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Preseason Game #5: Canucks/Oilers Preview

Vancouver finally got on the winning side of things this preseason by smacking the Ducks around last night. No rest for the wicked though as the undefeated Oilers welcome a mixed Canucks squad tonight at 5:00 PM PT.

After the jump, the lines and some pregame thoughts.

Vancouver's tentative lines (UPDATED)

Raymond – Kesler – Hodgson
Sweatt – Morrison – Samuelsson
Torres – Bliznak – Oreskovich
Hordichuk – Malhotra – Volpatti

Ballard - Bieksa
SOB - Rome
Connauton - L. Sweatt



Edmonton's tentative lines

Hall - Horcoff - Eberle
Penner - Brule - Omark
Giroux - Aulin - Ondrus
Hartikainen - Vande Velde - Stortini

Whitney - Petry
Vandermeer - Peckham
Strudwick - Motin



Pithy Thoughts

> Kesler and Raymond across from Hall and Eberle (and whatever is left of Horcoff). Everyone should probably get used to seeing that match-up.

> That third line should keep your eyes stapled open. Not only is it Hodgson's first meaningful NHL start in a year, but he's centering Sweatt - who has shown great speed and poise so far - and Shirokov who, along with his pivot, are still vying for a roster spot. If these guys bring the suck, the papers will go nuclear. It's probable Hodgson should look rusty tonight, but he should play in all the remaining preseason games.

> Speaking of sights for sore eyes, Khabibulin returns to the pipes for the first time since last November. I'll wait until the regular season before I lean in with the drunk barbs.

> There's no real muscle in for VAN, so seeing Torres and Ores chuck themselves around should be fun for a laugh or two.

> Note to Ballard: the key to being Bieka's partner is to not even bother with offensive. Assume he will blow his coverage and pinch at inopportune moments. It's best not to pass the red line if at all possible.

> Vancouver is 4-for-20 on the PP this preseason. I know it's the preseason and all but...heavy sigh.

> The game will be on the NHL Network. Huzzah for TV relevancy for those of us in the states.