Vancouver Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers Post Game Recap: Hockey Season Is Back!

The Rundown

The training camp has come and gone. Tonight, we finally got some fresh Canuck hockey to watch. We all finally got our first look at Elias Pettersson in a preseason game. A true breath of fresh air. However, when the game got underway a waft of familiar stench floated around Rogers Arena.


1st Period

Was so nice to be able to hear John Shorthouse and John Garrett again, like really. However, the Canucks came into this game with a lot of fanfare surrounding superstar rookie Elias Pettersson, who was on a line with Sven Baertschi and Nikolay Goldobin. Rest of the skaters are down below.

All in all, a busy period for the boys in blue and green. Lots of good chances for Vancouver, ranging from a 2 on 1 with Michael Del Zotto and Goldobin, to a breakaway for Baertschi.


However, halfway through the 1st period, it’s the Oilers who strike first, and Anders Nilsson doesn’t do himself any favours in trying to win the backup position away from Thatcher Demko. Jesse Puljujarvi finds his way to the slot and slightly fans on the shot. Doesn’t matter as it goes through Nilsson’s pad to give the Oilers a 1-0 lead.



The Canucks tried pressing on the counter-attack, with Pettersson setting up Goldobin for what looked to be a sure-fire goal. Little did we know that Cam Talbot would make what would’ve been a save of the year candidate had it been in the regular season (Gotta tip your cap where it’s due, this save was crazy).



The Canucks would keep coming on the attack but ultimately can’t find the back of the net. Virtanen beats Talbot with a shot but rings it off the crossbar. Horvat had a beautiful cut right through the middle of the ice but whiffed on the shot, and the Canucks power play was firing from everywhere, but Pettersson couldn’t blow one past the Oilers netminder. However, Pettersson did do this to poor Ryan Strome.



2nd Period

The 2nd period started off with another rough goal against for the hometown team, as Ty Rattie bangs one home off of a power play scrum in front of Nilsson gives the Oilers a quick 2-0 lead.



It didn’t take long for the Canucks to fire back, and it’s the old reliable duo of Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi (Longer than 1 season). Horvat fires a pass to Sven sitting right out in front, and Baertschi puts it through his legs to surprise Talbot and get the Nucks on the board.



As far as goals go, that would do it for the 2nd period. Lots of chances again for Vancouver, ranging from Pettersson clap bombs from the right circle to Horvat hitting posts left right and center. It would be 2-1 for Edmonton heading into the 3rd period.


3rd Period

Just like the 2nd period, the first notable event in the 3rd period is an Oilers goal. Both Canucks defenders leave Caleb Jones alone in the slot, and he shoots another one past Anders Nilsson to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead.



The Canucks were able to halve the lead yet again though, as the powerplay would strike after numerous chances. Pettersson passed the puck down low to Horvat, who rang another shot off the post, but Nikolay Goldobin is there to bury the chance short side and in to make it 3-2!



The Oilers would get the last laugh in the hockey game, as a Ben Hutton mental gaffe allows Ty Rattie to come in on a breakaway where he’ll ultimately squeak one past Anders Nilsson to make it 4-2.



The Wrap Up

Despite the loss, there were lots to like about how the Canucks played tonight. They were able to control play for a majority of the evening and led in the shot column 37-28. Ultimately some untimely gaffs in the defensive end and an inability to shoot the puck a couple inches horizontally a couple of times led to the Canuck’s downfall, but there are a couple of individual players we’re going to highlight tonight.




Elias Pettersson: An absolute stud. Really showcased what he can do tonight, and was the best player on the ice for Vancouver. Understanding that this is only a preseason game, he was tremendous; looking lethal on the power play and at even strength.


Bo Horvat: Horvat came ready to play tonight, no question. He was battling hard throughout, had a couple of spectacular rushes, and ended up with 2 assists to finish off the evening. That boxscore doesn’t do him justice, as he hit multiple posts throughout the hockey game.


Jonathan Dahlen: Personally, would’ve liked to see more from him throughout the game. On a line with Bo Horvat from the start, he wasn’t noticeable until the 2nd period and later in the game. Had a couple of good scoring chances, but all in all, nothing that made me jump out of my seat. Now, on the flip side, he didn’t do too much that made me cringe or facepalm so can’t complain. He’s destined to start in Utica, and tonight’s showing didn’t do anything to change that plan.




Sven Baertschi/Nikolay Goldobin: Both of these wingers are fighting for a spot on the Vancouver Canucks top line alongside Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser, and both of these young wingers showed up to play tonight. Baertschi had a cheeky goal through his legs but was also visible early and often throughout with great scoring chances. Goldobin, on the other hand, was electric. Early returns show he has undeniable chemistry with Pettersson and he was visible on the backcheck. Goldobin scored a goal and easily could’ve had 3 tonight. A great showing for the 22-year-old requiring waivers to be sent back to Utica if all else fails.


Ben Hutton: Ben Hutton was having a pretty good game until his gaffe in the 3rd period led to the 4th goal of the hockey game for the Oilers. All things aside, I thought Hutton was more physical, made some nifty moves on the powerplay to avoid a defender. Got shots through, and most importantly fed either Pettersson directly or fed Goldobin who would then feed Pettersson. Unfortunately, people are going to remember that gaffe and give him a hard time. We’ll see how Hutton rebounds in his next taste of game action.


Anders Nilsson: The worst showing tonight out of any Canuck in the lineup. If there wasn’t a battle for the backup job going into camp, there will be now. Some fans in Vancouver believe that Demko has every opportunity to win a job on the big team in camp. Understanding that Demko still has adjustments to make and that playing every day will do him more good than it will harm, the door has been opened for him after that performance from Nilsson. 3 of the 4 goals tonight were of the ‘soft’ variety. I don’t want to harp too much after just 1 pre-season game, because everyone has bad games. Nilsson just can’t afford any more or he could find himself back on a bus with the Comets.




So, this was my first post-game recaps for CanucksArmy and I just want to get the readers thoughts on an idea I’m thinking for the upcoming year. As seen above, I’d love to get some hashtags to talk about what went on throughout the game and ultimately the season. So if you guys have ideas for hashtags, feel free to leave them in the comments. Every post game recap, before the next game I’ll pick 2-3 hashtags that I’ll focus on and talk about in the next post-game article. Maybe it’s something along the lines of how good the rookies are doing, the positives to the team not winning as many games as some fans would hope, veterans production… or lack thereof, or a certain player scoring, trending upwards in his development. I’ll pick whichever hashtags seem to be getting the most attention down in the comments. I’ll also be posting the hashtags selected on my twitter @cole_marton during the games to spark conversation. This season may not be the ‘best’ season, but let’s try to have as much fun as possible while watching the kids develop. That sounds like a pretty solid plan in my books. Hoping you all feel the same way!

  • LTFan

    Good wrap up of the game Cole. I was at the game and pretty much agree with your comments. On Dahlen, he made a nice rush up the left side in the 2nd period and fed a perfect pass to Bo who one timed it just wide of the Edmonton net. On the almost goal by Goldobin, even fooled the goal judge who turned on the red light even though Talbot made a spectacular save. Nilsson was shaky, but also made some good saves. Looking forward to seeing Demko in one of the next two games. Lots of guys auditioning for a couple of spots on the team.

    • Talbot had the puck in his glove before it crossed the goal line but the puck’s momentum pushed it in. Like the time Kirk McLean made a glove save against LA but ended up with his glove in the goal behind the goalpost. You can see the puck in Talbot’s glove through the overhead. However, the video is not conclusive. You can’t see the entire puck to conclude it had 100% crossed the goal line; therefore, no goal.

  • Green Bastard

    This is an almost perfect morning coffee game recap.
    -Good detail without going overboard
    -Lots of video/GIF replay action
    -Posted in a timely manner

  • North Van Halen

    What was the waft of a familiar stench at Rogers Arena? Are you referring to Nilsson’s impression of a sieve?
    Other than my confusion, nice work, no snark. Appreciated.

  • Motte was great defensively but terrible with the puck. He’s the new Gaunce.

    It took me until 19:35 of the first period to realize that Eriksson was playing. He was terribly absent, apparently he had 0 shots in 19 minutes TOI.

  • KMA

    Agree about the good recap, but man I must have been watching a different game. I thought the team play was uninspired and I was not impressive. Looking forward to tonight to see if there is a noticeable difference.

    • DogBreath

      I didn’t see it great way. The guys who needed to show, showed. Yes Eriksson wasn’t terribly visible. Would like to see more tangible results from Virtanen (rather than great rushes).

      • Virtanen needs to put more on his wrist shots. He’s just flicking it on net when he’s rushing on his offhand. Same style as when he’s in Utica. And he has room to wind up too, it’s not like he has a defender glued to him.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Pettersson was awesome, that deke he put on Strome was amazing. Baertschi looked good and didn’t see anyone ready to take that 1st line LW spot away from him. Leipsec had some flashes but if he doesn’t outperform Goldobin or Baertschi is there a place for him? It was him failing to clear the zone and giving up the puck on the 1st Oiler goal.

    Some same old same old with Virtanen not driving the net when he gets the chance and Gagner and Ericksson being barely noticeable.

  • DJ_44

    Was at the game. My impressions were that the Canucks had a terrible opening 12 minutes. They then settled in a really carried the play the remainder of the game.

    The best player on the ice was Talbot; closely followed by Pettersson, Horvat and Motte, Goldobin. Khaira, Puljujarvi stood out for EDM. On D, Stecher looked good (physically bigger actually), Biega and Sautner. Nilsson made some saves, but the first goal was rough and overall had a poor performance.

    To follow a common theme, Hutton was terrible. Look at the clip of the third goal, Ben beside the net, bewildered, after losing the board battle. Massive gaffes aside, he does not seem to be able to recognize dangerous situations developing. That and his inability to effectively move the puck means he has no trade value. Waive him to Utica and give that spot to a forward, or to Sautner, Briesbois, or Juolevi.

    Del Zotto was better the Hutton, but not by much. Tanev gets a pass since he was anchored to Hutton, but had some rust for sure.

    Pettersson is worth the price of the ticket alone. Highlight reel stuff aside. He drew two penalties that I recall. His skill with the puck at high speed is unbelievable. He will be fine at center. He is just so smart and positions his body well. He looks a lot more physically stable then Gagner. Liepsic had a brutal first period. Knocked around, losing battles, etc. but responded well in the 2nd and 3rd.

    They lost the game, but the crowd was pretty upbeat walking up Georgia St.

    • Locust

      Pettersson will be somewhat neutralized at even strength when other teams just start taking the man and ignoring the puck. That will draw a lot of penalties though. On the PP – he will be deadly.
      First game against real competition…..meh.

    • Giant-Nation

      Tough to get a read on Dahlen last night. Things start to happen when you play with EP. The Sedin’s have a huge history of players hitting career numbers when playing with them. EP makes Goldobin look good. Ep truly makes people better around him. Drawing two penalties – springing Baertchi (sp) for breakaway, setting up Goldy for tap in, numerous passing plays and deadly pp presence. EP’s creativity on ice is clearly another level. Another player that can see the ice and skate around you is Q Hughes, thinking of Quinn dangling around guys on the Attack with EP breaking ankles and Boeser releasing rockets is the most excited I have ever been about a future Canucks PP. With that much offensive talent in all the right places we could easily see the Canucks have a top Ranked PP in short order. Every Top 6 forward has to be clamouring for a chance to play long term with EP as he will instantly add dollars to their next contract negotiation.

      • DeL

        My belief is Dahlen will be fine. He had a very good season in Sweden last year, albeit in their second tier, and was the best player on his team. They have developed chemistry before and I don’t understand why the Canucks don’t make room for both of them and play them together. The four I’d be keeping with the big club would be EP Dahlen Gaudette and Joulevi. You can shelter them somewhat by minutes played, but hopefully not in single digits. Play Joulevi with Edler or Tanev, trade Sutter (supposedly there’s interest). Seriously, what have you got to lose all these players have shown the maturity and ability to play with men go for it.

    • Cageyvet

      Agree with pretty much everything except Hutton, I thought he had a solid game. He was absolutely better than MDZ, who disappointed, and I didn’t see anyone on D who was appreciably better than Hutton. They all showed that rust, but Hutton looked more like first year Hutton than last year’s version. I was willing to trade him last year, if they got a decent return, and was very critical of his play because it was warranted. If you think his play last night was that bad, I hope you’re equally critical of the rest of the D, nobody did anything to separate themselves from Hutton in my books, they all need to pick it up before the real season begins.

  • TheRealPB

    Great writeup, captured the feel of most of the game. As someone else said perhaps a bit more of the analytics might be nice but balanced with what you’ve got which is good. Petersson didn’t look physically overmatched at all, I thought other than the gaffe Hutton was far stronger than last season, skated better, better positioning, jumped up into the play, really good. Goldobin has to win a top six role based on that play. I thought Virtanen was uneven and I thought Leipsic and Motte didn’t do themselves any favors. I also think Schaller didn’t stand out too much and Eriksson looks worse than in years prior.

  • Jabs

    Nice recap,
    Noteworthy is the fact that Hutton was on for 3 goals against. At least one of those was while penalty killing so not big fault there but he looks to be overthinking things due to the added pressure he has this year. I hope he can simplify his game and play the way he is capable.
    The powerplay had a phenomenal amount of shots, I think is was around 17 or 18 on the night. That was impressive, they were getting pucks to the net and Horvat was a bull down low creating havoc for the defenders and making space for Goldy and Pettersson on the pp.

    • Jabs

      ps, I was hoping that Dipietro would get a look or half the game but maybe since he is destined to return to juniors anyway they let Nillsson play the whole game since he is the one fighting for a roster spot.

    • speering major

      Hutton was at no fault in the third goal. He tied up Pull-ee-yar-vee on the dump in behind the net, the puck got fished out of the scrum and they scored. Hutton had moved back to the net to clear a rebound as they scored. He did everything right

    • Cageyvet

      Nobody deserved a minus for the first goal except Nilsson. Hutton logged more minutes than any other defender, and while the one goal was on him, I like the fact that it was not his typical mistakes from last year…..it wasn’t due to bad positioning, lack of physical play, a poor read of the play, etc., it was just an ill-advised choice of how to play a puck in the air. If he’s destined to be a whipping boy no matter what he does I give up. I am open to any player improving or declining, it seems there’s some bias in the evaluation of his play. Just as I criticized him last year for his many errors, I’m more than willing to commend his good plays this year. It’s far too early to tell, but that was an encouraging game for him IMO.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    It should also be mentioned that on the 3rd goal, it was Dahlén’s guy who scored as Jonathan was late to cover him in front of the net. A few flashes from the kid, but Utica won’t hurt him one little bit.

    Goldobin on the other hand? Wow, that guy wants no part of upstate New York, at least until the Canucks play the Sabres in November. So many pretty moves, always in the right spot and a lot more effort than before on the backchecks too. I thought Leipsic had his moments too. I think both of those guys could make the team.

  • Captain Video

    Good writeup. Just the right amount of video. A tad more analytics would be welcome. The game boiled down to goaltending and Anders Nilsson did not look like he belonged in the NHL last night. A real pity that DiPietro didn’t get any ice time. Pettersson is already the Canucks most creative player. It will be very tough to waive Goldobin if he keeps this up. Horvat and Baertschi were solid. Virtanen was maddening, as always. Hutton continues to make a great case for Juolevi or Sautner. And Loui Eriksson could hike for ten miles in the snow and not leave a single footprint.

    • If Demko can put up exceptional numbers in preseason, we should waive Nilsson and have him start in Utica. Terrible and overpaid, no one will pick him up. Maybe he can dominate in the AHL. Let Demko and Markstrom split duties and if Demko falters, bring back Nilsson. Demko is going to be the back-up next year so no point in trying to find another goaltender in the meantime.

  • apr

    EP looks like a taller Datsyuk – there is nothing in his game that remotely reminds me of the Sedins outside high hockey IQ. They should play the Benny Hill theme song on the PP once Hughes comes up because he and EP will make some PK defenders look pretty stupid.

    Time to cut bait with Erickson and put him on a checking line – he does not deserve a spot ahead of Baertschi and Goldy in the top 6. Nilsson is terrible – the dude is just terrified of Green.

  • speering major

    Good write up

    Virtanen- Skated very well. Closed the gap easily on the back check and broke up the play. I expect him to be effective in a less offensive role

    Dahlen- I liked what I saw. I think he will be on the team in a year or less. He didn’t look out of place and thinks/sees the game well. He beat a defender down the boards to draw a penalty which showed he can compete physically

    Hutton- I actually was happy with his play other than the obvious blunder. Last season he didn’t look slow or out of shape immediately, it looked like he had been at the weed store all summer. He just looked much sharper most of the game

    Petterson- looked very good, especially on the PP. Will be interesting to see how teams deal with Boeser on the other side

    MDZ/Sautner – Need to go. They can fill a gap but if this team wants to compete they need a big upgrade

    Tanev- I hope he takes a big step forward because he didn’t show much and his trade value will plummet if that continues

    Leipsic- looks good in open ice with time and space, the problem is actually being effective where it counts. Looked good but not dangerous

    Goldobin- looked good and was benefiting from having quality linemates. He got himself in scoring position and could have had a couple

    Baertschi- Is being compared to and competing with Goldobin, Dahlen, and Leipsic. I though Sven was a bum when he first came over but IMO he is the best of that group right now and that will probably not be challenged this season. Sven isn’t the kind of guy that cup contenders are looking for but he does create offense and the Canucks are paper thin on the wing after Boeser

  • PQW

    Guys, a brave showing by the A-list Canucks seeing as the Oilers were loaded up with the likes of McDavid, Draisatl, Nuge, Milan, Klefbom and Nurse … oh wait. PATHETIC… Nextttttttttt

  • It was fun to watch. Good up tempo game. Wrong guys won, but that’s ok for now.

    Speedy game with fast plays. That’s the new NHL and Canucks keep up, no problem. Pettersson, Goldobyn, and Virtanen stood out in a good way, while Loui just can’t get a break it seems, but he did cut his hair and got rid of those puffy sides. Like others, I have high hopes for Eriksson to have a break out year. Make it real Loui.

  • argoleas

    Okay, we need to keep repeating this: There is no backup battle. Demko will not be a backup goalie playing 20 games regardless how Nilsson plays. That’s sheer lunacy for his development, which still requires as many starting minutes as possible, especially in a winning environment, culminating with a deep Calder Cup run, hopefully.

    If Nilsson plays poorly, that means either Marky plays more, or in an extreme emergency, they get another goalie.

    Again, not about whether Demko is better than Nilsson. It is all about following the plan that gets Demko into his inevitable role as an NHL starter, and that means no rushing him into a NHL role. Next season, he will be in the NHL where he need to play half the NHL games (not 20), possibly sharing the crease with Marky, or some other veteran.

  • tempest

    Great write up, thanks for that. The only way Ericsson is going to improve on his offensive numbers is either through luck, or playing with line mates that carry him. To me, I don’t see him doing it on his own. I can tell you after watching him at camp that he has so far (this season) shown no drive to help change his fortunes, and a betting man says that isn’t going to change. On Juolevi I can say that I think it would be best for him long term to play in Utica and develop. This defence is going to be a tire fire again in short order. You can’t expect everyone of these players to be thirty percent better than last year. Of the group, I think Stecher has the best chance of improving on last season. Also, this kid is a leader and he shows why you don’t just need veterans to lead.

    I really think the expectations for this team needs to be a willingness to see the team finish bottom 5 with an emphasis on developing the youth. As frustrating as it sounds, some of the Canuck youth are going to be better served not playing on the Canucks at this point, Demko included.

  • Rodeobill

    I i thought playing with Eriksson was a good move for Dahlen, but this game I thought he was a little lost and always kind of differing to him, whereas when he played with EP and Lind he was hungry and agressive. I want to see him play again on another line to see how he does. Schaller seemed physical, did I see Horvat try the Daniel-between-the legs shot? Cheeky. Anyway, with his effort and proffesionalism, I think he is playing himself into the C, who knows, Beagle seems to be really impressing himself on the team, maybe he gets an A, we’ll see how it goes, no rush. Goldy looks ready to stick, and EP was noticeable each shift for all the right reasons, his effort, skill, and defensive work is even laudable. Too bad we cant have 2 EPs, one to back check and stretch pass it up ice and another to poke score from the wing. I thought JV looked good this game, he looked strong and determined. I agree with the Hutton thing, he was up and down. TBD i guess. One thing I was impressed with was our penalty kill, that looked better than our 5v5 at some points. Anyway, happy hockey is back… on with the next game!