Stecher thought so…

  • Speaking of Edler, he’s riding a career-high 5-game point streak!

It’s definitely not ideal to return from the bye week on a back-to-back, but that’s what the Canucks are faced with this season. They play Winnipeg at 5 PM PST, so let’s hope they have a better showing tomorrow night.

  • So glad they re-hired Newell Brown. That PP shift to start the 2nd, with the Sedins cycling for 1:30 before scoring a goal, was vintage Sedin PP magic.

    Canucks looked good in the 2nd, not so good for the rest of the game, but it was reasonably competitive/anyone’s game until the 4-2 goal.

    • crofton

      They did come out strong in the 3rd, so maybe a 30 minute good game for them. Not good enough and not long enough. I wasn’t cheering for Edmonton, but I did want them to win. Not for team tank, but to keep the Oilers from the bottom five. We all know who would win the lottery if they finish bottom there

  • Brent

    Cruised through the game relatively quickly on the PVR. Actually thought Markstrom stood on his head. Unfortunately Vanek was largely invisible. Oilers team speed was giving everyone fits. Agree not Virtanen’s best showing and interesting with all the ice time. Are they thinking of trading him? Can’t help but despise the oilers, seem like a dirty team. Lots of late hit, hits that should have been interference and lots of cross checks on the sedins. Or maybe it is just my pre-cncieved notions. Saw Henrik loose it in the third and start cross checking back. Can’t remember if it was nurse or not.

  • Moderated Post

    Wonder how Gudbranson’s absence will affect his trade value. You’d think with team’s recent run of puck-related injuries management would have been in a hurry to unload him if that was the plan, lest something bad happen…

  • crofton

    I thought on Virtanen’s giveaway to Mc whatshisname was in part due to a lazy pass he received, he had to deal with the puck when it was too far in front of him to get good wood on. And yeah, you’d think a 5-2 game even with an EN goal that Markstrom was bad. It could have been 10-2 if he didn’t play as well as he did

  • Bud Poile

    Edmonton’s 7 of last 8 picks:
    4th overall
    Benning’s 4 picks:
    Without the early one and EN goal this was anybody’s game.

    • Cageyvet

      Have to disagree on this one, not the picks but it was clear who the better team was. The scoreline is appropriate, empty-netter or not. We can’t play a passive game against the Oilers, we don’t have the horses to give them that much time and space.

      The team structure suffered due to individual and line plays, but on the bright side, I saw some good quick reads and plays at various times. There’s a kernel there of some good hockey once we get Horvat back and add a couple more pieces. It’s all about next year now, and I was glad to see Jake right back out there after the first goal. Let them make some mistakes, there. Is no better time than now.

    • crofton

      Maybe not anyone’s game, but your point about draft picks is a good one. It’s reasonable to expect with those picks, and decent management, Edmonton should be rolling over pretty much everybody

    • LTFan

      Bud – the story is a post game wrap up of the game last night not where each team picked at the Draft. Edmonton is faster and IMO better at this point in time. They were the better team on the night. For me, I still do not like losing. Tonight it will be Winnipeg, which is a better team than Edmonton, so it will be a battle to get a point.
      The players work hard and did not seem to give up, so kudos to them and the Coaching staff for a good effort for most of the game.

        • Vancouver traded up to the first-overall pick in 1999, and then traded down to select the Sedins at #2 and #3.

          They’ve never won the draft lottery, but they have held a #1 pick.

          Edmonton’s ability to squander first overall picks is pretty incredible, but that has nothing to do with Vancouver at all.

          • Ser Jaime Lannister

            He probably drank too much during the game… Oilers made it difficult for the Canucks along the boards using their size and strength. I was impressed with the Oilers speed as well, that has been their biggest knock all year with all the big bodies they have (maybe because we were coming off the bye week?)

        • Ser Jaime Lannister

          LOL how is the Larrson – Hall trade working out? or Eberle – Strome? Jeez LAKID just when you thought the DoD was over….. PC is far worse than JB

      • Puck Viking

        They totally ignored drafting defensemen in the top 2 rounds of the draft for probably 10 years. Nurse and Klefbom were the only 2 and they happen to be on the team. They were then left scrambling to add via free agency(Russel and Sekera) and trade(Larson and Reinhart).

        Does this situation remind people of another team? Could it be the Canucks?

        Trading all of those 2nd round picks has turned this team in to a disaster with no easy way out especially when you consider they generally take about 4 years to be productive at the NHL level.

        • Nuck16

          Ironic they traded Hall for a dman, which in that draft year, if they traded down they could have picked 2 dmen of the ilk of Larsen…not sure why I’m making that point other than they really should have done better with the Hall trade, or rather kept him and traded somebody else, like Eberle at that time.

  • “Jake had a weird night.” I think so too. I also believe he’s on the next train to Utica with Bo Horvat coming back.

    Our powerplay is definitely better. Much improved over the beginning of the year.

    Our D is struggling. Needs work. We should draft two defensemen with our top three picks in June.

    Oilers hired Paul Coffey to skill coach their D. That’s not a bad idea. I thought Messier was going to appear behind their bench as assistant, but Coffey I like.

  • defenceman factory

    Virtanen continues to be a real conundrum for the coaches. How do you use someone with the speed and power of a top six forward but with an AHL brain. Jake has to drive the play to have an impact. He didn’t do that but I’m not sure he can in a fourth line shut down role. Jake did have some bad breaks in the game. The penalty call was a bit soft and the 1st goal was unfortunate. Virtanen didn’t look good there but why was he the last man back against McDavid? I think it was the result of a poorly timed pinch by Stecher. The pass back to Jake was weak and rolling so he had little time to react. Another victim of McDavid’s speed.

    I thought Markstrom had a good game. The goals against weren’t soft and with the score 2-0 he made a number of stellar saves giving the team a chance to get back in it.

    • Sandpaper

      I agree. The writer says Stecher was the best defenseman and all game I am screaming at my tv because if the bad decisions that kid makes.
      I think some get caught up in the live affair because he can carry the puck up ice.
      I think they ruined this kid by not developing him in the ahl

      • Gregthehockeynut

        Jake was left alone on that first goal filling in for the pinch but some one else was supposed to get back also. It was a mini 2 on 1 with McDavid on a forward defending of course they scored…

    • Holly Wood

      Ya, somehow Stecher gets a good grade from Vanessa, that first goal falls back on him. Bad pinch, way too soft back to JV who got schooled by McDavid. Eleven other Canuck forwards would have looked just as foolish given the same opportunity. Also if Green thought that was on Jake he wouldn’t have been right back out there. His play was definitely off last night but after that play you can see why. I wonder how beers Stecher had to buy last night?

    • Ser Jaime Lannister

      Agree 100%, Jake still needs to improve his hockey IQ/ positioning on the ice so he can be more effective during the plays. Still time for him to develop, but at this point would sending him down be the right move?

      • Holly Wood

        He needs to learn in Vancouver not in Utica. When a forward gets sent to Utica it should Chaput exposed to waivers then down. Chaput served his purpose as an injury replacement

  • Bure Fan

    With Boeser now seemingly in a slump there really is no valid reason to watch this garbage bottomfeeder team… i mean seriously, why even bother guys, no life?

    • kablebike

      I enjoy hockey. That is why I watch. Although the move to no hook and tug is leading to speeds that are dangerous and purse BS for all D-men going back to collect the puck.