I don't know if you heard anything about this, but tonight was the last game at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The Canucks were polite guests, not ruining the Oilers' nostalgia fest and indulging Bob Cole's fever dreams of this Oilers team following in the footpath of the 80's teams.
They're trotting out Oilers staff on every conceivable level at Rexall goodbye. Looking for my favourite beer vendor.— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) April 6, 2016
Bo Horvat caused two Oilers' giveaways on a single shift 4:30 into the first. On the next shift the Sedins kept puck in Oilers' zone, helping shots reach 3-0 Vancouver. Generally cautious start. Oilers' play in their own zone was poor and giveaway prone, but Canucks shots and chances were not very dangerous.
Connor McDavid called for hooking Daniel Sedin at 7:52. First part of power play was difficult -- Canucks could not enter the Oilers' zone for a full minute. Second unit had some pressure, but Hamhuis weak shot intercepted by Adam Pardy and cleared. Andrej Sekera had a shot as four Oilers rushed up the ice as McDavid's penalty ended. Canucks were almost immediately penalized themselves.
This game feels like a bad game of shinny played between two beer league teams.— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) April 6, 2016
Oilers showed good puck movement, mesmerizing the Canucks penalty killers. Andrej Sekeraj was fed a good pass, but his shot was gobbled up by Jacob Markstrom. Even the lowly Oilers' zone entry on the power play is better than Vancouver's. Three power play shots were Oilers only three shots so far in the game.
Darnell Nurse left game with 6:30 left after taking Andrey Pedan's shot off his throat. He did not return.
Man, the Oilers are awful and, unfortunately, the Canucks are right there with them at the moment. What a yawner of an alleged game.— Brook Ward (@realbrookward) April 6, 2016
Mark Fayne hauled down Daniel Sedin as the Sedins short passing game bamboozled the Oilers defense with just under six minutes left in the first.
This Canucks power play took 30 seconds to enter the Oilers zone, and the Oilers easily cleared the zone. No shots on power play, again.
We had four on four hockey with three minutes left as Derek Dorsett and Zack Kassian were called for roughing. During the first few minutes of play, Bob Cole and Drew Remenda were reduced to discussing Wayne Gretzky scoring 50 goals in 39 games, and forcing comparisons between Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid. If wishes and dreams made things true, young Connor will be the best player in NHL history.
The broadcasters were forced to end their reverie of the past when Chris Tanev was called for hooking Jordan Eberle, leading to a 4 on 3 power play. Maybe if the officials call enough penalties we'll get some exciting play because there are fewer players on the ice?
Nikita Tryamkin, Ben Hutton, and Bo Horvat killed the first part of the 4 on 3. McDavid fed Eberle twice, but Markstrom made saves on Eberle's shots.
Shots in that period were 8-7 Vancouver, with all the Oilers shots coming on the power play. Conversely, the Canucks had no shots on their power plays.
In fact, the most exiting action in that period came from Canucks clearing Oilers out of Vancouver's crease.
Markstrom best player on ice. Two cross-ice PP glove saves off Sekera, Eberle, another PP stop on Hall at side of net. #Canucks— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) April 6, 2016
Bo Horvat - Derek Dorsett - Emerson Etem started the second with a good forechecking shift in the Oilers' zone.
Four minutes in, Bob Cole described the game as having, "Very few whistles, with very little happening", and action as, "back and forth, and a lot of circling going on".
The first goal came halfway through the game. Nail Yakupov's wrist shot from right circle was tipped by Chris Tanev up and over Jacob Markstrom's shoulder.
The Canucks again had trouble clearing the zone in the shifts after the Oilers goal. But once the Horvat line got back on the ice, they were able to turn forechecking pressure back on Edmonton. Nail Yakupov tripped Horvat at 10:50 on the period, leading to the Canucks third power play. This one looked a little better than the first two -- it had pressure and possession but, once again, no shots. In fact, the second unit didn't even get into the zone.
A stunningly poor giveaway by Emerson Etem led to Edmonton's second goal. Etem tried to throw the puck up the middle of the ice in the Canucks zone right to Patrick Maroon, who scored easily.
With just over four minutes left, Derek Dorsett nailed Zack Kassian with a hard check. Connor McDavid was later corralled by Nikita Tryamkin, who was called for holding.
Who can forget great early April Rexall blowout moments like "Torres getting suspended" and "Schultz celebrates hitting his bonus targets"?— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 7, 2016
McDavid scored on the power play when the puck hit a charging Markstrom, who was out of position for the rebound. Neither Canucks defender took an Oiler.
Three mistakes. Three goals. #Canucks— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) April 7, 2016
WD will be looking through Rexall trash hoping to find copy of McLellan's postgame rant from the other night— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) April 7, 2016
the final period in the history of Rexall Place. Running time please...— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) April 7, 2016
The Sedins and Hansen rushed the puck into the Edmonton zone just under three minutes in to the period. Hansen had his second glorious chance of the game snuffed out by Talbot.
Matt Hendricks was called for holding Bo Horvat around three minutes in. Horvat was noticeable among a largely forgettable set of Canucks tonight. Would the Canucks be able to muster a shot on the power play? Yes! Four shots, but not much danger.
Matt Bartkowski scored for the Canucks shortly after the penalty expired. Talbot was screened by Jake Virtanen, while the puck was deflected by Adam Pardy.
tied for #Canucks lead in goals from defensemen: Matt Bartkowski (6)— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) April 7, 2016
With 11 minutes left in the third the Edmonton crowd began what may be the final wave in Rexall Place history.
At 9:08, Patrick Maroon tipped McDavid's shot past Markstrom. Eighteen seconds later, Taylor Hall blew past Tryamkin and beat Markstrom through the five hole. Cole suggested these Oilers were starting to look more like the dynastic Oilers of old -- "maybe tonight is the start of something". Which is silly, considering how poorly the Canucks are playing tonight.
With a loss tonight, #Canucks can get no worse than the sixth overall pick (pre lottery).— Canucks Prospector (@CanucksFutures) April 7, 2016
Dreams of 28th dancing in the heads of Canuck nation.. Canucks down 5-1, CBJ up 4-1...— Blake Price (@BlakePriceTSN) April 7, 2016
I agree, Bob. Perhaps pumping the Canucks by four goals in Game 81 of their schedule will be the start of things for the Oilers.— Cam Tucker (@CamTucker_Metro) April 7, 2016
Bo Horvat continued his very strong play tonight, scoring at 12:09. The Canucks' forecheckers kept the puck behind the Oilers' net, Horvat brought it out front, nicely faked out the Oilers defender, Sekeraj, and put a beautiful shot behind Talbot.
Horvat being Horvat. Hard work, moving feet & his signature dangle toe drag. Looks good when it works. Has gone to the dangle well often.— Stu Walters (@StuWaltersmedia) April 7, 2016
Dan Hamhuis took a slashing penalty with a bit more than three minutes left for knocking Taylor Hall's stick from out of his hands. Leon Draisaitl scored on the ensuing power play. Oilers had a long period of possession in the Canucks end, tiring out the penalty killers. Hall found Draisaitl in front of the Canucks net with no defenders nearby, Draisaitl scored easily.
The early part of the game was snoozy, but key Canucks mistakes, weaker than normal goaltending and poor defensive play helped Edmonton walk away from Rexall Place with a win.
Vancouver will pick no worse than sixth overall, and they have two more games to either make tonight's poor performance a distant memory, or to solidify draft position.
This is my last post-game wrap up of the season. Thanks to Yankee Canuck and Westy99 for the opportunity. And mostly thanks to you readers for not pointing out had badly my recaps read. In the immortal words of Keith Olbermann, if I am doing recaps again next year, I'll try and do better the next time.
Were the Canucks actually that good over the 3 game winning streak?They were outshot 78-112. Not sure they're playing any worse tonight.— Satiar Shah (@SatiarShah) April 7, 2016