ROGERS PLACE- EDMONTON, AB
TV: SPORTSNET, SPORTSNET ONE RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: COPPER AND BLUE
In this shortened season, the Canucks are going to need to do a lot of things better than we’ve seen over the last couple years if they want to make it back to the playoffs again, and while it wasn’t flawless, there was a noted improvement defensively by the team in their 5-3 win last night. They’re going to have to try and avoid giving the Oilers as many cracks on the power play tonight if they want to head to Calgary with a 2-0-0 record, though.
Overall, that was a pretty solid effort top to bottom from the Canucks. Few mistakes, they did a really good job of limiting chances for McDavid and Draisaitl, and never gave up the lead in last night’s contest. They may get a fair bit more push back tonight from the Oilers, which is both the feature and the bug of this new divisional alignment system. Normally, you wouldn’t worry as much about a loss to a non-divisional opponent as you would someone from your division. With the compressed schedule where every game is a divisional matchup, teams cannot afford to take a night off, because that loss could be the difference between a playoff spot for your team.
The Oilers seemed to have some very familiar issues going on last night. For years now, the team has struggled to compensate if McDavid and Draisaitl weren’t lighting it up. The goaltending couldn’t give them the big save when they needed it the most. And defence seems like a concept completely foreign to them. And we’re not talking just about their Dmen. Check out McDavid totally bail on the Horvat goal. Sorry, if that had been Elias Pettersson, Horvat or Brock Boeser? We’d be talking about that for days.
From nhl.com here’s what we’re expecting tonight:
Canucks projected lineup
Jake Virtanen — Elias Pettersson — Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson — Bo Horvat — Nils Hoglander
Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Zack MacEwen
Tyler Motte — Jay Beagle — Brandon Sutter
Alexander Edler — Nate Schmidt
Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic
Olli Juolevi — Tyler Myers
Scratched: Loui Eriksson, Jalen Chatfield
Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (undisclosed)
COVID-19 protocol: J.T. Miller, Jordie Benn
Oilers projected lineup
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins — Connor McDavid — Zack Kassian
Dominik Kahun — Leon Draisaitl — Kailer Yamamoto
Josh Archibald — Kyle Turris — Jesse Puljujarvi
Tyler Ennis — Jujhar Khaira — Alex Chiasson
Darnell Nurse — Ethan Bear
Caleb Jones — Adam Larsson
Slater Koekkoek — Tyson Barrie
Scratched: Evan Bouchard, William Lagesson, Kris Russell, Devin Shore
Injured: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder)
COVID-19 protocol: James Neal, Gaetan Haas
No surprises either way as Thatcher Demko and Mike Smith get the nod in goal after we saw Braden Holtby and Mikko Koskinen go last night.
GAME DAY CHATTER
LISTEN @rayferrarotsn: Hoglander has ability to see next play; terrific sign for Boeser that puck is exploding off his stick— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) January 14, 2021
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"This is the year more than ever that you need your depth to come through."@SNCaroline joined The @ScottRintoul Show to talk about the #Canucks win against Edmonton and the rest of the action around the NHL!— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) January 14, 2021
Listen here: https://t.co/9Ra5kPUOkR
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
If you’re a metalhead, you can name a number of German metal bands off the top of your head. How about the Netherlands? The tiny country famous for windmills and weed has produced a few killer acts like Pestilence, The Gathering and old school death metal legends ASPHYX. Led by one of the best vocalists in the genre, Martin Van Drunen, they’ve got a new album entitled ‘Necroserus’ coming out next Friday on Century Media Records.
Go Canucks Go!