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I Beg Your Pardon, But You Can All Go To Hell: Canucks @ Oilers

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I'd say "what's the worst thing that can happen?" but then you know who is going to get blamed when the time/space continuum rips apart.

Just 13 more games Bo. Hang in there.
Just 13 more games Bo. Hang in there.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

T-minus 13 games to go...

It's gonna be a loooong way to the end of the season if, after every losing effort of which there will still be plenty, we'll double down on the misery with the 'stache chucking people into the doghouse (see teenager NHL players Virtanen and McCann). Not that players shouldn't be earning icetime but, honestly, look at these lines: there's plenty of raw , untested talent they'er rolling out there.

If someone is showing up late to practices because they don't gave a flying Evander Kane about their team, that's one thing. Every good Baertschi and Hutton story doesn't need a corresponding negative story one, does it? Is McCann supposed to be scoring all the goals the front nine can't? Is Virts supposed to morph into a 2011 Burrows at the snap of the fingers?

I'm confused.

Thankfully Vancouver's opponent tonight can't score either; sure Vancouver is slightly worse (2.36 GF/G to Edmonton's 2.37GF/G) but let's take what we can get. Neither team can defend either (2.86 GA/G to Edmonton's 2.93 GA/G) but once again Vancouver holds a comically slim edge.

Special teams you say? Edmonton holds the slight edge with the man advantage at 17.6% to Vancouver's 17.1%, but on the kill Vancouver's 81.6% edges their 80.8% once again.

Hell, let's just round this number game out: Oilers hold the lead on faceoffs (48.8% to 45.2%; Vancouver is dead last in the league there), shots per game (29.1 to 28.6) and shots against per game (31.2 to 31.6).

Probably the most depressing reality is the Oilers - for all of their obvious problems - have one more win than the Canucks (though they have played four more games), are only three points behind the Canucks (tank nation has a prayer) and they're a better 5x5 possession team than the Canucks (in fact most teams are).

It wasn't long ago Edmonton was the easy team to point at and laugh. And here we are.

Damn it.

Human Guinea Pig Formations

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jake Virtanen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Radim Vrbata

Brendan Gaunce - Linden Vey - Alexandre Grenier

Alexandre Burrows - Jared McCann - Emerson Etem

Ben Hutton - Chris Tanev

Nikita Tryamkin - Dan Hamhuis

Matt Bartkowski - Alex Biega

Jacob Markstrom

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Jordan Eberle

Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Iiro Pakarinen

Lauri Korpikoski - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Nail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian

Andrej Sekera - Mark Fayne

Darnell Nurse - Adam Clendening

Jordan Oesterle - Griffin Reinhart

Cam Talbot

One Question

Vancouver has won its last three games at the soon-to-be-dead Rexall Place. Key question: so what?

One Observation

Playing up the Kassian angle is one of the few relevant narratives for two teams swirling around the toilet this season. And yet in all the articles I see about the big guy with the soft hands that couldn't crack the top nine under three coaches blah blah blah...almost none mentions it's good to see the guy get his life (presumably) back on track.
I don't much care what jersey he has on, we all have demons. Here's hoping Kass has silenced his.
Fearless Prediction
They let a poor Winnipeg team roll them before a better - but not stellar - Colorado team poked holes up and down their defense. I can't help but think Edmonton - who has beaten the Wild, Islanders, Flyers and Blues in their last ten - is about to be a cake walk for an increasingly green Vancouver team.
Maybe this game next year will be more relevant to both sides. Here's hoping.
3-1 Oilers. And you wake up with a hangover tomorrow morning.