Oilers At Canucks Preview: Blastin', Outlastin'

Damage! (Ugh!) Damage (Ugh!) Damage!
Time Friday, 6:00 PST
TV CBC (?!)
Season Series 1-0 Canucks
Last Meeting
6-1 Canucks Oct. 5/13
The Enemy The Copper And Blue coring Leaders H. Sedin: 8-21-29
Eberle: 11-17-28
OILERS
CATEGORY
CANUCKS
11-19-3 SEASON RECORD 18-10-5
25 POINTS 41
LAST CONFERENCE POSITION 8th
Lost 1
STREAK Won 5
5-4-1 LAST 10 7-2-1
6-9-2 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 8-5-3
2.70 (12)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 2.64 (15)
3.39 (29) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.36 (8)
0.69 (29) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 1.07 (13)
18.7 (14) POWER PLAY % 13.9 (25)
82.8 (15) PENALTY KILL % 89.7 (1)
28.8 (21) SHOTS/GAME AVG 32.3 (4)
48.9 (21) FACEOFF WINS % 50.9 (14)
794 (11) HITS
631 (25)
499 (8) BLOCKED SHOTS 496 (10)
132 (26) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 120 (16)
NHL.COM

The Canucks end their current kick ass homestand with a back-to-back scenario against the Oilers and Bruins. Vancouver is 3-0 in their last 3 at home and 5-0 in December. The current streak has put them into the playoff picture (8th). The Wild are tied with the Canucks with 41 points, but they look to be getting their butts handed to them by San Jose tonight (Thursday). If everything goes perfectly well the Canucks with a win would find themselves in 6th spot in the West on Saturday night.

-Just gotta point something out...I do the stats table above prior to every game and there are TWO stats that the Canucks have dramatically dropped in recently: blocked shots and hits. Does that matter? Not in a bad sense. It's just proof of how irrelevant those stats can be for a successful team.

-Was Tony Gallagher talking about the Canucks troubles scoring goals after their last win over Carolina? Wow. I mean, that has generally been a problem this season but the scores in their last 5 wins in reverse chronological order are: 2-0, 3-1, 3-2, 3-1, 3-2. With the defence playing better and better all the time, is more than 3 goals really needed? No.

-Another Vancouver MSM site was asking Zack Kassian if he was worried about the Oilers going for any revenge on him because of the high stick on Sam Gagner incident, which is silly, because the teams already played after that incident and I don't recall anything happening. However, Kassian said he's ready if anyone wants to come at him. But what was more funny was that he said he was glad that Steve MacIntyre wasn't playing. MacIntyre was acquired by the Oilers soon after the Kass-Gagner West incident (but likely not because of it). He is a beast of a man, standing at 6'5" and weighing in at around 250 pounds and has a whore of a lot of NHL fights under his belt. Anyway, he's on the IR. F*** him. Maybe Taylor Hall will attack Kassian with his horse teeth right after Eberle stares him down and shoots lasers at him from his googly eyes.

Let's hope the Canucks are sharp after 3 days off. These game vs the Oilers are not to be treated as "gimmes". And the focus has to be there, not on the Saturday game against Boston.

-Ah! A very good question brought up by kiwinuck in a different comment thread: Who does Torts start in goal against the Oilers? Eddie Lack and then Luongo against Boston? Vice versa? Luongo in BOTH? EDIT: Luongo starts vs Edmonton.

STROMBONE1 FTW AGAIN

Ah Lou, I'm so glad you still play for us.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

The Oilers lost 4-2 to the Bruins on Thursday night. Looking back at their game results since November 21: Win-Loss-W-L-W-L-W-OTL-W-L in their last 10 games. What a trend! Time to put another "L" on the end there, Canucks.

HE SAID IT

The Oilers are improving, grasping the nuances of the so-called 200-foot game, bit-by-bit. It’s a bumpy learning curve, one many fans have lost patience with.

Meanwhile, the message to fans, whether from MacTavish a month ago or from Eakins this week, is that the "process," as the Oilers hockey people now call the interminable rebuild, continues at its own pace.

It’s probably unrealistic to expect the pace of this process to pick up dramatically until the GM provides the head coach with some key missing pieces, beginning on defence.

But we knew that a month ago.

-John MacKinnin, Edmonton Journal.

PROJECTED OILERS ROSTER

Perron - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle (Sweet line)

Hall - Gagner - Yakupov

Jesse Joenssu - Mark Acrobello - Hemsky

Luke Gadzic - Anton Lander - Ryan Jones

N. Schultz - J. Schultz

Ference - Larsen

Anton Belov - Petry

Dubnyk, or maybe Jason Labarbera, after he played well in relief of Dubnyk against the Bruins....

Injuries: Ilya Bryzgalov, Ryan Smyth, Boyd Gordon, Corey Potter, Ryan Hamilton, Steve MacIntyre, Tyler Pitlick, Richard Bachman.

TOP 5 OILER SCORERS

1. Eberle: 11-17-28

2. Perron: 14-13-27 (an excellent pickup by the Oilers this past summer.)

3. Hall: 12-15-27

4. The Nuge: 7-17-24

5. Hemsky: 6-12-18

VIDEO

Canucks rookies Dalpe, Welsh, Stanton and Lack sing with Sarah Mclachlan at the Canucks' Dice And Ice:

Tortorella talks days off, the 4th lines and all players involved, plus Sarah McLachlan. Funny stuff:

Here is a nice violent blast from the past (2008):

Hell of a fight. I loved that Mike Weaver guy. A little bulldog. And of course, RIP Luc Bourdon. Damn, what could have been hey? I still wonder about that sometimes.

The last meeting between these teams was beautiful:

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by LL Cool J:

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Nobody picked the Canucks to beat the Canes 2-0, or for Chris Tanev to score the winner.

GO CANUCKS GO!

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