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GAME DAY PREVIEW- GAME NINE: Canucks vs Edmonton- Oct 30, 2021

The month of October ends the way it began, as the Canucks take on the Oilers, looking to head into November on a winning note.

NHL: OCT 09 Preseason - Oilers at Canucks Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (3-4-1) vs EDMONTOPN OILERS (5-1-0)

ROGERS ARENA, VANCOUVER, BC

7:00PM PST

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.

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.

With Jason Dickinson likely to return, Petan probably sits tonight.

LINEUPS

Oilers projected lineup

Zach HymanConnor McDavidJesse Puljujarvi

Ryan Nugent-HopkinsLeon DraisaitlKailer Yamamoto

Warren FoegeleDerek RyanZack Kassian

Tyler BensonDevin ShoreKyle Turris

Darnell NurseEvan Bouchard

Duncan KeithCody Ceci

Slater KoekkoekTyson Barrie

Mikko Koskinen

Stuart Skinner

Scratched: Kris Russell, Colton Sceviour, Brendan Perlini

Injured: Mike Smith (lower body)

Canucks projected lineup

J.T. MillerElias PetterssonBrock Boeser

Tanner PearsonBo HorvatNils Hoglander

Vasily PodkolzinJason DickinsonConor Garland

Justin BaileyJuho LammikkoAlex Chiasson

Oliver Ekman-LarssonTyler Myers

Quinn HughesLuke Schenn

Jack RathboneKyle Burroughs

Thatcher Demko

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Nic Petan, Brad Hunt

Injured: Matthew Highmore (upper body), Tucker Poolman (upper body), Justin Dowling (undisclosed), Brandon Sutter (illness), Brady Keeper (leg), Tyler Motte (upper body)

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

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.