Happy shopping insanity day for all you fellow Canadians. Tonight, the Oil take on the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers had put together a 5-game road stand before the wheels fell off the bus (again) and a 5-game losing streak was built up including 4 straight home losses. The Oilers are deathly cold. The Canucks, on the other hand, have won 5 of their last 7. One thing to note is that the Canucks are 21-16-0… no OT Losses, and are 5 games over 0.500, but are only in 9th. Can we now put to bed this “0.500 hockey” business? 0.500 hockey is now a way of saying your team is bad, but not that bad.
Predictions time. My predictions today are only partly based on the level of suckage the Oilers have been putting on lately. They are also partly based on the Canucks doing well, and seemingly having our number on a lot of occasions (including an ass-kicking back at the end of November).
Brain prediction: 8-3 Vancouver
Heart prediction: 6-4 Vancouver
Prepare for another ugly one.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Penner Gagner Nilsson
Stone Horcoff Brule
Jacques Potulny O’Sullivan
Moreau Cogliano Stortini
Vancouver Canucks Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
D. Sedin H. Sedin Burrows
Raymond Kesler Samuelsson
Glass Wellwood Bernier
Hordichuk Rypien Hansen
- We’re sitting in last in the conference, and 3rd last in the league (Toronto has played one more game than us, or we’d be tied for 2nd last).
- Two more days until the holiday roster freeze ends.. yay! (not that we’re likely to make a move)
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
12:30 – Souray works over one of the Canucks in front of the net, on their PP.
11:34 – Samuelsson sneaks behind the D and gets a shot off on Deslauriers, but he stands his ground.
10:31 – Stone hammers a d-man on a dump in, then hits Kesler knee on knee (accidental) seconds later. Kesler hobbles off the ice… possibly a charley horse.
8:29 – Hordichuk tries to go with Ryan Stone on a faceoff. But let’s face it.. they’re in a different weight class. They don’t go. Rypien also gives Stone an earful. Seems like they’re not happy about his hit on Kesler.
5:31 – Horcoff sets up behind the ‘Nucks net and comes out and sets up Brule with a good chance. Luongo makes the save, however.
0:35 – Potulny gets set up with a cross seam pass. Luongo is down and out, but Potulny wrists one off Mitchell and into Luongo’s stacked pads. Best chance of the period for the Oilers, possibly for either team.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
6:51 – VAN – PP – D. Sedin from H. Sedin, Salo
The Oilers are down 2 men. The Canucks work it around the perimeter, pulling Smid away from the front of the net. Sedin brings it out front shooting, and it banks off Souray’s skate and in.
7:08 – VAN – PP – Kesler from Edler, Raymond
A slapshot from the point looks to be about to be going wide. Kesler races to the front of the net an tips it past JDD.
8:38 – EDM – Potulny, unassisted
Potulny skates in the zone and loses the puck. He chases it down and picks it up at the goal line almost. He flips a back hand that gets behind Luongo and goes upstairs.
18:05 – Grebeshkov is nailed by Bernier while racing for a puck into the Oilers’ zone.
13:31 – Already shorthanded, Potulny whacks a puck down the ice that goes over the glass, putting the Oil in a 3-on-5 situation for 1 minute and 20 seconds (on which they score 2 goals).
12:20 – Grebeshkov shoots one from the point that is deflected in the high slot. Luongo barely hangs on to the puck.
11:40 – Stortini and Rypien go at at it. Lots of big bombs thrown by both sides. Stortini throws some of his usual hammer fists. This is a long one with both guys exchanging some good blows. Strotini’s punches look like forearms more than anything. But good fight by both guys.
9:42 – On the Vancouver powerplay, a puck squeaks past Deslauriers and is lying in the crease. Smid has one hand on Bernier and one on his own stick and manages to poke the puck under JDD and out of trouble.
0:30 – Horrible change by the Oilers leads to a 2-on-1, but the puck is fired over the net, well wide by Glass.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
3:23 – VAN – Ehrhoff from Rypien
Ehrhoff gets the puck at his blueline, and skates hard into the Oil zone. He dishes off to the Rypien and races towards the net, picking up the puck on the give-and-go and beats JDD upstairs (where else?).
19:24 – Van – D. Sedin from Burrows, H. Sedin
Henrik misses the empty net. Burrows out muscles Visnovsky and Staios in the corner, getting it to Daniel out front. Daniel puts it into the open net.
12:20 – The fans break out the “Oilers Suck” chant.. gotta wonder how many of those chants are coming from Oilers jersey donning fans. Too far?
11:15 – Visnovsky annihilates the puck from the point and Loo makes a big kick save to stop the howitzer.
9:18 – Moreau gets a great chance in the slot, throwing it on net. A battle for the puck ensues in the crease, and the Canucks come out on top, keeping the puck out.
7:20 – Gilbert and Souray work the puck down low in the Canucks zone (yes.. that’s correct.. both d-men behind THEIR goal line). Souray works it out front on the wrap around… but Loo, as always, keeps the puck out.
6:53 – Staios roughs up Hordichuk in the crease and looks like he’s trying to start a scrap with him, but Hordichuk just stands there, knowing the penalty to Staios is coming.
3:31 – Brule swings behind the net and throws it out front to O’Sullivan, in the slot. He shoots it into the “bread basket” of Luongo.
3:15 – Henrik rings one off the cross bar on an odd man rush.
1:57 – Stortini is set up in the slot by Penner. However Stortini fires it high, missing the top corner. It may have gone off the arm of Luongo.
1:44 – The Oilers pull Deslauriers. He’s only out for about 10 seconds before having to go back, due to a faceoff at the Canucks line.
1:12 – The Oilers pull Deslauriers again.
Not as bad a loss as I thought. The Oilers played a decent game. Luongo was on the top of his game tonight though. Unfortunately, the 5-on-3 in the 2nd period really was the difference in the game, as the Canucks scored on both chances. The Oilers just couldn’t come back from that point, despite making it 2-1 shortly after the two powerplay goals. The Oilers continue their horrible slide. With the Leafs picking up a point in OT tonight, the Oilers are officially second last in the league now. I think at this point, we might see the Oilers playing their “loose” game and playing with more jump in their game. However, I don’t care how many games are left.. this season is pretty much a write-off.
On a positive note, I thought Souray and Gilbert looked very good together tonight. That pairing is improving. None of our defensemen really looked horrible out there tonight, in my view. They could still use a more solid option back there, but they did alright with what they had tonight and weren’t too badly exploited, unlike the last battle between these two teams.
Next game, Monday vs. Calgary, at home.