Vancouver Canucks vs Edmonton Oilers Post Game Recap: The Opposite Of Bouncing Back

The Rundown

I came into this game hoping the Canucks would be able to create some sort of offense or keep pucks out of their own net after getting walloped in Salt Lake City yesterday. So, the Canucks flew to Edmonton for their game tonight and ultimately got blasted. The lineup for the Canucks is down below.


1st Period

Another game in which both teams felt their way through for the first 5 minutes, but then Erik Gudbranson, attempts a poor pinch leading to an Oilers 2 on 1. The Oilers wouldn’t be able to capitalize on their first opportunity, but a few minutes later and on the Gudbranson pair’s next shift. Ryan Nugent Hopkins draws in Michael Del Zotto before firing a pass to Ty Rattie, who quickly snaps a shot far side on Anders Nilsson who’s sitting deep in his net and can’t get his body in the way for a 1st period Oilers lead.

The Canucks would be given a power-play 3 minutes later, as the Oilers would take a too many men penalty and put the Canucks on the man advantage. However, right as the penalty expires Jesse Puljujarvi comes in on a breakaway and is stoned by Nilsson, but why the Canucks blue line can’t see him breaking from the box is ultimately foreshadowing the rest of the hockey game.


There’d be a couple of moments to bring a smile to a Canucks fan face as the 1st period wound down to a close. Gudbranson crushed Alex Chiasson behind the Vancouver goal, and Markus Granlund and Jake Virtanen almost scored on a pretty give and go play. That would be all for the first period, with Edmonton carrying their 1-0 lead into the first intermission.


2nd Period

The 2nd period quickly got off on the wrong foot for the boys in white, as they’d be forced to kill off an early penalty. They were successful, but right as the penalty expires Kailer Yamamoto is left alone in the slot as the puck bounced to him, and he rips a shot that Nilsson stops with the glove to keep it a 1 goal game.

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The Canucks would have to gut their way through most of the period until around the 12-minute mark where they were finally able to get back on the power-play. With Pettersson having been on the ice the shift prior, it’d be the 2nd unit that would start off the man advantage, and a good showing from Leipsic and Goldobin leads to a couple of chances, but no answer for Cam Talbot. 


Jake Virtanen would later take a lazy slashing penalty nearing the end of the 2nd, and the Canucks penalty killers couldn’t bail him out. Ty Rattie would squeak a shot through Anders Nilsson for his 2nd of the game to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead. A lead they would hold onto heading into the 3rd period.

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3rd Period

The 3rd period would start just as poorly as the other 2 periods had gone for the Canucks. Tobias Rieder barrelled down the middle of the ice forcing Chris Tanev to haul him down and put the Oilers back on the man advantage. On the man advantage, a play off the rush runs through Connor McDavid, who feeds Puljujarvi, who proceeds to deposit the puck off the crossbar and in for a sick snipe and a 3-0 lead for Edmonton.


A few minutes later, it’s Jesse Puljujarvi again shooting the puck past Anders Nilsson for his 2nd of the game, and a 4-0 lead…


The Canucks best chance of the night would follow right after, with Bo Horvat getting set up by Sven Baertschi for a breakaway, but Horvat is stopped on both his chances. Not even a minute later, Oscar Klefbom gets the puck up to Rattie who has a 2 on 1 opportunity with McDavid. A few passes later, it’s Rattie depositing the puck past Nilsson for the hat-trick, and the Oilers 5th goal of the game.


Finally, with under a minute to go in the hockey game. Milan Lucic picks up the puck after a bad Canucks line change, and shoots it on Anders Nilsson. Nilsson makes the first save, but Klefbom is there to put home the rebound to give the Oilers their 6th goal, and that would be the final score of the hockey game. The link is down below.

Klefbom making it 6-0 Oilers


Advanced Stats

Both photos courtesy of naturalstattrick.com


Wrap Up

This game was one to forget, even for a preseason game. Coming into tonight, the Canucks had been outscored 20-9 (excluding the shootout), and this game was an exclamation point. I want to remain optimistic and give fans something to cheer about, but there’s not much to cheer about right now. Gudbranson and Del Zotto together were horrific to watch, and Nilsson gave up a couple of goals that make you shake your head. Eriksson negated the offensive creativity provided by Baertschi and Horvat, and Boeser still hasn’t been able to find the back of the net, even with Pettersson on his line. Now, the Oilers showed up to play tonight, but for Canucks fans there’s little room for optimism. No skater performed incredibly well tonight, but Pettersson, Horvat, and Goldobin were the bright spots for me.


Camp Battles

Top 6 winger spots: Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, Sam Gagner, Brendan Leipsic, Loui Eriksson


If tonight is any indication, Sven Baertschi is proving he belongs to stay with Bo Horvat on the top line, and Nikolay Goldobin is the only winger I feel can play up to the level of Elias Pettersson. It’s been a recurring thought throughout the preseason, and nothing tonight changed my mind. Leipsic has been good, no doubt but I feel like he’s just a little behind Goldobin in the race for a spot on the top 6. Now, if the Canucks were gonna go truly young, I’d have no problem putting Goldobin on the right side of Pettersson, with Leipsic on the left, but that doesn’t look to be an option and I see Leipsic in the press box to begin the year. Eriksson has looked like nothing has changed from his last 2 seasons in Vancouver. Tough for me to expect any significant increase in production from him unless he figures out how to be an important part of the 2nd power-play unit.


Bottom 2 Left Defensemen: Ben Hutton, Michael Del Zotto, Derrick Pouliot


With it appearing likely Olli Juolevi is sent down at the conclusion of the preseason, we’re down to 3 defensemen for the final 2 spots on the left side. Ben Hutton, albeit with a couple of gaffes in this game, looked FAR better than Michael Del Zotto tonight. Hutton appears to have more confidence in his skating, and made better passes on the power-play with Edler sitting out. Del Zotto looks lost in the defensive zone, and probably only has a spot if Pouliot looks even worse. As it so happens, Pouliot actually looks worse. Look for Hutton and Del Zotto in the opening night lineup for the Canucks.


Backup Goalie: Anders Nilsson, Thatcher Demko


This battle appears locked up for Nilsson, even if he doesn’t deserve it. Beaten a couple times tonight by playing too far back in his net, and giving up a few goals he’d like to have back. Nilsson just hasn’t been good. However, his contract, along with the fact it doesn’t look like Demko has ironed out everything new goaltender coach Ian Clark has given him, leads me to believe it’ll be Demko being sent down and Nilsson holding down the backup job for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, Nilsson starts performing like he did at this year’s IIHF World Championships, or Markstrom is going to need to play 70 games if this team wants to pretend like they’re going for the playoffs.


Thanks again for the read. Hopefully, next time I get to do one of these post game recaps I can give all of you something more positive to read over.


  • RIP

    I thought we played well for the first 40 min, a couple of bad plays that led to chances, but on the whole a decent first 40 min. I have not been happy with Hutton but last night he played very well. I was surprised it wasn’t mentioned. He was flying out there, carrying the puck deep, did a great job against McDavid in our zone and got a few shots through. We had some chances but we also made it east for Talbot. There was far too little traffic in front of the net. Far too little. Also Neillson has got to stop the softies, that was frustrating. Anyway I believe this was a game that we were In for the first 40 min.

    • Kootenaydude

      The Canucks really like shooting directly at the goalie. It doesn’t look like they believe in screens, tips or getting their ass in front of the net.

    • Guys like Eriksson, Virtanen, Granlund and Goldobin aren’t earning their paycheques. Without the threat of secondary scoring, all teams need to do is shut down Boeser, Horvat, Pettersson, and Baertschi and we’re done for the night.

  • myshkin

    we out shot the oilers 35 – 28 and lost 6 – 0. it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that goal tending needs to be addressed. has there been one preseason game where we can honestly say that our goalie was clearly better than the other teams goalie?

    • Kootenaydude

      Like RIP said. There is no Canuck traffic in front of the opposing teams goalie. You can take 100 shots at an unscreened goalie and he will stop them all. Unless that goalie is Nilsson of course…. Markstrom would obviously let in a few soft ones too ha ha

  • I’ve been enjoying your post-game recaps and you’re doing a good job of summarizing the flow of the game and highlighting important plays. I’ve got to point out, though, that your use of tenses is all over the map and it’s really distracting. For example:

    “The 3rd period would start just as poorly as the other 2 periods had gone for the Canucks. Tobias Rieder barrelled down the middle of the ice forcing Chris Tanev to haul him down and put the Oilers back on the man advantage. On the man advantage, a play off the rush runs through Connor McDavid, who feeds Puljujarvi, who proceeds to deposit the puck off the crossbar and in for a sick snipe and a 3-0 lead for Edmonton.”

    In that one short paragraph you’ve switched your tenses three times, including one time in the middle of a sentence, between past, past perfect, and present tenses. Stick to past tense (The third period started, Reider shot the puck, Tanev hauled him down, etc), with *maybe* the occasional past perfect (The Oilers would score again) occasionally for emphasis.