Jeff Paterson joins the show and helps analyze Oilers’ lineup changes ahead of game 4: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
1 month ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by Rink Wide’s Jeff Paterson to discuss lineup changes made by the Oilers ahead of game 4 in Edmonton.
Knoblauch told reporters Tuesday that he’ll start the game with McDavid and Draisaitl centering their own lines, though he added it’s possible they’ll join forces as the game goes on.
“This strikes me as Chris Knoblauch getting a little antsy and making some decisions based on the series and where it is, recognizing the team is trailing and can’t afford to go down 3-1,” JPat began. “What a luxury to have as a head coach, being able to split those guys but knowing you can put them back together for a turbo-charge at any time. They’ve been an absolute handful for the Canucks to try and control. The Canucks have done a nice job of keeping them to the perimeter, and when you look at McDavid in this series: 5 points, but 4 of them came in game 2. The two other games, the Canucks limited him and forced him to play on the outside. That’s how Rick Tocchet wants it, and we’ll see if they’re able to continue to do it. When I look at this series, the fact that only 3 Oiler forwards have scored and defensemen have generated more goals through 3 games than their forward group, they’ve gotten absolutely nothing from anybody below those big 3, so I think that’s part of why they’re going away from the stacked lines. They need others to get involved.”
Jeff noted how well the Canucks have kept up with the Oilers in the special teams department – an area many analysts expected would be a major factor in this series against Edmonton’s historic power play unit.
“The Oilers have 4 power play goals on 8 attempts, 50%, incredible. But the Canucks have 3 power play goals of their own, so the net difference is just 1,” said JPat. “That’s a massive win for the Canucks when I thought about the way this series would shape up. Along those lines, the Canucks have more power plays than the Oilers. I didn’t think I could live in a world where that’s even a possibility. The Canucks have done a nice job of sticking to their systems, not taking needless penalties, and the best way to limit that Oiler power play is obviously to stay out of the box. Any night is an opportunity for McDavid to explode or the Canucks to run into penalty problems, but the way they’re playing locked in right now, they’re a confident bunch and believe they can leave town with a 3-1 series lead.”
Another likely more notable change to the lineup comes in the crease for the Oilers. Moncton native Calvin Pickard will get the start in net tonight in place of Stuart Skinner, who has struggled, particularly in the 2nd round against the Canucks. Pickard, 32, has never played in an NHL playoff game and has only appeared in 5 total playoff games through his AHL and Junior career.
“This is now one of the storylines; a third-stringer who has delivered for the Canucks and a backup career journeyman who rediscovered his NHL career,” JPat said. “He’s a great story, and credit to him, he came out and spoke with the media on game day this morning. A down-to-earth guy, appreciative of the opportunity, said all the right things about approaching it like it’s just another game when clearly it’s not. It feels a little bit desperate, but at the same time, you’re not getting saved from the guy you had hoped and believed in. Here we are with McDavid and Draisaitl leading the playoffs in scoring again, and what’s the biggest issue in Edmonton? It’s goaltending. Some things never change. It’s a tough spot for Calvin Pickard, but it was a tough spot for Arturs Silovs. Goalies are a strange lot; he might rise to the challenge and take the net from Skinner, who hasn’t done enough to earn the confidence of his team.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s show below:

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