The Canucks had one game left before the Christmas break. Monday night they took on the Edmonton Oilers, coming into this game riding a two-game win streak. Alex Edler would draw back into the lineup and with Edler coming in, it meant someone would have to come out. Travis Green decided to sit out Jordie Benn for the first time this season.
The fourth line was going to need to be good in their limited matchup with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. Bo Horvat has been paying a ton of minutes against tough competition lately. If the Canucks were able to balance out his ice time we could possibly see Bo’s first goal on home ice this year.
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) December 24, 2019
Loui Eriksson would start on a line with Tanner Pearson and Bo Horvat. The “ViGaRous” and “Lotto” lines would stay intact and Edler would play with Troy Stecher. Thatcher Demko also returned to the lineup and he would backup Jacob Markstrom.
Thoughts from Twitter
The holiday season is upon us, and Canucks Twitter was all for it.
— Optimistic Canuck (@OptimistCanuck) December 24, 2019
Tonight we would like to wish you all a very Peteymas! All of you make up the army of fans that this team needs and deserves! May your holidays be blessed! We thank you all for being the best fans in the NHL!
See you all in 2020!#ChurchOfPettersson
— Church of Pettersson (@of_pettersson) December 24, 2019
Ho Ho Ho, Let’s Go!
Loui Eriksson registered a shot on net only 3 minutes and 49 seconds into this game. He was going to get a good amount of 5-on-5 minutes tonight playing with Horvat after not registering any stats aside from ice time on Saturday night. The Lotto Line was looking good early. Elias Pettersson, JT Miller and Brock Boeser were forcing turnovers but not putting together enough passes to get a scoring chance in the early stages of the game.
Jake Virtanen looked engaged early on. He has been playing with a ton of confidence lately and is thriving right now with his current linemates Antoine Roussel and Adam Gaudette. The Canucks would get their first powerplay with 10:46 remaining in the period. This was the 22 penalty that Elias Pettersson has drawn this season.
The second unit started on the powerplay as the first unit just had a lengthy shift to draw the penalty. The second unit was unable to set up and they gave way to the big boys. The first unit was using Pettersson and Boeser on their strong sides tonight. They were able to maintain possession the puck and get a couple of near-scoring chances.
The Canucks were not able to score on the powerplay but Tyler Motte would score an unassisted goal just as the powerplay expired on a great shot off of a faceoff scramble. 1-0 Canucks after Tyler Motte’s goal
1st of the year for Tyler Motte. 🚨 pic.twitter.com/ylV0XZ6gng
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 24, 2019
This was the fourth game in a row where the Canucks scored first, something they have not been great at this season. It was Tyler Motte’s first goal of the year.
The Oilers would score a goal late in the first period when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his seventh of the year. He made a good move to make his way into the zone and fired a seeing eye wrister pas Markstrom.
— OILERZ (@oilerzmedia) December 24, 2019
The period was coming to a close and it was one without many whistles. The Oilers big stars were held in check by the Canucks’ shutdown group and we were looking at a 1-1 game after 20 minutes.
The Oilers took to the power play early on in the second period when Antoine Roussel took an interference penalty. The Oilers have the best road powerplay in the league and had been deadly against the Canucks this season.
Oscar Klefbom fired a wrist shot past a screened Markstrom after some great puck movement from the Oilers first unit. McDavid and Draisaitl picked up the assists and it was 2-1 Oilers after the Klefbom goal.
Halfway through the second period we saw Travis Green begin to mix up the defence pairings. Myers was playing some time with Hughes specifically on offensive zone draws. Quinn Hughes was the Canucks most dangerous player through the first half of the period. He was firing shots towards the net and setting up a bevy of rebound opportunities for his teammates.
Antoine Roussel and Darnell Nurse dropped the gloves with 8:02 remaining after Roussel was being a thorn in his side throughout the entire game. Nurse was able to use his size and strength to his advantage, but Roussel held his own.
The second period was much like the first. After 40 minutes the shots were tied at 20 a piece though the Canucks attempted 47 shots and the Oilers only had 33. Here’s a more indepth look into the 5on5 pace of the game after 40 minutes.
The Canucks controlled the pace of play at 5-on-5 but would have to climb out of a one goal lead in the third.
Bo Horvat went hard to the net and used his skate to redirect a Tanner Pearson past Mikko Koskinen to tie the game. The play went under review but after a quick call to Toronto, the goal stood, and Horvat had his first goal on home ice this season and the game was tied 2-2 with 15 minutes remaining.
The Oilers took to the powerplay midway through the period. Tanner Pearson took the penalty and the Oilers were gifted a momentum swing. The Oilers’ power play had scored in their last three attempts against the Canucks.
The Canucks would kill this penalty off with 10 minutes remaining in a 2-2 game.
The Canucks got a powerplay opportunity with 7:17 remaining in the period when the Oilers took a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
The first unit got to work and Quinn Hughes absolutely wired a one timer from JT Miller. If you’re going to watch any clips from this game.
Watch this one.
Quinn Hughes with a 🚀
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) December 24, 2019
3-2 Canucks after that thing of beauty.
The Canucks continued to pressure the Oilers at 5-on-5 late in the period. Tyler Myers jumped into a play that turned around quickly and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was robbed by Markstrom on a 2-on-1.
Virtanen took a cross crease pass from JT Miller and couldn’t find the back of the net late in the period. Virtanen had looked great again this game. He was useful in every situation he was used in tonight.
The Oilers pulled their goalie with 2 minutes remaining in the game, the Canucks would have to hold on through a barrage of offence from the Oilers to come up with the win.
Loui Eriksson took a pass from Alex Edler and flew down the ice like he was running to the bank to cash one of his cheque. The Canucks were up 4-2 and time would run out.
Best of Twitter
— DrunkenDruken (@UbikWintermute) December 24, 2019
Not sure how this keeps happening, but the McDavid-Draisailt duo spent two-and-a-half minutes vs. the Jay Beagle line and didn't manage a shot on goal.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 24, 2019
THE CANUCKS ARE STILL UNDEFEATED WHEN ERIKSSON SCORES
— noël🎄 (@hoglanderr) December 24, 2019
Quinn Huge. #Canucks
— Danny Warren (@BedBeats) December 24, 2019
5on5 Corsi provided by NaturalStatTrick
- Quinn Hughes was excellent tonight. He was firing from all parts off the ice and led the team in shots.
- Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of the 29 shots he face tonight. He had himself another great night and should enjoy the Christmas break more than any other player on this roster.
The Canucks played one heck of a game at 5-on-5 tonight. Only four players were below 50% with their Corsi. The players will be happy to be home for Christmas and enjoy their family time. I wanted to take a second to thank everyone who read, shares, comments and gossips about us here at CanucksArmy. I hope everyone has a happy holiday season and we will see you all on Boxing Day for the World Juniors.
Now go wrap-up those last presents and enjoy some time with your friends and family.