Canucks at Oilers, G5/07-08

Oilers have a big back to back this weekend with the Canucks. So far we can safely say that the away games at Minnesota are going to be uphill battles, but the Canucks appear to be less than they were a year ago. Garry Unger is my choice for tonight, even though he wasn’t a WHA Oiler. Unger was “old school” despite the long hair and he was a beauty in his prime.

It was somewhat predictable that the Canucks were going to fall back a little bit in what we can safely describe as the strongest division in the best league in the world.

The question is, how much have they fallen? What is the gap between Vancouver and Edmonton? Is there one? Can the piss cutter Sedin’s make the difference with Bernie Luongo playing Superman in goal?

We’ll see.

I like the Oilers long term future better than Vancouver’s, mostly because the Canucks can’t seem to draft skill very well (Sedins aside).

However, they’re a better team until the Oilers prove themselves. This will be my first time seeing the Canucks in their new uniforms but I suspect that the first ones are still their best.

Looking for big efforts from the Horcoff line, the Staios pairing, Stoll’s line (apparently with Pouliot) and if we’re going to talk about this team making the playoffs at any time this season then this is a W going away.

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72 Responses to "Canucks at Oilers, G5/07-08"

  1. mattwatt says:

    Vancouver is definetly in for a drop in the standings this year IMO. Sure, they have Bobby Lou and a solid defensive team, but where is the talent (Outside of those damn good twins, it is a joy watching them)

    Also, there is no way they can have the same amount of “off a defender skate, hits a canucks players shin, and goes in” goal total as they did last year. I never seen a team so fortunate with bounces as they were.

  2. PDO says:

    Vancouver is due for a big drop… they had one of the best records in the league in 1 goal games last year, and shit like that will even out.

    Garon is starting and Horcoff is a gametime decision… is Luongo off tonight and starting for HNIC, or is he going to play both? Anyone know? It’d be fantastic to steal 2 here and watch Canuck fans squirm….

  3. Lowetide says:

    Vancouver is 10-5 in the last 15 in Edmonton. I don’t hate the Kurtenbach’s but that is distasteful.

  4. Dennis says:

    I saw an interesting quote from MacT today, something along the lines of how it looks like the Dys are always on the PP when we’re in our defensive coverage when the Sedins are on the ice. I’ve felt the same way for years and I’m always waiting for something bad to happen.

    BTW, I’m gonna keep track of scoring chances tonight along with who’s on the ice both for and against. I’ll roll the tapes, cue Howie Meeker;) in the intermissons and I’ll post the results somewhere once the game is over. Hopefully shortly after.

  5. Julian says:

    fifth game of the season and we’re at “must win” status already?

  6. Lowetide says:

    Julian: IF we’re interested in talking playoffs. If the Oilers can’t get their points from the Wild and can’t get them from the Canucks, that leaves the Flames, Avs and the Pacific.

  7. Julian says:

    I’m watching the Avs game and getting all nostalgic for Smyth… I’ll bet when I watch the Oilers game, it’ll get even worse.

  8. Julian says:

    yeah yeah, I know LT. I’m not getting my hopes up or anything, I just found it a little funny, shows our dire straits and all.

  9. Lowetide says:

    Looks like Pouliot is a HS. Dammit.

  10. Tyler says:

    Nice pass Matty. Those five footers are the hardest to make.

  11. Tyler says:

    There is no way in hell that Raffi intended to make that nifty little bounce pass to Pitkanen.

  12. Lowetide says:

    Sanderson is like 50, right?

  13. Tyler says:

    Vic mentioned the other day that he wasn’t seeing what Dennis and I saw in Sanderson. The speed there was just fantastic.

  14. PDO says:

    Did I just hear the Edmonton Nuck fans cheering “Looooouuuuu?”

    I swear that Jarret Stoll is on a personal mission to get kicked out of at least one of every three faceoffs this year.

    Oilers are up 3-1 in scoring chances with a PP coming up…. good start for them.

  15. Lowetide says:

    Move your FEET!

  16. Tyler says:

    I’m not inclined to like Penner and the fact that he’s so oafish isn’t doing much for me.

  17. PDO says:

    It’d be nice if Stoll would wait for traffic before blasting the puck from the blueline with all day.

  18. Lowetide says:

    Oilers had mo before the PP, crap on PP, get back mo after. It’s time for someone to sell their soul to the devil for a good PP. Someone call Bucky.

  19. Lowetide says:

    Carbo with a bloop, Burleson first to third.

  20. PDO says:

    How does a highstick in front of the net on the puck carrier go uncalled?

    Having a lot of kids on the team sucks for a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason has to be the idiots in stripes giving them zero credibility and becoming completely opposed to partially blind.

  21. PDO says:

    I say in divisional matchups Souray starts aiming for shot blockers feet until they back off a bit.

    …. and there’s a nice garbage goal for the Canucks while nearly $10,000,000 looks lost in the defensive zone.

  22. Tyler says:

    Boy, nice to see both of Lowe’s Summer of Poor Moves guys in on that goal against.

  23. Tyler says:

    And Matt Greene looks lost. Anyone else thrilled we don’t have Dan Hejda?

  24. Lowetide says:

    Woo doggie.

  25. PDO says:

    Has Robert Nilsson won a puck battle in his career as an Oiler yet?

    Jacques had 2 chances to score tonight, one was broken up by a nice backcheck by a Canuck and that was a pretty heady tip.

    I’m starting to think the lightbulb is going on.

  26. Tyler says:

    For Greene’s age, salary and the fact that he’s not all that good, the Oilers are nuts to be wasting time on him.

    Heady play from Gilbert there, throwing it down low for the tip instead of firing away.

  27. PDO says:

    Holy shit.

  28. Ribs says:

    KA- BOOOOOOMMMMMM!

  29. Julian says:

    What are the lines looking like?

    And why the hell did the NHL stop publishing the graphics of the shift charts on their website?

  30. PDO says:

    Good to see Jarret Stoll continues to have a terrible start to the year.

    Sigh.

    In fairness, Horcoff really should’ve had a goal there… but wow, what an idiotic pinch.

  31. Keegan says:

    Please let them score a PP goal! Please!!

  32. Keegan says:

    Torres!!!! Finally!!!!!!!

  33. Tyler says:

    Torres scoring the first PP goal doesn’t really make sense but I’m happy anyway.

  34. Keegan says:

    Well…. That was quick.

  35. Lowetide says:

    Based on quality of play, the Canucks deserve to be up by two. What MacT wouldn’t give for two more NHL players.

    Did Robert Nilsson go for soda?

  36. Keegan says:

    Have the goals let in by Garon been weak?

  37. fever4flames says:

    garon has been beyond weak all night long. i’m really starting to think that he wasnt the good pickup for the coil that i thought he’d be.

  38. Keegan says:

    Im going to wait for an answer from someone who has read a book thanks.

  39. Julian says:

    Anyone else getting Conkannen flashbacks?

  40. Lowetide says:

    keegan: The one that stood for me was the 4th goal, pretty difficult angle but Roloson left enough room.

  41. Keegan says:

    Thank you LT.

  42. PDO says:

    Garons rebound control was ugly… and simply stated, 8 saves on 11 shots is not good enough.

    Jacques is putting together his best game as a pro here by my eye.

  43. Lowetide says:

    Dustin Penner is all about the footwork.

  44. Lowetide says:

    The game is starting to slow down for Jacques. Sweet Christ if this guy’s a player he’ll kill people.

  45. PDO says:

    Well, at least Torres remembers that we play hockey.

    Now if Jarret Stoll could wake up, we’d almost have half of a hockey team!

  46. Keegan says:

    At least a point for Calgary….

  47. Lowetide says:

    Some of these kids are really starting to get clearance from others. Gagner is doing some nice things, Cogliano and Gilbert too and Nilsson is looking like a nice comp for Riesen.

  48. Shawn says:

    Frustrating to watch your favourite team make so many mistakes and miss some obvious opportunities, but that’s what we knew we’d get isn’t it? These guys are too young.

    That being said…

    -Gilbert is a player. Good decision making, poised, quick, mostly mistake free. He and Greene played pretty well together I thought.

    -Gagner thinks the game very well. That’s something you can’t teach and it’s going to make him a huge part of this team long term.

    -Hemsky didn’t play well and is still dangerous every shift. But I wonder if he’ll ever take that next step until he learns to be more selfish. Will he ever learn to be more selfish?

    -Garon didn’t look good at all

  49. Shawn says:

    Yiiiiikes

  50. uni says:

    Yiiiiikes

    Indeed.

  51. Shawn says:

    Well the thing I come away with from this game is that we should be able to hold our own with Vancouver this year. Tons of mistakes but carried the play and the Canucks don’t look great by any stretch. Better goaltending and some finish and this is a different game. They now officially worry me less than any other NW team.

  52. Vic Ferrari says:

    I wasn’t keeping hard track of the chances, but I thought that the Oilers had more than their share tonight. The Oilers goaltending was poor, and in fairness to VAN they made their shots. A fun game to watch.

    Naslund is really off the rails, he needs to get away from Vigneault. You’ve got to let a player like that try and beat people. Not every time, and not often at the blue lines, but some of the time, so they think you might try it again.

    Gagner impressed tonight, sweet gig with Horcoff and Penner, but he held as own more I thought.

  53. Vic Ferrari says:

    I also think Hemsky is turning the corner from being “terrific to watch” to being just “terrific”. Probably less of the former and more of the latter all at once. He chips and chases when nothing is there, he drives wide and takes the hit when there is nobody behind him. He’s going to have a great year if he stays healthy.

  54. Black Dog says:

    Just got back from my own game – big win first of the year! And a 5-2 loss! But from the comments not as bad as the score indicates?

    Um, why was Pouliot a HS? I thought he played well last game?

    So Gagner is looking fine?

    I think its going to take Stoll a while to get going – hasn’t played since January, right? And coming off a concussion.

    And Jacques is figuring it out – can it be true?

    OK – fill me in – LT? Vic?

  55. Lowetide says:

    I think the game is starting to slow down for Jacques. He had some nice chances tonight and MacT appeared to be giving him better linemates. He had probably his best shifts in the NHL in the third period with Torres and I can’t remember the center.

  56. Black Dog says:

    And he and Nilsson just got sent down.

    Schremp and Stortini up.

  57. danny says:

    All in all, thats about as positive a 5-2 loss can be. A lot of things looked good tonight, except the goaltending of course, and the Oilers coverage down low was its usual circus act. But Cogs /Gagner /Gilbert looked excellent. Sanderson is impressing, Reasoner seems to be reborn.

    Greene has had back to back strong games, Sourays sum is greater than his lesser qualities.

    The team really needs Moreau and Pisani back to whisper about making the playoffs I think, its only a matter of time for Stoll to come around Id imagine…

    Thats a really nice looking group of forwards if they can get healthy. Nilssons days are numbered.

  58. Vic Ferrari says:

    With Stoll I think, LT. I thought he looked fine. Though it always seems that Stoll and Torres look great against poor forward lines, I mean everybody does, but especially them. And VAN has a couple of bad ones to choose from.

    One day we’ll have to get ambitious, you can note every shift that Stoll’s line looked great by the scoreclock, and I’ll knock up a wee script to tally who the good shifts came against. I’m never happy until a point has been proven one way or the other. :D

  59. Vic Ferrari says:

    Black dog:

    Damn! Wow, that should keep them playing for keeps in Springfield.

    How exactly does this work? It sounds like if you get the first star of the game for the Falcons you skate out, acknowledge the crowd, then you get into a cab at centre ice and are whisked to the airport? Am I right? Because that would be very cool.

  60. Black Dog says:

    I presume LT is madly typing right now but do these two callups get put in tomorrow night?

    Vic, what did you think of Jacques’ game tonight?

    And Gilbert’s?

  61. Black Dog says:

    Vic – well MacT said as much after TC that there would be a lot of movement – guess he wasn’t kidding.

    Now if Jacques seems to be getting it why bring Stortini up? And why was Pouliot a scratch? Confused.

    Hey, if Nilsson has, what, one point in five games, why not bring Schremp up and see what he can do? Keeps guys motivated in Springfield and with the big club.

  62. Black Dog says:

    I think first stars get shot out of a cannon pointed towards northern Alberta.

  63. RiversQ says:

    Oh great, good thing Stortini is coming up. That’s a waste of time.

    That first GA was just fabulous – $10MM worth of pure suckitude. Souray does his best Kasparaitis/Blake impression and Penner makes no attempt to tie the Sedin up.

    At least Souray had the big shot on the goal. Kevin really must be channeling Billy Beane when he spends $6.25MM/yr for near-zero gain.

    I find the Jacques comments laughable. He managed to not be a sack of shit tonight. I realize that’s a massive achievement for JFJ, but that doesn’t make him a sound contributor. How that guy managed to get in the lineup tonight after Pouliot’s showing last game is beyond me.

    I thought Penner looked half decent in the first (apart from the sheit coverage on the first goal) and then just fell apart. That has to be evidence of him being well out of shape.

  64. Dennis says:

    I stopped counting after the end of 40 min but I had the chances at 9-7 Oilers. I’ve got some decent notes here if someone wants to post them. I’ve got this weird thing going on at IOF where I can’t post stuff and now I can’t copy and past at Ty’s site either.

    if someone wants to post my stuff from tonight, drop me an email. If not, I’ll just copy and paste it here later on.

    The whole Storts over JFJ thing must be about being a physical presence and I think it was last week that I said I thought NIlsson would be the first guy out of the three skilled kids to get the boot from the big team.

  65. Ribs says:

    I wasn’t impressed by any Oiler tonight. Everyone did the least that they were expected to do and out came an expected result.

    Sanderson was all over the place for the first period or so….and then MacT ran that line into the dust.

    Torres played an entire NHL hockey game for the first time this season.

    Souray finally got a goal. Yay!

    Soft minutes to Gagner and Cogs showed a sputtering mess of results.

    Nilsson passed up two glorious opportunities and probably received his plane ticket to Springfield directly after the second chance.

    Garon looked good for the odd moments when he wasn’t totally oblivious to his surroundings.

    What the heck is wrong with Staios?

    It was a piss poor performance from the Oilers and they can only afford to have so many of these games in the future.
    I can’t see how any one player benefited from this game.

    I’d be dissapointed if MacT doesn’t rip this team a new one before tomorrows rematch.

  66. IceDragoon says:

    I’m not sure which Gagner you thought you were watching, ribs… But the one I watched certainly didn’t sputter anything.

    TOI – 20:20
    EV – 16:39

    … second only to Horcoff…
    20:48
    17:57

    … and well ahead of #3, Stoll…
    18:44
    13:21

    Sam was taking his share of lumps and making plays all night. He assisted on both our goals… And from the second period on he was on a line with Horcoff and Penner mainly matched against the Sedins, who didn’t **** a drop after the first goal when Hemsky was still on that line & on the ice.

    Of course some cohesion/consistency would be nice, but with the massive changes and all the youngsters in the line-up, I wouldn’t count on it for some time… perhaps a stretch run. If you are expecting veteran performances from this group now, then expect to be disappointed.

    Louise

  67. IceDragoon says:

    I should know better than to trust the yahoos on the radio.

    Penner was also up there in forward TOI.
    20:51
    17:09
    That’s a lot of minutes for a big (out of shape?) man.

    Still… the kid played more than Staios.

  68. Doogie says:

    It was a very uneven game, with a few positives (Jacques, Torres, and Stoll weren’t totally useless tonight; Gagner had a heck of a game) and a few negatives (Nilsson, the PP was still retarded, Reasoner’s line vanished halfway through the game), but really, the Canucks weren’t that much better. Not 5-2 better, and I blame that square on the goalies. Two of the goals were weak flutters through the five hole, and the goal that chased Garon also reeked pretty badly. Vigneault was right: Luongo was on, the Oilers’ goalies were not, and that was likely the difference between a tight, if flawed, game and a near-blowout.

  69. Ribs says:

    icedragon – By “sputtering results” I mean that they did have some good results but that it was inconsistent throughout the game.

    I don’t expect veteran performances from the rooks, I expect them to do exactly what they did last night.

    I hope for more than the expected is all.

  70. RiversQ says:

    Penner was also up there in forward TOI.
    20:51
    17:09
    That’s a lot of minutes for a big (out of shape?) man.

    Yes, but this tells us nothing about the quality of those minutes. Penner’s work rate went downhill from period to period by my eye.

    It is possible to throw a tired guy over the boards.

    I suppose Penner’s too lazy to work out in the offseason so he’s using the Boris-Mironov-heavy-minutes-when-I’m-not-ready-for-it workout.

    That and he’s still not fast enough to play with Horcoff or Hemsky.

  71. IceDragoon says:

    Yeah, Riv, I wasn’t trying to pump him, tho I think he’s showing more savvy than I expected just yet… against tougher opps too. His TOI just surprised me. And, you’re right, it did drop off some in the third, tho he was still out mostly against the twins.

    Penner’s TOI per period…

    TOI — EV
    6:49 – 5:30
    8:19 – 6:49
    5:43 – 4:50

    Other leftwings…

    Torres

    4:04 – 4:04
    4:30 – 3:15
    6:58 – 5:55

    Jacques – all EV

    2:43
    0:57
    5:58

    Sanderson

    5:32
    4:16
    5:52 – 5:48

    Gagner led all forwards in the third…

    4:56 – 4:15
    7:23 – 5:26
    8:01 – 6:58

    followed by Stoll…

    4:59 – 3:28
    6:35 – 4:22
    7:10 – 5:31

    Raffi ^^^…

    and Horcoff

    7:02 – 5:43
    7:23 – 5:51
    6:23 – 6:19

    Notable drop offs…

    Nilsson – yikes

    4:08 – 3:27
    1:09
    0:26

    Reasoner

    5:45
    5:10 – 3:54
    2:37 – 1:44

    Brodziak

    5:18 – 5:07
    5:48 – 4:27
    1:42 – 1:38

    DAMM… I miss the shift charts!!!
    … stupid NHL.

    Ribs…

    I guess I just don’t understand the need to get bent when one gets about what one expects. Isn’t it blatantly obvious that there are going to be growing pains?

    Stock up on beer and buckle up.
    We’re in for a bumpy ride.
    ;-D

    L8r
    Louise

  72. Ribs says:

    Sounds like a hell of a plan Louise. Will do.

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