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Photo Credit: Canucks.com

Canucks Vs. Oilers Post Game – Boeser Shoots Down Oilers; Pettersson > McDavid

THE SKINNY

It was the first meeting of the season between the Canucks and the Oilers and early on it felt like a playoff game. Game flow was back and forth, chances were close but it was the talk about Elias Pettersson and Connor McDavid that dominated. Who would ultimately be named the best player after their first meeting?

McDavid did his best to get on the scoresheet and managed to get an assist but Travis Green line matched him with Bo Horvat and when the smoke cleared the Canucks were the ones that needed to be matched. Pettersson continued his torrid point streak with a PPG, Brock Boeser had three points and the Canucks took down the Oilers in stupendous fashion 4-2.

Let’s find out how they got there.

FIRST PERIOD

Jacob Markstrom gets his second-straight start and Mikko Koskinen occupies the Oilers net. An early shot of Connor McDavid shows his awkward looking beard almost resembling an elf, which is fitting because it’s Christmas time. Good pace to the game in the first six minutes, pretty much run time.

Canucks weather the storm at the midway point of the first and send Loui Eriksson the other way. As per usual, he would not score. Jesse Puljujarvi takes down the inevitable Rookie of the Year, Elias Pettersson, and puts the Oilers on the PK.

Vancouver starts the 2nd unit first, nothing. Puts the 1st unit on and again, nothing. Jacob Markstrom continues to shine and is the story for the better part of the first period. Also, Connor McDavid is a pretty good hockey athlete.

No score after one.

SHOTS: PETTERSSONS 7 – MCDAVIDS 10

SECOND PERIOD

Once again, Eriksson gets an early chance but isn’t able to bury the shot. Canucks are hemmed in their own zone, Pettersson makes a mistake* and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gets an early Christmas gift:

Oilers take the lead 1-0.

Canucks continue to work on their PK after Alex Edler goes off for high-sticking. Vancouver out duels the Edmonton hockey club and keeps it a 1-0 game. Bo Horvat and Antoine Roussel get back-to-back high danger chances but neither can capitalize. Canucks then are held against their will, something the NHL says is an infraction and the Canucks go on the power play.

What happens next will amaze you:

Yup, an Edler blast ties it up. 1-1.

Tyler Motte gets creamed in the offensive zone by Milan Lucic which in turn leads to a 2 on 1 the other way, Troy Stecher helps Jacob Markstrom keep the puck out.

Josh Leivo helps Kevin Gravel lift the puck over the glass and once again the Canucks go on the PP.

Brock Boeser takes a pass from Ben Hutton but Markstrom initiates the play and badda bing badda boom:

2-1 good guys.

Edmonton loses their abacus and takes a too many men penalty. Elias Pettersson has moves for days to set up his team but Vancouver would waste away another chance to bury the Oilers for good.

Nothing more in the middle frame and the Canucks hold court into the third.

SHOTS: VAN 22 – EDM 14

THIRD PERIOD

A bit of back and forth to start the final frame and the Oilers once again delay the game, it’s Larsson for Hall that goes to the box!!

 

Folks, Elias Pettersson:

Canucks now 3/5 on the PP tonight. Brock helped too. Pettersson also extends his point streak to seven games and is sniffing Pavel Bure’s rookie streak. 3-1 Canucks.

Markstrom hasn’t been tested much in this frame but he’s solid when challenged.

Tyler Motte gets a random 2 on 1, shoots but gets nothing. Canucks continue to press, Oilers look like they’re hoping to keep it close but they’re playing not to lose at this point instead of playing to win. Big difference.

A mad scramble puts Koskinen on his back, hack after hack in tight but Bo Horvat can’t put it in. Connor McDavid has been a non-factor for the most part with Travis Green putting Horvat’s line on #97.

But wouldn’t you know it, that doesn’t matter and Alex Chiasson takes a McDavid feed and a bad thing happens:

3-2 Canucks.

Oilers making things feel uncomfortable for Vancouver fans and not because they’re bragging about how many Cups they won in the ’80s, no one cares.

Side note: Mikko Koskinen wears #19. Has to be the most bizarre goalie number, right?

Oilers pull Koskinen after a timeout and the future Captain, Bo Horvat, is the beneficiary of an empty net goal. He skipped it down the ice as he did at the river as a kid. OK, that was pretty bad.

CANUCKS WIN!!! Pettersson with the GWG

FINAL SCORE: VAN 4 – EDM 2

SHOTS: VAN 30 – EDM 22

PP: VAN 3/5 – EDM 0/1

GAME FLOW

BRINGING THE HEAT

 

A rare night where the inkblot looks to be in favour of the Canucks. Vancouver still can’t get the dirty goals but the shots are there.

CORSIFICATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Markus Granlund didn’t get much ice at 5v5 and that may have a lot to do with the matchup game but he stands out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of centers.

QUICK NOTES

  • Elias Pettersson’s power-play goal extends his point streak to seven games, one back of Hall of Famer Pavel Bure. Feels inevitable.
  • Brock Boeser continues to bulk up his point totals with nine points in his last five games. The goals are pure, his passes are crisp and his groin seems like it’s 100% healed. Boeser could be the big story by season’s end. Three points for the crown prince.
  • Jacob Markstrom has turned a corner. In his last five games, all wins btw, only one game had an SV% under .900 and tonight’s game was his lowest percentage above .900 with a .909. His win over the Predators had the highest goals against with three and since then he hasn’t allowed more than two. Makes it nice to have nice things from time to time.
  • Canucks get back to what they know best and blocked 22 shots to the Oilers 4. John Tortorella would be impressed.
  • After attaining yet another win streak, the Canucks will try and make it three games against the Lightning on Tuesday.
  • Braindead Benning

    Good game tonight, the Canucks did well to shut down their best players forcing them to play board stile and making them work from the perimeters. I thought the PP looked really disorganized for the most part but yet they still scored 3… Opportunistic I guess they say
    Cheers

      • Braindead Benning

        Not all of
        Jimbos moves have looked good mate, however I am big fan of the team for around 40 years so I appreciate a team that works hard and entertains at the same time. I stick by handle man

        • Beer Can Boyd

          Canucks are 8-3-1 with Beagle in the lineup. 8-13-3 without him. And Roussell is definitely playing a key role on the ice and in the locker room. Those are 2 pretty terrible signings alright. Schaller sucks, but his contract is minimal, and he’ll get picked up by Boston the minute he goes on waivers. And to Bennings credit, except for Loui, he’s dumped all the other free agent mistakes pretty quickly.

          • bobdaley44

            Say what you will about Loui but he came off a thirty plus goal season when he got signed. As much as people decry the little things description he does do all the little things right. Those young kids can learn from his puck pursuit, work ethic, defensive coverage and play decisions. Put him with a pass first creative centre and he can still score for you. There’s a reason Green had him out against Mcdavids line.

          • Do you really think that Jay Beagle has been the difference between the Canucks having a record that would put them top-5 in the league and one that would have them in last place?

            Really?

            The fact that people are defending Benning’s UFA signings is just baffling. MDZ is sitting in the press box. Gagner is in the AHL. Beagle is a fine addition to the lineup this year, but on a contract that’s a massive overpay in both dollars and term. Schaller has contributed nothing. Eriksson would be a great addition at $2 million – at $6 million and for three more years, it’s one of the worst contracts in the NHL.

            Vanek was a decent signing that amounted to nothing. Roussel has looked good though the term may be problematic – we’ll have to see. The only two unreservedly good UFA signings of Benning’s entire tenure were in his first season, with Miller and Vrbata.

          • Beer Can Boyd

            I don’t know Goon. I just posted the record with and without him. Whats your theory? Couple other things. Vanek= Motte. Who has been very good in the role he’s playing, IMO, and i’m sure Green would agree. Gagner was a mistake, but at least he’s not taking a young guys spot. My sense is, someone will take him at the deadline. MDZ, 7th defenseman on an expiring contract that wasn’t that rich. Schaller, again was a mistake, but as I said above, put him on waivers and he’ll be gone back to the Eastern Conference in a heartbeat.

          • Dank22

            Agree. Not only have the Nucks won with Beagle in the lineup, they’ve done it with a sense of confidence and dare I say, swagger. The PK has also improved significantly. That’s what the vets/bottom 6 players should be doing. You have to watch the games to see the effects of a Beagle, Roussel, Sutter, Loui, Motte, etc. does for the young guys and the team. And this is the problem I have with CA when they only use metrics here and there to try to stick to a BS narrative (cough, #44).

            You need guys to do the dirty work. Things that some of the young guys simply can’t or won’t do. Holding these glue guys to Corsi standards is kind of silly. You have to look at what they’re doing for the team to get the results.

        • jaybird43

          Goon, “Benning’s trades look terrible”. Ummm on what planet? Baertschi, Leivo, Granlund, Goldobin, Pouliot, Dahlen. Sorry, which of these trades did they lose? One of us is missing something …

      • Freud

        lol

        Ironically, they beat a dreadful Oilers team and suddenly “Bennings moves look pretty damn good?”

        Benning is “building” the team like the Oilers were building. Gifted high draft picks (chosen by Brackett/Gradin, not Benning) due to incompetence while making uninformed or ill-informed moves on the peripheries. Benning and Chiarelli share the same brain from Boston. Archaic notions of how to build a team and an complete inability to evaluate professional players. They hide behind their luck in drafting to distract from their poor, long term management.

        All the while, the usuals here look like the usuals from Oilersnation, cheerleading all the Chiarelli moves because they can’t see the forest for the trees. Sure, the forest is dying from the pine beetle, but look over there there are three new trees sprouting, siss boom bah!

  • truthseeker

    Once again, I like the resilience. This time in a more defensive focused effort. They bent but didn’t break and the whole D core looked pretty good. Tanev and Edler were excellent. Guddy had a very strong game in my opinion despite the minus 2. Several times he made really good reads, and got back to retrieve pucks or take out fore-checkers in effective ways. Hutton looked great. Even Pouliot looked OK. Good structure all around and nice job in limiting the big guns of the Oil fairly effectively.

    It’s a shame about that long losing streak because it’s pretty obvious that with a relatively healthy team they would definitely be on the playoff bubble battling for one of the wild cards. 82 point pace at the moment. That’s probably not going to be enough to get it done. Still though…you never know. Keep battling. Go hard at Tampa Bay and keep the win streak going.

    And keep Bo, Brock, and EP collecting points. Looks good on them. Hopefully JV can get back on the score sheet too.

      • truthseeker

        Yeah good point. I didn’t really pay attention to the shot totals. They were getting some good looks. I gotta give Green some credit on this one, to match Bo against McDavid and task him with the slow down. Worked pretty good. I still don’t like the tactic of sitting on the lead but to be fair to the canucks in this game, the Oil were really pushing hard. It didn’t appear to me anyway that there were many (safe) opportunities to try and push back on the counter attack in the third there.

        • TheMoustacheofDaveBabych

          The team that is willing to work hard and take a few lumps often wins. That might be the reason the Oilers can’t make it to the next level. Talent – grit = Edmonton.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Good jobs by Bo and by Green tonight. Hitchcock likes double shifting McDavid but Green send out Horvat tonight to shut him down, a tough task for anyone, pretty much shift by shift. But Bo has always gotten the tough assignments pretty much since he got here. Are these guys for real? We’ll see with TB and WIN visiting this week.

  • TheRealPB

    That was one of the best games of the season by a much better Oilers team that’s been on a pretty good roll of their own. It is worth noting that EDM is without three of their top defensemen and the loss of Klefbom in particular was pretty apparent. But this might have been the game in which Green’s coaching has been the most noticeable and for the better. I loved the line switches — Horvat’s line was fantastic in both directions against McD, generating a decent amount of offense (and I know it’s fashionable to make fun of Eriksson but I thought that was one of the most effective games I’ve seen from him). Hitchcock matched up RNH’s line against EP’s and I thought the Canucks won that. Motte and Beagle did terrific work yet again on a grinding fourth line (with multiple opportunities for both), but I thought the most surprising was the other kid line – Virtanen and Goldobin got bumped off of the top line but I thought Gaudette was fantastic, generating chances with his speed and hits. These last two games after his flu has made me think he firmly deserves to be here and as someone else said it looks like just a goal or two to open the floodgates for him. Even when they sent out that hulking fourth line of theirs to try and destroy the Pouliot-Stetcher Adventure Hour, the Canucks bent but didn’t break. Full value for the win. Markstrom also provided NHL calibre goaltending when called upon as opposed to a kind of inconsistent Koskinen.

    Big test against TB, who’ll be in a foul mood with their collapse, but the boys are playing fantastic so it should be a great game.

    • truthseeker

      For sure, Eriksson had a great game. Funny how he scored in the other game there but looked way more dangerous in this one. Hopefully he keeps it up. Perhaps all the young guys are motivating some of these vets to pump up their games a bit. If Eriksson can provide a little bit of 3rd/4th line scoring, that would be massive. That kind of thing could make a big difference in close games especially against the better teams. And agreed on Gaudette. Looked great in this game.

  • Juana

    This is the 3rd show at the United Center that I have been unable to get tickets for because either there are a million fans ready to buy tickets before I OR Ticketmaster allows bots to buy up all their tickets. I pray to Thom above it’s the first and everyone has a mind-altering experience. Only few websites have tickets now http://www.etickets.ca & so…

  • Whazzit

    So that’s how it felt to be Minnesota the other night! Oilers really gave Pettersson a lot of respect; it seemed like they backed off whenever he had the puck, almost scared of his stickhandling ability in tight, like they knew he’d draw them out of position and somehow manage to keep the puck and get it to an open man.

    Bo, Roussel and Eriksson deserve mad props for not just shutting down McDavid and Drasiatl, but out-gunning his line, completely dominating play against them. Lucic’s pretty terrible, and I can’t say Spooner’s doing a heck of a lot; if we want to compare ex-Bruin players on ugly contracts, give me Eriksson 11 times out of 10.

    I loved the Pettersson / Nugent-Hopkins battle all night. That was just two skilled guys going at the game at a high level without any dirty stuff, almost gentlemanly, let skill face skill and come what may.

    As much as I love Stetcher and think Hutton’s coming along really well, Tanev and Edler remain our top defenders. I was genuinely holding my breath when Gudbranson was out against McDavid, he’s just not quick enough – and I’m not even a Guddy-hater! – but I thought Hutton did well against him in limited minutes whenever I saw them together. But we’re going to have a heck of a time playing in Edmonton, when we can’t line match quite so well.

  • Killer Marmot

    Del Zotto has missed the last five game.

    That’s a little surprizing. After a rough start to the season, Del Zotto has played some decent hockey, and his statistics are among the best among defensemen. Those who trust statistics over “the eye test” should be disconcerted. But the Canucks have been winning without him, so it’s hard to argue with Green’s decision to sit him. It might be that that Green thinks Hutton and Pouliot have also been playing well lately.

    • LTFan

      KM – The problem with MDZ is some of the undisciplined penalties he takes late in the game. He has been in the box when the opposition scores a winning goal. So sit him. He has been okay otherwise.

      • Killer Marmot

        The problem with MDZ is some of the undisciplined penalties he takes late in the game.

        He had two badly timed penalties that arguably cost two games, and that might have put him in the doghouse. That could be it alright.

        But Del Zotto has 8 minutes in penalties this year. On the whole he’s pretty disciplined. Perhaps Green is using him as un lecon pour les autres.

      • Defenceman Factory

        I’m not an anti stats guy but this is an example where they seem inadequate in explaining a player’s performance.

        MDZ is a better defenceman than many give him credit for but the stats are not adequate to measure mistakes and missed assignments. MDZ routinely plays a pretty good game but then at a key time blows an assignment or takes a penalty. Pouliot misses more assignments than MDZ but the Canucks seem to be winning more with Pouliot than MDZ. Maybe more or different stats would explain why.

        I don’t recall ever watching a game and thinking MDZ or Pouliot was the best Canucks Dman.

        • DJ_44

          I agree the MDZ’s play overall was decent in his last run of game. Decent with the exception of massive mistakes at key times in the game. Bad penalties are the obvious. Weak gap control in the d-zone is another. Offensively, he was good. Pouliot is having a good run of games, not need to shift if up now.

          Having Gudbranson back in the line up with Hutton was a very good thing for last nights game. The Hutton-Gudbranson pairing is far stronger than Hutton – Stecher.

          • Missing Burr

            Wow, just wow… guys, this is the kind of RAT who warmly shakes your hand with the left and then stabs you in the BACK with the other…

            “… and Holm, who I like way more than HUTTON will be a solid bottom pair guy with ability and upside.” – DJ_44

            “… if you look at MDZ’s game and Hutton’s game, they are very similar. Del Zotto is a better defenceman” – DJ_44

            “Poulliot is an NHL defenseman. Hutton is **NOT**.” – DJ_44

            Unbelievable. No clue, no integrity. as you can clearly see from the evidence.

          • Missing Burr

            Oh dear, DJ absolutely fuming!

            Don’t worry backstabber, I will keep you honest, the hilarious two-faced quotes are as numerous as the knives you put in peoples backs… PRICELESS.

            “I also shake my head regarding the lack of respect Loui receives. If you watch the game, he is easily a top six on any team in league.” – DJ_44

            What is it now SIX goals this season… that’s a MILLION DOLLARS a goal for a goalscorer! lol

            Don’t ever change ‘DJ’, don’t ever change…

          • crofton

            Lol so Missing Burr, when were those quotes made, if at all? If they were it was sometime ago, and circumstances and facts have changed since then. When the facts or circumstances change, reasonable people change their opinions. What do you do?

          • Killer Marmot

            “What do you do?”

            He stays up into the wee hours of the morning reading commenters’ ancient postings so that he can gloatingly throw them in their faces the next day, apparently. Why any adult would bother is a deep mystery. His parents’ basement gets lonely, I guess.

  • Burnabybob

    This Canuck team looks more and more like its for real. I always thought the pre-season predictions that they would finish at the bottom of the league were overly pessimistic, but they are doing better than I had thought. It seems like almost everyone on the team is playing better this year than last.

    • Killer Marmot

      Many of these predictions were by pundits who do not follow the Canucks closely. They assumed that the loss of the Sedins would be a serious blow. But while the Sedins still had considerable offensive firepower in their last few years, they had become defensive liabilities. Their retirement has given Green the opportunity to move the club ahead.

      • Burnabybob

        Some of the analysts on this Web site had predicted the Canucks would be close to dead last. I agree with you that the Sedins moving on has helped the younger players. It’s their team now. Kind of like how the Sedins themselves took their game to a new level following the departure of Naslund and Bertuzzi back in the day.

    • The Canucks remain out of a playoff spot with the most games played by any team in the league. They’re still much more likely to finish around 25th than they are to finish in a playoff spot.

      • Killer Marmot

        Even in their big losing streak, I thought the Canucks have looked decent. The better teams have taken them to the woodshed, but the Canucks have been consistently competitive against average teams. They just don’t look like one of the worst in the league.

          • Killer Marmot

            Here’s the list of teams that have beaten Vancouver by three or more goals this season:

            Calgary, Winnipeg (twice), Washington, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Islanders, Minnesota, San Jose.

            With one notable exception, when they get blown out it’s to good teams.

  • Defenceman Factory

    While the Canucks don’t have a great record for signing free agents under Benning I think the Roussel signing is looking pretty good. After a tough start to the year he is proving to be a valuable player. Great speed and his work last night with Bo and Loui was stellar. That line’s ability to shut down the McDavid line was the the biggest difference maker.

  • canuckfan

    The Canucks have swagger and are believing in themselves we are watching something special. Benning is building a team. We are quite there yet but the games are fun to watch and we have some great young players to be excited about.

  • Kootenaydude

    Looks like all those long games Horvat played when the Canucks has injuries really paid off. I like that we have Beagle out there to take key faceoffs. Instead of relying so heavily on Bo. Great team effort from all the lines. I did think the refs made three weak calls though. The holding call and the delay of game against Edmonton and the high stick call against Edler. What were the Oilers thinking when they had 8 players on the ice?!?! I was kind of hoping this team would get one more high draft pick, but if they keep playing like this. They might just squeak into the playoffs.

    • crofton

      You do realize the holding call on Edmonton was not on McDavid, right? Roussel was definitely being held. The one delay of game call was unfortunate for Edmonton, but technically correct. I would be fuming if it went the other way. The other one? Let’s just say I’m not sure they don’t regret the Hall/Larsen trade. And Edler definitely high sticked the guy.

  • M Bossy

    Lost in the Pettersson/McDavid matchup was the goalies with weird number matchup! Koskinen 19 vs Markstrom 25!
    I remember the good old days when goalie numbers were either 1 or 30-35! Get off my lawn!

  • Holly Wood

    This weeks games with Edmonton, Tampa, Winnipeg will be a good measuring stick. The club is close to healthy, getting good goaltending and on a roll. Should be fun

  • LACANUCK

    Canucks were impressive last night. Despite all the injuries and the long point drought, they have played well. The forward group is coming into its own and Quinn and Olli are on the way to breathe life into the Dcorps.

    Add in the cap space the Canucks have dropping off in the next 3 years… is that the sun I see poking through the clouds?

  • Me

    The Oilers forum is always good for a laugh.

    They win = Wow, what an awesome guy McDavid is!
    They lose = Those stinkin’ refs!

    I’m sure if the reffing were ‘fair’ they’d win every game, even if it meant 50 penalties for the opposing team and none for them.

      • Me

        Dunno… I don’t go there that often, it’s just good for a laugh sometimes.

        I think the Oiler fanbois will only ever be happy with a new rulebook.

        New rule: It is a Minor Penalty for another player to skate within one metre of Connor McDavid.
        It is a 5 minute Major Penalty to touch Connor McDavid anywhere, including stick on stick.
        It is a ten-minute Game Misconduct for a player on the opposing team to take the puck away from Connor Mcdavid, including blocking his shots and intercepting his passes, even if you are the goalie.

        Maybe then they could get another Stanley Cup!