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Canucks Army Game Day 48 – Canucks Vs. Oilers (Beet or Be Beat Edition)

THE INTRO

It’s goal season again at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks peppered the Panthers net on Sunday for five goals (sure a few were of the empty net variety) and it’s time to show the visiting Edmonton Oilers that it wasn’t a mirage. Zack Kassian is coming off an epic two-goal performance, same can be said for Milan Lucic. Vancouver can boast their underachievers as well with Ben Hutton, Loui “all the dangles” Eriksson, and Markus Granlund all lighting the lamp last game.

There is a pileup of disappointment meeting tonight but thankfully someone has to win. Sven Baertschi has Canuck’d pretty hard lately and may continue his impressive run while Bo Horvat and Brock Boeser would be wise to start their engines again.

If the Oilers lose, that Bagged Milk character eats beets. That’s reason enough for the Canucks to win. Canucks Army doesn’t have anything that is embarrassing to eat, maybe a bagel. Bagels are popular at the Rog lately.

Let’s Do This!™

TV / RADIO / PUCK DROP

SNP / SN 650 / 7:00 PM

LINEUPS

Josh Leivo made his way to the top PP unit, Tim Schaller takes Nikolay Goldobin’s spot and Thatcher Demko will sit again. Probably good for him to not play to further his development.

Recap: No Goldy, more Leivo, Schaller Time and same net protector. Pettersson is supposed to skate today but it’s a stretch to believe he’ll play tonight.

Jacob Markstrom by the rule of Demko not starting is the starter.

Canucks lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Sven Baertschi
SVEN BAERTSCHI

Rating: 75.0#33 LW

Bo Horvat
BO HORVAT

Rating: 75.4#46 C

Brock Boeser
BROCK BOESER

Rating: 81.4#6 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 77.25#19 FL1
Antoine Roussel
ANTOINE ROUSSEL

Rating: 71.2#88 LW

Brandon Sutter
BRANDON SUTTER

Rating: 70.9#144 C

Jake Virtanen
JAKE VIRTANEN

Rating: 71.5#82 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.20#28 FL2
Nikolay Goldobin
NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

Rating: 69.8#112 LW

Markus Granlund
MARKUS GRANLUND

Rating: 70.3#155 C

Josh Leivo
JOSH LEIVO

Rating: 72.9#59 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 71.01#24 FL3
Loui Eriksson
LOUI ERIKSSON

Rating: 70.4#101 LW

Jay Beagle
JAY BEAGLE

Rating: 67.4#195 C

Tyler Motte
TYLER MOTTE

Rating: 68.6#118 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.81#30 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Alexander Edler
ALEXANDER EDLER

Rating: 75.5#24 LD

Chris Tanev
CHRIS TANEV

Rating: 71.7#58 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 73.64#23 DL1
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON

Rating: 70.3#110 LD

Troy Stecher
TROY STECHER

Rating: 72.5#47 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.38#26 DL2
Derrick Pouliot
DERRICK POULIOT

Rating: 70.5#105 LD

Erik Gudbranson
ERIK GUDBRANSON

Rating: 68.2#105 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.35#30 DL3

 

Kailer Yamamoto could return from the IR tonight so there could be some crafty play entering the Oilers lineup. Andrej Sekera and Oskar Klefbom are both out still with various injuries and the Oilers made a waiver claim and were awarded Colby Cave. He will suit up. Big news… big news.

Mikko Koskinen has been announced as the confirmed starter. Clarity.

Oilers lines courtesy of Dailyfaceoff.com:

LW C RW Forwards
Leon Draisaitl
LEON DRAISAITL

Rating: 79.7#19 LW

Connor McDavid
CONNOR MCDAVID

Rating: 90.3#1 C

Ty Rattie
TY RATTIE

Rating: 69.0#117 RW

FL1 Rating
Rating: 79.65#8 FL1
Milan Lucic
MILAN LUCIC

Rating: 68.7#131 LW

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

Rating: 74.8#51 C

Alex Chiasson
ALEX CHIASSON

Rating: 70.3#98 RW

FL2 Rating
Rating: 71.27#27 FL2
Ryan Spooner
RYAN SPOONER

Rating: 69.7#117 LW

Kyle Brodziak
KYLE BRODZIAK

Rating: 69.7#169 C

Jesse Puljujarvi
JESSE PULJUJARVI

Rating: 70.1#101 RW

FL3 Rating
Rating: 69.83#31 FL3
Tobias Rieder
TOBIAS RIEDER

Rating: 69.0#126 LW

Jujhar Khaira
JUJHAR KHAIRA

Rating: 68.5#134 C

Zack Kassian
ZACK KASSIAN

Rating: 68.6#119 RW

FL4 Rating
Rating: 68.69#31 FL4
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS Defense
Darnell Nurse
DARNELL NURSE

Rating: 73.6#46 LD

Kris Russell
KRIS RUSSELL

Rating: 71.8#80 RD

DL1 Rating
Rating: 72.66#27 DL1
Caleb Jones
CALEB JONES

Rating: 72.0#7 LD

Adam Larsson
ADAM LARSSON

Rating: 71.2#69 RD

DL2 Rating
Rating: 71.59#24 DL2
Brandon Manning
BRANDON MANNING

Rating: 68.9#122 LD

Matt Benning
MATT BENNING

Rating: 70.9#77 RD

DL3 Rating
Rating: 69.92#26 DL3

 

YOUR INFORMATIONAL NEEDS FOR TONIGHT’S GAME

  • Despite being fourth in team scoring, Nikolay Goldobin hasn’t put the puck in the net. To be precise, he’s scored one goal in his last 20 games. Not good. Tim Schaller is in the lineup once again but he’ll have to make an immediate impact or he’ll be joining Goldobin when Pettersson comes back. Did I say they had a shot at the playoffs with this team? I apologize.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, and Pat Maroon. These are the names of the leading scorers for the Oilers against the Canucks since the beginning of last season. With four, three, and two goals respectively, not one of those players is named Connor McDavid. Travis Green has been able to contain the top-10 talent to one goal and seven assists in six games played since the beginning of the 2017 season. Bo Horvat has been Vancouver’s leading scorer against the Oilers in that same timeframe with three tallies, however, Brock Boeser has two but both players are tied with five points against the Oilers.
  • Sven Baertschi seems to have returned to an effective role for the Canucks. He has four goals in his last 10 games combined with two assists, four of those points were scored on the power-play. Of the disappointment taking over this team, he has been one of the more consistent feel-good stories this season. True story.
  • Antoine Roussel might be in line for a feisty evening. He’s four minutes away from 900 career PIM and one point away from 160 for his career. He’ll be ready to agitate Lucic and probably McDavid. Roussel scored in the last meeting between both teams and I like his chances tonight.
  • Empty net goals usually mean a team is ahead while their opponents risk it all to get to OT. Without spending the better part of a month looking into this further, goalies have been pulled a lot earlier than the last version of the league prior to a few lockouts. The Canucks have 10 ENG this season, six back of the Flames for first, and six ahead of the Oilers who have only four to talk about. They don’t mean you have an amazing team but there have been some slump busters lately and scoring an empty net goal has meant a lot more to a good portion of the Canucks which might just help turn a few things around.

MY 94 CENTS

I’ve been saying this for years: the Oilers need defensemen and they need a goaltender. Somehow, they continue to draft forwards and take the best possible one when they’re at the top of the draft. They could have moved down, added picks, and addressed their growing needs. This has not happened and because of their inability to build, they’re in this mess.

The Canucks have managed to address their own needs a bit better but in a not so glamorous fashion. They’ve gone through fewer coaches and first overall picks but the misery is still there.

Pettersson is unlikely to play so I have to give the edge to the Oilers. Connor McDavid has proven he’s a legit top-five player in the league and he can carry his team without any of their help.

It’ll be close but I think the Oilers want it more because the Canucks haven’t wanted much lately.

THE FINAL WORD

It’s a day late to be relevant and yet it feels pretty good.

  • “Tim Schaller takes Nikolay Goldobin’s spot”

    *Facepalm*

    Look, I get why some people have issues with Goldobin’s game. I get why some people don’t think he’s a long-term solution in the Canucks’ top six. But he has skill, and upside, and offensive abilities. Schaller is a replacement-level plug. You want to call up Dahlen or Lind and give them a shot in the top-six? Cool, I get it. You want to give Virtanen or Lievo or someone else time where Goldobin would have been playing? Makes sense. But there’s no circumstance in which it makes sense to replace Goldobin with Tim Schaller.

    • Killer Marmot

      Schaller is the perfect choice to be in the press box. You don’t want young players to be regular scratches. BUT even 13th forwards need to play from time to time, and Schaller has not played in 11 days.

      Combine that with the need to get Goldobin’s attention and it makes sense.

      • That’s a fair comment – I think what I take issue with is Goldobin playing on the fourth line and Schaller then subbing in directly for Goldobin. That just seems like deliberate misuse of a player. If we were talking about Goldobin being scratched, Virtanen moving up the lineup to take his spot on the 2nd line, and Schaller subbing in on the fourth line to re-balance the lineup, all right. But what’s happened here is Goldobin being demoted to the fourth line despite being one of the Canucks’ most productive players, then being directly replaced by a replacement-level plug. That I take issue with.

        • Killer Marmot

          I’m guessing that Green does not want to change the Beagle line because they played really well last game, and will be matched up against the McDavid line tonight.

        • bobdaley44

          Productive? Sure he gets a few more points but he’s week on D, plays small, isn’t the fastest, has absolutely no physicality, forechecks meekly and makes some dumb passes on the PP. If he doesn’t find some bite in his game he’ll be in the KHL next year. Bring on Shaller. Goldy has been given every opportunity but hasn’t taken advantage. He should be watching tapes of Kucherov to see how it’s done.

        • Defenceman Factory

          Goldobin has been given every opportunity to change his situation but just seems unable to play consistently. He really has not been productive. He hasn’t scored in 20 games and without Pettersson produces almost no points. We all really want him to succeed but it’s as if he just doesn’t understand what’s required.

          Schaller has not been good and doesn’t deserve to be on the roster ahead of Goldobin at this point but he does deserve some opportunity to redeem himself. He has always been a better player than he has shown on the Canucks thus far.

        • Holly Wood

          Slotting Goldie on the 3rd or 4th is a complete waste of a roster spot. He can not contribute to a grinding role period. For him it’s top 2 lines or the press box.

    • Goldobin has been demoted to the 4th line and Schaller is a 4th liner. So it makes sense to replace Goldobin with Schaller.

      One of the things Goldobin needs is to be consistent but he’s streaky as hell. I just looked at the game-by-game breakdown on Dobbers and using the eyeball test, Goldobin’s season is like this:

      Hot – 2/2 games with points (3 pts) (Oct 3-6)
      Cold – 0/10 games with points (Oct 9-27)
      Hot – 5/7 games with points (7 pts) (Oct 29-Nov 12)
      Cold – 0/2 games with points (Nov 13-15)
      Hot – 4/5 games with points (6 pts) (Nov 17-24)
      Cold – 0/3 games with points (Nov 27-Dec 1)
      Hot – 5/6 games with points (5 pts) (Dec 6-16)
      Cold – 1/9 games with points (2 pts) (Dec 18-Jan 13)

      It’s easier to see on a heat map but Goldobin isn’t a consistent scoring threat (based on point production). If I had a breakdown of points with Pettersson, I produce stats that look even more unfavourable for Goldobin. Goldobin thinks he has the puck for a long time until Green shows him stats that says he only has the puck for seconds. Goldobin thinks he’s working hard but Green shows him video of that shows he’s not skating as hard on a backcheck as he is on a breakaway. We need to get rid of him before the media start using the cliche “Russian enigma” to mask his poor work ethic.

    • TheRealPB

      I have seen Goldobin display flashes of brilliance and lots of lazy play. I have seen Tim Schaller…skate? Sort of hit? Maybe beat out an icing? Seriously, I really don’t know what he’s brought to the team other than maybe a five game stretch when Roussel was still injured. At this point I honestly have no idea what possible good this substitution can do.

  • msnader

    I understand the frustration in bringing up Demko to have him sit on the bench for such a long time, however, tonight is not the night to give him his first start of the season. Ideally, he would’ve got the start against Florida on Sunday, but we know that didn’t happen. Against a divisional opponent who’s coming off a big game (not to mention they have this guy named McDavid) probably isn’t the best place to throw your young goalie in to get some confidence. If I’m being honest, I probably wouldn’t start him until this coming Sunday against Detroit, but something tells me he’ll start against Buffalo on Friday. If he doesn’t start before the All-Star break, then I’d have major problems with the coaching decisions.

    • Nuck16

      Now that it’s apparent they want to give Demko a ton of time with the goalie coach during this slow patch of games when he’s not really needed, I like what they’re doing. It’s like working on your golf swing, you don’t want to enter any tournaments during the change…so he works for a few weeks, then I think they should send him down for a game or 2 to get his confidence with the changes, then call him up and slot him straight into a game

  • Oilersnation has been on a low boil forever it seems. That pity party needs more heat.

    Both teams are tied with 47 points. This is a good opportunity to move ahead of the Oilers, since they also have a game in hand. Canucks beat them twice, so Canucks take this one.

    Canucks 4 – Oilers 2 (just like the last two)

    • El Cid

      Oh Bob,bob,bob is that your name or are you just bobbing for Dick again? The Nuks are out and have been all season, the mirage is over and the race is on to the cellar. The cellar, have you looked there bastard?

  • Kanuckhotep

    Without Petey in the line up EDM have the better superstars on their team but the Canucks play more as a TEAM team than the Oilers do. January hockey is usually not that riveting to begin with but in this dog fight for the PO every game is pivotal and this one is a 4 pointer. Too bad Petey won’t play but don’t rush him back to get re injured I say.

  • Rusty bucket

    “Somehow, they continue to draft forwards and take the best possible one when they’re at the top of the draft”
    If I recall correctly, the oilers drafted a defenseman in Bouchard with their 1st round pick this past year…