VANCOUVER CANUCKS (3-4-1) vs EDMONTOPN OILERS (5-1-0)
ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC
TV: CBC. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650
OPPOSING BLOG: THE COPPER AND BLUE
While it’s only been a couple weeks since the Canucks played their first game of the season, it seems as though it’s been months. What else can we say? Canucks fandom is not for the feint of heart. And they play their last game in October against the team they faced in Game One: The Edmonton Oilers.
If you remember that one, the Canucks entered the third period trailing 2-0, before pulling off the comeback to tie it and send it to extra time, with the Oilers ultimately getting the 2nd point in Uncle Gary’s Super Fun Trick Shot Extravaganza. It was a well deserved point, and seemed to be hinting at better things ahead. And here we are, a game under .500 and currently out of a wild card spot in the West. Suffice it to say this is not a team that should be leaving things to the very end to try and shore up a date in the post-season. A regulation win over Edmonton tonight is a must.
The Oilers last game was their first loss of the season, as they battled back to tie the game twice before giving up a pair in the final frame for a 5-3 loss. With Mike Smith on the IR, the pressure is on Mikko Koskinen to prove he’s a quality NHL backup. It’s vital that the Canucks strike early in this one, as they’ve been playing from behind so often in the previous eight games (and pretty much all of last season, it felt like).
One thing that has to be different tonight is the power play. What should be their strength is costing them games, and certainly did on Thursday night as they went 0-5 against Philadelphia. We’re going to see some new power play formations tonight, apparently. And that’s good, because what’s out there right now is not a threat at all, and perhaps a line shuffle can be what gets Elias Pettersson in gear.
Very new look on the #Canucks power play— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) October 29, 2021
Pettersson - Garland - Boeser
Miller - Horvat - Rathbone
There’s a lot being said about Pettersson, and as the team’s star player, the criticism is mostly fair, but let’s be honest here: With the exception of a couple players, there’s very little to be optimistic about when it comes to the offence this team is putting up right now, and that’s going to kill their chances if they don’t fix it pronto.
Transaction: #Canucks recall Nic Petan from Abbotsford. Matthew Highmore has been placed on injured reserve.— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) October 29, 2021
With Jason Dickinson likely to return, Petan probably sits tonight.
Oilers projected lineup
Injured: Mike Smith (lower body)
Canucks projected lineup
Tyler Motte is getting close to returning, and was on the ice for the optional game day skate today. Still, this injury list is in mid-season form, don’t you think? Yeesh.
GAME DAY CHATTER
"We have to compete for a full sixty. I think we had some good looks, it’s just a matter of putting pucks in the net."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) October 29, 2021
Brock Boeser speaks to the media after Friday's practice in Burnaby pic.twitter.com/BkLTNibPI1
"We got to stay positive. Nothing good comes out of negativity. Today was a good practice. Everybody was working hard...That’s what brings success."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) October 29, 2021
Elias Pettersson on staying positive pic.twitter.com/jSJbd1TtaR
"I have full confidence in them. It’s not a time to panic. It’s a time to dig your heels in and work, and play your game with a lot of passion."— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) October 29, 2021
Coach Green pic.twitter.com/addvLYL15w
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
A doubleshot for you today, to get you in the Halloween spirit. First up, the best damn video Ozzy ever did, and a classic from the Stormtroopers Of Death.