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THE ROUNDUP- Dec 17/18: The Captain, The Alien, The Flow And Some Dude From Edmonton Walk Into A Bar...

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When was the last time the Canucks won a game that kept on giving like this one has?

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Not a penalty.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

CANUCKS NEWS: It may be a recurring theme, but this wasn’t a perfect game by the Canucks. There were some perfect elements to it, but not even their best game of the year, honestly. The possession numbers weren’t stellar, and the 4th line was getting clowned repeatedly (once again raising the question: Why is Jay Beagle, exactly?), but there was a lot of things they did right last night.

First, it started before the puck was dropped. Travis Green and his staff made some lineup tweaks to address the Connor McDavid issue, and man, were they successful. My Captain, Bo Horvat lined up with Loui Eriksson and Antoine Roussel, and they put on a masterclass of shutting down the league’s 2nd best player. If not for Ken Hitchcock desperately double-shifting him in the 3rd and managing to get him out there against the aforementioned 4th line, he would have gone 0-fer on the night. Now, a lot has been said about the way the Canucks played McJeebus, and we’ll get to that hilarity in a moment, we have accolades to hand out and I ain’t interrupting it for whiny bastards.

Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser continue to be one of the scariest one-two combinations in the NHL. They’re not Rantanen and MacKinnon (yet), but given time they’ll be there. Elias currently holds the longest point streak by a rookie on the season, and Boeser? 10 goals in his last 11 games. Ain’t. No. Thang. A 3 point night for the young man from Minnesota who is gonna have everyone calling McDavid the 3rd best player in the NHL if he keeps this up.

A MASSIVE game from Alexander Edler and Chris Tanev last night, who one would think had been reading the number of posts across the Petterssphere about their declines. Both turned in outstanding performances, frustrating the Oilers top line at every opportunity. And that Eagle shot on the PP that tied the score in the 2nd? It’s been a long time since we saw him rip one like that. A decent defensive effort all around (though Guddy struggled, causing the turnover that led to the first Oilers goal and watching McDavid set up Alex Chiasson for the 3-2 goal instead of, you know, covering him? Anyway, overall a decent night from the back end, giving a lot of support to Jacob Markstrom. Marky’s on one of those hot streaks that have become his calling card. He’ll go a few games looking like a true #1 and then one night he’ll get the doors blown off. It is what it is and may as well enjoy it while it lasts, because he’s been good for the last week and a half.

Now, onto the post game. From the Oilers media, to their fans on Twitter, to new coach Ken Hitchcock, they have been trying like hell to get anyone to listen to them that a great injustice was done last night to the one-time greatest player in the NHL. That his paltry one assist late in the game was a symptom of the abuse he took at the hands of a team of vicious scofflaws, ones who obviously have found favour with league officials. If you’ve just arrived on this planet (and I assume you’ve come to witness the rookie season of your homeboy Elias in person. Welcome!), you would know that passage should be read as dripping with sarcasm as one could muster.

Never mind that the Edmonton media has a history of reactionary, OTT histrionics that are likely due to the fall to Earth since that Finals loss to Carolina. Forget about the Oilers fans on Twitter who are probably the easiest to get reactions from of any in the league. No, the best part about this all, is Ken Hitchcock channeling Brian Burke from that series against the Detroit Red Wings, implying that the tight checking the Canucks used to neutralize McDavid last night was equal to anything the Sedins had to endure for the entirety of their NHL careers. And let’s not forget that next to Jacques Lemaire, Ol’ Hitch was one of the leaders in bringing about the Dead Puck Era, his teams deploying smothering defence that utilized hooking, holding and interference as a mantra. I’m not sure it’s possible for him to be a bigger hypocrite, honestly. It made for some entertaining Twitter that’s still going strong. I snorted when I saw Spec pull out a chart showing the league leaders in drawing calls. Poor, poor Connor’s no where to be found, therefore this is a sure sign that the NHL is disrespecting one of it’s marquee players. Tell ya what, Spec. When McD gets a penalty for taking multiple punches to the face, we might have time for your nonsense. And a stick tap to The Stanchion for getting in a shot at a legendary embellisher through all this:

At the end of the night, the Oilers took penalties that were blatant. The Canucks were (as they have been on this recent run) far more disciplined. And a 25% PK isn’t gonna win you games, even with Connor McDavid. When you’ve got a team that’s fairly one-dimensional, other teams are going to figure out how to stop that one dimension, and then you need to hope your plugs can out play the opposition. They didn’t and that is why the Canucks won last night.

Let’s take a look around the Petterssphere to see reactions to last night’s win: The Stanch tests your data limits with a gif-heavy (but as always, enjoyable) version of the Athletties... Isabelle Kurshudyan of the Washington Post was on Sportsnet650 today to discuss the trade rumours surrounding Andrei Burakovsky...Corey Hirsch on the Captain’s big game last night... Zack MacEwan was on SN650 to talk about his season with the Utica Comets... JPat’s 5 takeaways from last night... PITB on the Boeser and Horvat show...

AROUND THE NHL: The guy who concussed Sven Baertschi and got away with it had the OT GWG as the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Rangers 4-3 at MSG...

Petr Mrazek stopped all 23 shots he faced in a 3-0 Carolina win over the Arizona Coyotes...

The Calgary Flames were the latest to stomp the St Louis Blues, taking this one 7-2. Damn the Flames are scoring a buttload of goals right now...

Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner led the way as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Bruins 4-2...

The Chicago Blackhawks had a 3-2 lead after one period against San Jose. They lost this game 7-3. They also lost Corey Crawford to another concussion after a collision in front of the net. Fortunately they did win something last night...

And in what was the best game of the night, Mark Scheifele scored the OT winner as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4. The Canucks take on Tampa tomorrow night, so make sure and check out our Game Preview tomorrow!