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Oilers At Canucks Game Preview: The Thunder Of Guns

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Thurs. 7:30 PM PST


Sportsnet Pacific


2-1 Oilers


4-0 Oilers Mar. 30 /13


The Copper And Blue


H. Sedin: 9-22-31

Hall: 13-28-41

16-13-7 SEASON RECORD 19-11-6
39 POINTS 44
Won 5
6-2-2 LAST 10 6-4-0

As I am typing this, the Oilers are about to beat the Flames and win their 5th game in a row. Not only that, their soon-to-be 39 points is going to put them in 8th spot in the West (updated table above). In this game, Taylor Hall passed Alexander Ovechkin to move into 2nd spot in scoring for NHL left wingers. Impressive. (Update: Holy Hell! A 5-point night for Hall.)

But let's face it, their streak stops here. Derek Roy is here to save the day. Finally a bonafide center in Ryan Kesler's absence. Roy may play between Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins. At least, that's who he practiced with on Wednesday. He may center the 2nd power play unit between Nicklas Jensen and Higgins.

Somebody shadow Hall. He's smokin'. Actually, how about somebody take him out. Give the kid a rough night at the Rog. Bang him at every turn.

The Canucks recalled Zack Kassian on Wednesday.

Ryan Kesler is expected to begin skating on Thursday.

Mason Raymond may return to the lineup later in the week. He is listed as day to day with the shoulder issue.

Dale Weise should be returning sometime this week.

It's all going to start coming together, and I am excited.

Let me express my thoughts on Mike Gillis' performance at the trade deadline: He passed. Had he not landed a center as good as Roy is, he would have failed. I don't care if he didn't trade Roberto Luongo. The simple reason for that is that I have concerns about the play of Cory Schneider. Yea yea, he's been good. But good god almighty he is getting schooled by shooters in one area: over the shoulder(s). He's excellent along the ice like most butterfly goalies, but their weakness is that, like Schneider does, if they are not 6'7" tall and play back a bit, they leave the whole top of the net exposed.

Prime example:

Yea, I have been seeing a lot more of that lately. Is that something we will see a lot of from C-Wall? Who cares? He's still awesome. We still have Roberto Luongo, who, in my opinion, is the better goalie. So we ride the 2-tier goalie system the rest of the way. Works for me. Now, I had said weeks ago that I wanted Gillis to go all in and win now, so he would have to trade Luongo to get the cap space. Mercifully, David Booth and Manny Malhotra get put on the LTIR and I get the best of both worlds because there was enough cap space even with Lou staying in the lineup.

Think about it this way: once the playoffs start, the cap ceiling is gone. Then David Booth can come back and the Canucks can go over the cap ceiling. Booth can then play in a bottom 6 role if he isn't earning more than that. Doesn't bother me. Hell, put him on line 4. Anything is better than having a Tom Sestito on your roster in the playoffs. It isn't really necessary, unless the guy can occasionally contribute offensively, which he can't. Sorry Tom.

So what we could be looking at for the forwards ranks hopefully in round 1:

Sedin - Sedin - Burrows

Raymond - Kesler - Higgins

Hansen - Roy - Booth

Pinizzotto - Lapierre - Weise / Kassian / Ebbett

What's not to like about that? Well, except that is not the most physically imposing roster. GOD DAMMIT WHY COULDN'T WE GET RAFFI TORRES BACK?

Anyway, the Canuck players are pretty stoked about the acquisition of Roy. Higgins is calling it a breathe of fresh air. Fuckin' A! Now go out there and kick some ass, boys!

By the way, the Canucks will be holding their 23rd annual Canucks For Kids Telethon during this game. So I will donate 3 cents for every comment during the Canucks-Oilers game thread. The $$$ will go to the Canucks Children's Hospital. Think of the kids!

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by Pontiac Grand Prix SE and AC/DC: