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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game Two- Canucks @ Edmonton

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The Canucks are looking to take two from the Oilers as they meet in the tail end of this season opening back to back in Edmonton.

Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1-0-0) vs EDMONTON OILERS (0-1-0)

ROGERS PLACE- EDMONTON, AB

6:00PM PST

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.

LINEUPS

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

Thatcher Demko

Braden Holtby

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

Mike Smith

Mikko Koskinen

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

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!