This is the first regular season meeting of the two teams this year, however the teams met twice in the pre-season. The Oilers lost the first one 3-1 while the Oil won the second one 5-4 in OT. The Oilers are coming off of a decisive 5-2 win over the Wild, while the Canucks also came off a win versus the Wild with a final score of 2-1. Tonight’s game will be televised on Sportsnet and is a 7:00 start.
Sorry folks, things are a little slow with the line ups today. If anyone catches wind of them, please post them here and I’ll update this post..
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (per Oilers Depth Chart)
JFJ Horcoff Hemsky
Penner Gagner O’Sullivan
Stone Comrie Nilsson
Moreau Cogliano Stortini
Grebeshkov – Gilbert
Smid – Visnovsky
Strudwick – Chorney
Vancouver Canucks Projected Line-Up (per HFBoards)
Burrows – H. Sedin – Samuelsson
Raymond – Kessler – Grabner
Bernier – Wellwood – Bolduc
Hordichuk – Johnson – Rypien
Mitchell – Edlier
Erhoff – Rome
Obrien – Bieksa
– Again, Steve Staios and Sheldon Souray will sit this one out. Souray’s condition just is sounding worse every time we get an update. That’s not good.. we have seen what concussions can do to a player.
– Ales Hemsky will miss tonight’s game as well too, with the flu. UPDATE: Actually that may not be true….
After spending the weekend in bed with the flu, Ales Hemsky was on the ice this morning. Hemsky, who is normally the first guy off the ice after practice, stayed out late doing some drills, to see his body would respond. He will be a game time decision; if he plays Robert Nilsson will come out. Right now it seems 50/50 if he’ll play.
Steve Staios did some light skating by himself, but he is still day-to-day, while Sheldon Souray is much farther away. You can’t rush a player back, and considering the style of play these two play, I’d guess the training staff will be very cautious before giving them the green light to return.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
6:32 – VAN – Bernier from Wellwood.
The Oil get caught in their own zone chasing the puck around as the Canucks cycle it around. The rebound from the shot from outside the slot ends up in the crease area as Bolduc and Bernier both fight to bang it in.
– Rypien and Stortini go at it. I’ll give this one to Rypien.. he’s a tough s.o.b. He got off to an early start like their last fight and landed some good shots in. Credit to Storts for coming back midway through the fight, but it wasn’t enough.
– Hemmer line gets “hemmed” in the zone early on. Good cycle by the Canucks. The Oil briefly get it out and change, but this inevitably leads to a goal as the Canucks get back in and keep it in the zone.
– The Oil seem to be getting continually stuck in their zone for the first half of the game so far.
– Samuellson tries to get Khabibulin looking the other way behind the net and quickly pops out front to try and jam it in, but good job to Khabibulin for getting the pad up against the post.
– Stortini drills Rome after a dump in.
– Visnovsky tried to go end-to-end at the end of the period. Manages to skate into 5 Canucks and still get a sloppy shot off, but it blows over the net.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
0:26 – EDM – O’Sullivan from Grebeshkov
– On a delayed penalty for a trip on Gagner, Grebs carries the puck down low and fires it cross-crease to O’Sullivan who buries it.
– Stone’s injury might be a knee injury. Sportsnet shows Stone hitting Glass (or vice versa.. btw, Stone hitting Glass is a funny sentence) and Stone fell awkward, getting his leg caught under him a bit.
– Horcoff gets a breakaway but looks gassed.. I’m not even sure what happened when he got close to Luongo, but it wasn’t pretty. Looked like maybe the puck skipped on him.
– Hemsky gets a breakaway after his penalty ends, but he fires it over the net. Just like Hemmer to make his good friend Horcoff look good as he flubs up his breakaway too.
– Visnovsky took a shot off the foot and that hurt him. Looked like a pretty weak shot, but it doesn’t take much sometimes. Looks like he is fine though.
– Comrie is now known to me as the new Moreau. 2 penalties while we’re on the powerplay and in the offensive zone? Ungh.
– Chorney throws a nice hit in the corner of the Oilers’ defensive zone, dropping a Canuck.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
10:33 – EDM – Gagner from Jacques, O’Sullivan
On the dump in, Gagner chases behind the net and the puck comes out front to O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan flicks it on net trying to get it to JFJ, but JFJ can’t get it.. it bounces out front and Luongo is flopping around like a fish. Gagner puts it upstairs.
– I’ve always been impressed with Dustin Penner’s hands (damn that came out wrong), even when he was the goat around here. He made a very nice deke on one of the Canucks’ defencemen, cradling the puck and then going around them. Got a shot on goal, but not too dangerous of a shot. Good shift overall, and he gets applause from the crowd.
– WOW did Smid ever steal a goal. Wide open net after a big rebound from Khabibulin, and he luckily was there to play goal. The puck comes back out and this time Khabi was ready for the save. But wow, Smid was in the right place at the right time with a very nice kick save.
– Khabibulin does a nice job stopping a point blank tip from Henrik, who was standing in the crease.
– Mitchell gets away with a stiff arm to O’Sullivan’s face.
– Penner again doing it all as he bowls his way and dangles into the Canucks zone. He loses the puck, but Visnovsky picks it up and wires it, but it doesn’t make it through.
– Cogliano makes a nice shot block at the blueline and then carries it into the Canucks zone.. no real chance generated though, unfortunately, but he’s got a few more tools than just the offensive ones.
– For a guy wiith the flu, Hemsky looks pretty good in the 3rd period. Working a bit of his magic.
– Looks like Horpensky might be back together, and JFJ is taking Penner’s place with Gagner and O’Sullivan.
– Chorney is actually impressing me… he’s battled since he’s been called up, and he just saved a goal as he fought for a puck to the side of the net and got body positioning on a Canuck’s forward to prevent a scoring chance. Good thing because Khabi looked a bit lost on that one.
– Hemsky dumped while going in alone on an empty netter.. could’ve been credited a goal there.
– OH WOW, Kyle Wellwood would like to have an extra second… He dangles through the Oilers’ defence and beats Khabibulin, but it was about 1 second too late as the game ended.
EDM PP1 (Burrows 2 mins, Elbowing) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – Hemsky Horcoff Comrie with Grebs/O’Sullivan
Unit 2 – Penner Gagner Nilsson with Gilbert/Visnovsky
Pretty ineffective until line 2 comes out and Penner tries to drive it through Luongo.
VAN PP1 (Comrie 2 mins, Holding) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – Penner Horcoff with Strudwick/Chorney – Clear it out after the draw. Van brings it back inside and the Oil do a good job of preventing them for getting in. They cough it up to Strudwick and he dumps it out.
Unit 2 – Cogliano and Moreau with Grebs/Gilbert. Do a good job of preventing any chances. Forwards change up to Unit 1 again. The Canucks pass it around too much and end up passing it through the point man. Good penalty kill overall.
VAN PP2 (Hemsky 2 mins, Tripping) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – Penner/Horcoff with Grebeshkov/Gilbert
Unit 2 – Moreau/Cogliano with Chorney/Strudwick
– Both units kill the first minute easily. Canucks didn’t even break the zone, and even got caugh icing it.
Unit 3 – Jacques/O’Sullivan with Gilbert/Strudwick. Finally the Canucks gain the zone. Really can’t do anything with it at all.
Hemsky gets it coming out of the box for the breakaway.. no goal.
EDM PP2 (Grabner 2 mins, Interference) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – Hemsky/Horcoff/Comrie with Gilbert/Visnovsky
This penalty lasts all of 14 seconds, as Comrie takes a penalty for slashing. Nice one, dipshit.
VAN PP3 (Comrie 2 mins for a dumb o-zone slash) – NO GOAL
This lasts barely any time because the penalty came while the Oilers were a few seconds into the PP, so not worth mentioning.
VAN PP4 (Khabibulin, 2 mins for Tripping) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – good job clearing the puck out of the zone. Canucks don’t get any chance to set up.
Unit 2 – get caught in their zone a bit, but the canucks have a tough time getting any shots on goal. Wellwood gets one good shot off, but Khabibulin robs him. And then eats up the rebound as Grabner flips it on net.
Unit 1- the Oil do a good job keeping the Canucks out of good scoring areas.
Great kill overall.
EDM PP3 (Kesler 2 mins, Interference) – NO GOAL
Unit 1 – Moving the puck around like the globetrotters. Great work getting the Canucks running around. The powerplay won’t last long though as Comrie takes yet another penalty while on the powerplay. Oh man.
VAN PP5 (Comrie, 2 mins for Tripping, while Kesler is in box) – NO GOAL
– I missed the notes for this one, but the Oil obviously successfully killed this one off.
Nail biter. That’s all I have to say. The game was a fairly slow one at points. The Oil also got caught running around at points, but overall it wasn’t too badly played. The Canucks were pretty good in the first and third periods, whereas the Oilers played pretty strong in the second.
Penner had yet another fantastic game, as did Patrick O’Sullivan. I have to say, I absolutely love the Penner, Gagner and O’Sullivan line. Khabibulin gets the first star.. he wasn’t fantastic, but he was good. He struggled at points with his rebound control, but he was good enough for the win and made some key saves. Luckily so did Smid at one point, saving a goal. As did Chorney, possibly, as he gained body positioning on a Canucks forward near the end of the 3rd to prevent a scoring chance on a fairly open cage.
The Oilers’ PK was very good tonight. The Canucks couldn’t really get set up anywhere or get any good shots on net. The Oilers’ powerplay was characteristically average (maybe bad) except for one chance where the Oil had some great cross ice passes going and had the Canucks struggling to get the puck, until Comrie took his second moronic offensive zone penalty while on the powerplay.
So that puts the Oil at 5-2-1. This is a very good start for the team. Great job by both goaltenders. Not the best game by the Oilers, but they did well enough to deserve a win.
And now the bad news, Ryan Stone left the game with a knee injury and will undergo an MRI tomorrow, according to Pat Quinn.
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