First off, I know my picture is not quite as awesome as Steve-O’s art, but if you do one up today, you can replace this picture with yours
Ohhh yah! It’s the final game of the pre-season folks, which means the regular season is just around the corner. Saturday vs. the Flames, to be exact. So tonight’s game is likely our last opportunity to see one or two players for a bit. A few “bubble” players will likely make up line 4. Friday and Saturday’s top 9 lines didn’t change. However the 4th line went from Nilsson Brule Stone to Eberle Reddox Pisani. What we’ll see tonight is a mystery to me, but I’ll update the lines as soon as I find them.
Edit: Line up has been updated. Not sure about the defence yet, and one component on the 4th line, but I’ve filled in my guesses there:
EDMONTON OILERS LINE-UP
JFJ Horcoff Hemsky
Penner O’Sullivan Comrie
Reddox Gagner Cogliano
MacIntyre Brule Stortini
Here is my guesstimation of who will play D, as well:
VANCOUVER CANUCKS ROSTER
3 Kevin Bieksa D
5 Christian Ehrhoff D
6 Sami Salo D
8 Willie Mitchell D
14 Alex Burrows RW
18 Steve Bernier RW
21 Mason Raymond LW
22 Daniel Sedin LW
24 Darcy Hordichuk LW
29 Aaron Rome D
30 Andrew Raycroft G
33 Henrik Sedin C
35 Cory Schneider G
37 Rick Rypien C
39 Cody Hodgson C
42 Kyle Wellwood C
55 Shane O’Brien D
56 Matt Pope RW
65 Sergei Shirokov
73 Tanner Glass RW
Edited: Moreau is out tonight, due to a minor injury (pulled muscle of some sort). Pouliot is also out… sounds like he might be hurt as well. Pisani is out due to injury. As mentioned, he skated Saturday after taking Friday off due to back problems. Note, MacIntyre is now playing on line 3 with Gagner and Cogliano. Wait, what? MacIntyre? Yep. I don’t get that one. I must admit, if this was last year, and MacTavish pulled the same stunt, I’d be laying into him. So I guess MacTavish isn’t the only one that comes up with crazy lineups. But I’ll give it a chance and reserve judgement for now, but that just strikes me as a bad idea unless Big Mac is only going to get a few minutes there while someone else from the 4th line draws in. I thought Stortini with the two was a bit odd, but that’s at least more reasonable.
Tonight’s game starts at 6:00PM and will be streamed again on Oilers.NHL.com. And as usual, we’ll try and link the feed here, and chat in this thread about the game live. It should be a pretty interesting week leading up to October 3rd as Quinn makes his final roster. There seems to be no question about which defense will make the line up as well as the goalies. All that remains to be seen is the forwards, and tonight will likely be a last chance for a couple of guys to make a good impression with Quinn.
Update: MacIntyre ended up playing from line 4, not line 3. Reddox filled in on the 3rd line wing.
1st Period Recap:
7:47 – EDM – Comrie from Hemsky
Nice goal featuring some vintage Hemsky moves.. wheeling around, he swings back to the blue line, dances around a Canuck and fires it on net.. Comrie taps in the rebound. Penner also instrumental on that play with his big body clogging up the goal area.
9:47 – VAN – Welwood from Mitchell
Welwood scores on a break away after I believe O’Sullivan coughed it up to Mitchell.
15:15 – EDM – Comrie from Visnovsky, O’Sully
O’Sullivan skates into the zone, stops, dishes it back to a streaking Visnovsky who dekes out a couple of defenders and fires a beautiful pass to Comrie who is right on the doorstep for the easy tap in on a wide open cage.
17:34 – EDM – PP – Horcoff from Jacques, Hemsky
Hemsky passes to JFJ down to the right of the Canucks goaltender, and JFJ flips a backhand pass over to Horcoff who is waiting to the goaltenders left for the one-timer back door play.
- Strudwick beats up Rome despite having the jersey pulled up over his face.
- JFJ hits Salo pretty hard behind the Canucks net
- More vintage Hemsky as he comes flying into the Canucks zone and attempts to beat Schneider, but to no avail. He falls pretty awkwardly into the corner afterwards, but was ok.
1st Period shots: Vancouver 9, Edmonton 12
2nd Period Recap:
2:39 – VAN – PP – Salo from Bieksa and Shirokov (or Shiropov, if you’re Rod Phillips)
Canucks score less than 30 seconds into Sam Gagner’s penalty. Sammy Salo receives the pass from Bieksa and takes a slap shot from the faceoff circle to Khabi’s right, beating both Visnovsky and Khabibulin.
8:03 – VAN – PP – H. Sedin from D. Sedin, Shirokov
Daniel over to Henrik who’s waiting back door for the tap in. Earlier in the play, Cogliano gets hit hard by Salo. Looked like a shot to the knee as Cogliano tried to evade the check.
12:52 – EDM – PP – JFJ from Horcoff, Souray
Hemsky is rushed by two Vancouver players but still manages to make a beauty pass to Souray. Souray directs it to the net where it pinballs to Horcoff.. he fires a perfect cross-crease pass over to JFJ who dives forward to tap poke it past Schneider. Gorgeous looking goal.
- Khabibulin robs Burrows with a big blocker save (get that man a drink of water!!).
- On the 2nd PP goal for Vancouver, Cogliano was hit hard by Salo and it looked like there was knee contact. Cogliano returned to the game not long after, so looks like he is fine.
- Hemsky yet again blows past everyone in alone but can’t quite beat Schneider.
- Oilers first penalty leads to another penalty call just after O’Sullivan makes a beautiful effort to get in tight on Schneider.
2nd period shots – Vancouver 6/15, Edmonton 8/20
3rd Period Recap:
1:16 – VAN – PP – Ehrhoff from Hodgson
Yet another PP goal for the Canucks, as they make a mockery of our PK. Hodgson and Ehrhoff skate into the Oilers zone and full speed. Ehrhoff dishes to Hodgson, and all three of Gilbert, Penner and Strudwick focus on Hodgson, who passes it back to Ehrhoff who meanwhile has easily skated in behind everyone, alone on Khabibulin for the goal.
3rd period shots: Vancouver 8/25, Edmonton 7/27
- Staios somehow gets a penalty for interference on Hordichuk who was skating towards the net. Staios drove him right towards Khabibulin. The Oilers finally kill that PK off, although Vancouver got a penalty part way through that PK (about 20 seconds left) to help them along.
- Some kid busts a move and is caught on camera… not sure why I posted this, but it made me laugh!
- Brule and Hansen take off the buckets and go at it. Before Brule really knows how fearce that fight was going to be, Hansen is throwing hard bombs at his head. It looked pretty viscious in there. A dog fight; haymakers from both sides, but Hansen got off to a great start. Brule skates to the dressing room for repairs, bloodied up after that one. I’ll put the homerism aside… win to Hansen, but good fight by Brule.
- Horcoff and co rush into the Canucks zone. Horcoff fires it to the middle of the net from the right boards.. Jacques redirects it on net, but is stopped by Schneider.
- O’Sullivan breaks in one on two, but powers past the Vancouver D somehow, on his way by he is held up, but still manages to get a weak one handed shot on goal. Definitely a missed holding call there, but what a nice play by O’Sullivan.
- JFJ hits O’Brien.. nothing big.. a fair bit after O’Brien has released the puck, really hammering into everyone’s minds that “JFJ finishes checks”. Later on, JFJ finishes another check on O’Brien, drawing some chirps from O’Brien. JFJ wiggles the gloves a bit, and O’Brien flees the scene.
- Visnovsky buries Daniel Sedin into the boards in the Edmonton zone, but from behind, earning the penalty.
1:57 – EDM – Gilbert from Penner, Brule
Brule wins the draw, and Penner “serves one up on a platter” (Stauffer’s words) for Gilbert who hammers one to the net, roof daddy past Schneider.
Overtime shots: Vancouver 2/27, Edmonton 1/28
- Our PKing defencemen d-men to start overtime are Strudwick and Smid… not sure I agree with that, but it worked out this time as the Oilers kill a critical one.
Wow, what a game. Where to start?
JFJ… this was the JFJ show tonight. If anyone wasn’t a fan… if Quinn was unsure if he could rely on him on line 1… well that ended any doubts. Pencil in JFJ for top line LW come October 3rd. He was throwing his body around, and making nice passes, and finishing equally nice passes. That top line was money tonight. It looked like a real top line. And it’s good to see that we can spread the size over a few lines. I guess Quinn wasn’t crazy when he said he saw some big bodies here.
MacIntyre was originally slated for 3rd line with Gagner/Cogliano, but Reddox played there instead and Big Mac sat back on his natural line 4 spot with Brule and Stortini. MacIntyre was pretty much a non-factor tonight, by my count.. so I wonder if he will remain in the line up come Wednesday at 3:00pm (deadline to have the 23-man roster in).
Cogliano and Gagner again looked good. Reddox was completely out of place with those two though. He did set up Cogliano on a short-handed play to end the 3rd period, but aside from that, he didn’t impress.
Our PK… well, this was a complete turnaround from what we saw vs. Calgary. Brutal, is all I can say. Hopefully they fix the problems with it.
O’Sullivan was deserving of a start as well tonight. He was all over the ice and doing everything he needed to do. He looked like the O’Sullivan I was excited about acquiring. Him and Comrie continue their spectacular chemsitry.
So after tonight, I think I can safely say that JFJ is a 100% lock for this team. I have a feeling that barring players on the IR (which could happen with Pouliot, from what I understand), MacIntyre and Reddox will be cut, among others.