clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks @ Edmonton Mar 18/17

New, comments

Another day, another loss. As much as some want to see the Canucks finish low in the standings to increase the odds of getting that coveted 1st overall pick, the creeping realization they might not win another game this season is not a good feeling for anyone.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers

7:00 PM PT - Rogers Place- Edmonton, AB

TV: CBC - Radio: TSN 1040

For 2 periods, the Canucks looked like they might actually bump the slump. They had held the Dallas Stars to a mere 16 shots after 40 minutes (mere being relative to recent events, of course), and when Ben Hutton scored with just a couple ticks left on  the clock, you felt like they were gonna come out in the third and go for it. Well, you did if you haven't been following this team all season. The rest of us were like "Wait for it...." and sure enough, 2 Dallas goals and 0 for 5 on the homestand.

Things aren't going to get much better this season. The Canucks face the red hot Oilers tonight, the first of 3 meetings before the end of the season. They only play 3 non-playoff teams the rest of the way (and one of them is Los Angeles). I had been making jokes about hitting that 65 point mark and then watching as they fail to win another game. Now I am scared they may actually do that.

THE OPPOSITION

Gotta hand it to them, they seem to be getting everything in gear at the right time. Does this mean a long playoff run? Of course not. They could just as easily go out 4 straight depending on the matchup, and they haven't clinched yet either. But they'll likely have playoff hockey in Edmonton for the first time in a decade.

The question tonight, is how many are the Oilers going to pot against this porous Canucks D? After losing 4 straight (and scoring just 8 goals in that time), Edmonton responded with back to back 7 goal efforts against Dallas and Boston. Much like the Sedins used to feast on the Oilers, they're now able to pay it back in a big way, and if the Canucks can hold them to 4 or 5 that might be considered good.

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are obviously ones you need to be concerned with, but the Oilers have gotten decent seasons out of Patrick Maroon, Jordan Eberle and Milan Lucic. The one thing about the Oilers, is they're banking everything on Cam Talbot. He's starting again tonight, having played all but 4 games this season. If he should get hurt, they're done.

THE CANUCKS

I was worried the other day that instead of the no-brainer starting Richard Bachman against the Dallas Stars, they would put Ryan Miller in again, and then give the Oilers game to Bachman or worse yet, let Miller keep going. Sure enough, Bachman is scheduled to start, and barring some kind of lights-out performance here, he's not in a good situation. The team's been giving up way too many shots as it is, and with a team that has the speed and ability like the Oilers, it's a recipe for disaster.

And there's been a pretty significant line shakeup as well:



Despite Reid Boucher looking good with Bo Horvat's line, and Markus Granlund scoring twice paired with the Twins last game, Willie's decided that a major change was in order. You'll note Jayson Megna is slotted in on line 4. We will see just how long that lasts.

Christopher Tanev has made the trip to Edmonton, but may not be ready to get back into the lineup tonight. If that is so, we'll see the same D that played against Dallas Thursday night.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Going old school today, as we give you some Metal Church off of the Metal Blade Records compilation Metal Massacre 5. The Metal Massacre comps broke some pretty huge bands, introducing the world to Metallica, Slayer, Ratt, Overkill, Trouble, Voivod, Fates Warning, Armored Saint, Flotsam & Jetsam, and many others.