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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Canucks Army Game Day 40 – Canucks @ Oilers (Welcome Back Edition)

THE INTRO

After a much-needed break, the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers hook up to do battle tonight for a very early Wild Card playoff position. The Canucks lost a heart-breaker 1-0 against the Jets right before the break and if you didn’t get enough after last game, tonight’s matchup will fill that void. It’s the next game between two of the league’s premier athletes in Connor McDavid and Elias Pettersson, so buckle up because it’s about to get real.

Let’s Do This!™

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 6:00 PM

LINEUPS

Still no word on Brandon Sutter or Sven Baertschi’s return but if something breaks you’ll know on the Twitters. Troy Stecher is recovering from the head shot he received over a week ago and will also be questionable for tonight’s game. If nothing else, the lineup against the Jets will suit up tonight.

Jacob Markstrom should see his first start after the Christmas break.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 71.8#82 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 76.9#39 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 72.1#72 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 73.62#29 FL1
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 70.3#102 LW

Elias Pettersson
ELIAS PETTERSSON

Rating: 77.2#36 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 82.3#4 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 76.61#6 FL2
Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 72.9#56 LW

Adam Gaudette
ADAM GAUDETTE

Rating: 72.0#108 C

Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 70.9#90 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.92#14 FL3
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.1#93 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.4#188 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 68.4#123 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.96#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 75.3#25 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.7#61 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.49#24 DL1
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 70.5#106 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 68.5#105 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 69.50#30 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.2#109 LD

Alex Biega
ALEX BIEGA

Rating: 70.5#87 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.38#24 DL3

 

Kris Russell has been out for five games and is possible to suit up tonight. No other updates for Oscar Klefbom. Expect to see the lineup below tonight.

Mikko Koskinen has been the Oilers go-to these days so expect to see him suit up tonight.

Oilers lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Rating: 75.3#49 LW

Connor McDavid
CONNOR MCDAVID

Rating: 90.4#1 C

Jesse Puljujarvi
JESSE PULJUJARVI

Rating: 70.4#100 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 78.69#14 FL1
Tobias Rieder
TOBIAS RIEDER

Rating: 70.0#162 LW

Leon Draisaitl
LEON DRAISAITL

Rating: 80.4#17 C

Alex Chiasson
ALEX CHIASSON

Rating: 70.8#92 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 73.73#20 FL2
Drake Caggiula
DRAKE CAGGIULA

Rating: 70.3#106 LW

Kyle Brodziak
KYLE BRODZIAK

Rating: 70.6#151 C

Zack Kassian
ZACK KASSIAN

Rating: 68.8#121 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 69.90#30 FL3
Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 68.6#126 LW

Ryan Spooner
RYAN SPOONER

Rating: 71.9#111 C

Ty Rattie
TY RATTIE

Rating: 70.5#95 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 70.36#15 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Darnell Nurse
DARNELL NURSE

Rating: 73.6#42 LD

Adam Larsson
ADAM LARSSON

Rating: 72.6#48 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.10#25 DL1
Kevin Gravel
KEVIN GRAVEL

Rating: 71.4#83 LD

Caleb Jones
CALEB JONES
DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.44#24 DL2
Jason Garrison
JASON GARRISON

Rating: 69.0#126 LD

Matt Benning
MATT BENNING

Rating: 71.4#68 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 70.20#27 DL3

 

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Vancouver is toying with greatness, for themselves anyway. The Canucks have killed off 22 straight penalties in their last nine games and will look to make Edmonton #10 tonight. Their only other streak this season was a three-game stretch in late November; things are looking up.
  • What is also impressive is that the Canucks have been perfect on the PK in 21 games this season, just over half of their games played, and yet when they’ve been scored on while shorthanded, they’re still just inside the Top 20 on the PK.
  • Edmonton is currently on a four-game win streak against the Canucks at home going back to last season’s final game with the Sedins exiting the NHL for good. The Canucks have the first win of this season’s series between the two teams and will look to snap the road streak on their way to a multi-game win-fest.
  • Antoine Roussel is tied for the league-lead in PIM with Brad Marchand and is fitting in just fine with the Canucks after a lengthy concussion scare to start his tenure with Vancouver. His irritable nature on the ice has started to play a mental game on his opponents which is something Alex Burrows did so well when he played with the Canucks. The game within the game gives the Canucks an advantage because Roussel is getting matched up against the league’s top lines when he’s on the ice with Bo Horvat in a quasi-shutdown role.
  • The Canucks are currently on pace to have four 20-goal scorers this season for the first time since the 2009/10 season when they had six, two with 30+. I repeat, the 2018/19 Canucks are on pace for a goal scoring not seen since the heart of the last great Canucks era. These are strange times.

MY 94 CENTS

The Canucks are becoming a team that is tough to play against. The advanced stats aren’t in their favour most games and they usually need to outscore their problems. What I saw against the Jets last game was a Canucks team that can #battle. Fitting that management is using that as their slogan this season. It doesn’t feel like other seasons where we gave up hope because the team just wasn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, the Canucks aren’t “there” yet but they’re a lot closer than the beginning of this season would have let on. Tonight, the Canucks go toe to toe with the Oilers and I honestly believe it’s the Oilers who have to keep up.

THE FINAL WORD

According to Andrew Walker of SN 650, it’s a great city.

  • LACANUCK

    I agree the Canucks arent There yet, but are on their way. As much as I would love for the Canucks to have a shot at Jack Hughes, the team has had the worst record in the NHL the last three years and hasn’t even come close to the #1 pick. The NHL tried to prevent “tanking” but instead domed “unlucky” franchises to add years to a rebuild.

    The Canucks are finally hard to play against and fun to watch. The last 2 yrs has been watching Bo’s development then Brock, now the Canucks are a team that can to compete w room to grow. Many CA peeps won’t like to hear it, but GMJB’s plan to surround young guys with hard working vets has worked well so far.

    • truthseeker

      Personally I love the lottery. I think they should make it even more difficult to get the number one. Even odds for all non playoff teams. I’ve been saying that for years when the canucks were bad, so it’s not like I’m just saying that because now the canucks are better and that would benefit us.

      I thought they were fairly fun to watch last year as well. Even last year Green brought a more aggressive style to the team. But you’re exactly right that his recent vets have been good additions (aside from Schaller so far) and have given the team some much needed depth.

      I’m like most here though…it’s not that I don’t like the Beagle signing, it’s that it is a year too long. At the same time I do understand as well, that for him to come to a team like the canucks given their record, they would have to add more than other teams. I would have preferred 2 of the 3 signings. Hindsight would have me say Beagle and Rousel, haha…but honestly at the time I think I was saying Schaller and Roussel. The good thing is that contractually Benning has set himself up in a very good position. Lots of money comes off the books in a good staggered fashion. Del Zotto, Nilsson, and Edler this year, then next year, Gagner, Markstrom, Schaller, and Tanev. Sutter, Sven and Guddy the year after that. Of course, some will be resigned obviously, but that combined with the cap space we already have, has the canucks set up very well for the Boeser type contracts.

  • jaybird43

    Yes, it’s far more entertaining this year. Last year if they were down by a goal, it was “Fuuuget about it”. This year, they have the potential to outscore their still suspect defence, and they are hard to play against.

    They’ve won against impressive clubs at times and, at other times, been impressive in losses to good clubs: witness the 40 shot effort against the Jets.

    One more higher draft pick, in the top 15 would help, hopefully in the top 10, and I think next year will be even more fun.

    • truthseeker

      Yeah that’s the biggest difference between last year, they can actually score now. 4 already in this game…lol. Looks good on them. Must be so frustrating for Oiler fans at the game….haha.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks’ defensive play has tightened up enormously in the last month. I’m not sure if that has to do with the return of injured players, or whether the team is starting to gel. Maybe both.

  • The season of giving stops tonight when we take another win away from the Oil. Oilers are on a 3 game losing streak to impress their new coach, so lets make it 4.
    A win would also move us ahead of Edmonton in the standings, our rightful place.

    Go Nucks Go!

  • Green Bastard

    My crystal ball shows me oil fans crying and excuse trumpeting about the refs (like a person needs a crystal ball for that), injuries to their d men, and the league conspiracy against them cuz they have McDavid. This is regardless of the final score of the game.

  • Memo to Hitch: Flattery and praise of Canucks young talent gets you nowhere with me. You’re a clever old fox and know not to poke a sleeping bear.

    Memo to coach Green: Don’t fall for Hitch’s attempt at kindness. Make sure our guys are ready for battle. Oilers are gonna come out guns blazing.
    Turkey dinner sleepyheads need not apply.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Agree. Hitchcock is a clever old psychologist and don’t get lulled to sleep by one of the very few assets that organization has. Tonight? Awesome!!! An old fashioned 4 pointer the Canucks must capitalize on against the clowns wearing their old Alberta Oiler WHA orange jerseys. Ugly!!!