The Edmonton Oilers and the Vancouver Canucks met for the first time on October 14, 1979. It was a Sunday, Oilers tied the Detroit Red Wings on Tabernac Saturday on a late goal by Mark Messier, his first in the NHL.
The Sunday game was also close, goals by (for VAN) Don Lever, Curt Fraser, Lars Lindgren and Jere Gillis giving the Canucks a 4-3 lead late (Edmonton goals by Stan Weir and a couple by Risto Siltanen). Alas, at 18:51 on the power play, assists from linemates Blair MacDonald and Brett Callighen, Wayne Gretzky scored his first NHL goal to earn the tie.
The Oilers and Canucks have precious few shared playoff memories. Edmonton boxed Vancouver’s ears in 1986, winning three straight before the Calgary Flames won in seven games against the Oilers. Edmonton won the 1992 division finals 4-2 against the Canucks, that was the last hammer from the great team (it had been stripped for parts but kept going on spit, blood and muscle memory). That’s all from 40 years of competition. Suspect these two teams are due for a playoff series.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, less than two coffees a month offer here.
- New Lowetide: Oilers deployment shuffle will continue with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins still sidelined
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: One-on-one with Ken Holland, who is facing his first deadline in the Jesse Puljujarvi saga
- Jonathan Willis: Should the Oilers go short or long term on Ethan Bear’s next contract?
- Lowetide: The 2010s: Revisiting the Connor McDavid draft lottery — the day the earth stood still in Edmonton
- Jonathan Willis: The 2010s: Unveiling the Oilers all-decade team
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: The 2010s: What went wrong with Nail Yakupov? How the No. 1 pick became the decade’s biggest NHL draft bust
- Jonathan Willis: The 2010s: Ranking a decade’s worth of Oilers coaches
- Lowetide: Tyler Benson posting a strong November in hopes of an Oilers recall
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: A superstar shines, a goaltender stands tall and a ‘road hockey’ power play helps the Oilers return to form
- Lowetide: Why Dave Tippett’s deployment is a sign the Oilers need a No. 3 centre
- Jonathan Willis: A Jesse Puljujarvi trade is an opportunity of which only one NHL team gets to take advantage
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Leon Draisaitl takes the blame as the Oilers’ struggles against lowly foes continues
- Jonathan Willis: A list of which Oilers are most likely to be traded in 2019-20
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Woodcroft on Benson’s ‘gift,’ the next step for Bouchard and acting like a proud parent watching the Oilers
- Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 2 prospect winter 2019: Philip Broberg
- Lowetide: Joel Persson’s demotion highlights difficult adjustment for Oilers’ ‘European showtime’ trio
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis: Evaluating the Oilers’ readiness for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft
- Lowetide: Oilers’ No. 1 prospect winter 2019: Evan Bouchard
OILERS AFTER 28 GAMES
- Oilers in 2015: 11-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -11
- Oilers in 2016: 14-10-4, 32 points; goal differential +6
- Oilers in 2017: 11-15-2, 24 points; goal differential -14
- Oilers in 2018: 14-12-2, 30 points; goal differential -6
- Oilers in 2019: 16-8-3, 35 points; goal differential +10
Edmonton remains in a very good spot relative to previous editions of the McDavid Oilers. A win tonight would give this year’s model considerable clearance compared to all that came before.
OILERS IN NOVEMBER
- Oilers in November 2015: 4-7-2, 10 points; goal differential -9
- Oilers in November 2016: 5-6-3, 13 points; goal differential 0
- Oilers in November 2017: 5-8-1, 11 points; goal differential -6
- Oilers in November 2018: 6-7-1, 13 points; goal differential -8
- Oilers in November 2019: 7-4-2, 16 points, goal differential +5
Man this represents real progress compared to previous seasons. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but Dave Tippett’s first two months have been stellar. Look at the point total! And that’s coming after a 19-point October. Music!
WHAT TO EXPECT IN NOVEMBER
- On the road to: PIT (Expected 0-1-0) (Actual 1-0-0)
- At home to: ARI, STL, NJD (Expected 2-1-0) (Actual 1-1-1)
- On the road to: ANA, SJS (Expected 1-0-1) (Actual 1-1-0)
- At home to: COL, DAL (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 1-0-1)
- On the road to: SJS, LAK, VEG, ARI, COL (Expected 2-3-0) (Actual 3-2-0)
- At home to: VAN (Expected 1-0-0)
- Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
- Current results: 7-4-2, 16 points in 13 games
This is it. A win tonight would mean 8-4-2 (18 points) in a month I predicted 7-6-1 (15 points). In October, I predicted 7-6-1 (15 points) and the Oilers delivered 9-4-1 (19 points). Good times.
Matt Benning returns to active duty and that may impact Caleb Jones or (less likely) a veteran like Kris Russell or Adam Larsson. The Nuge is on IR, but the Oilers didn’t call anyone up so we can expect Sam Gagner to fill the role this weekend. Gagner is filling the classic ‘utility role’ of the early 1970s in that he’s here to fill a specific role as opposed to next man up. Samwise has been solid in the role.
BAKERSFIELD CONDORS 2019-20
A big night for William Lagesson (1-2-3) and a solid goaltending performance from Stuart Skinner (stopped 34 of 37, .919) allowed the Condors to win 4-3 over San Jose Barracuda. Evan Bouchard had an assist and six shots, Cooper Marody scored, Tyler Benson had an assist, Dmitri Samorukov scored and Kirill Maksimov had an assist. A good night for the prospects, Bakersfield plays again at home tonight against Ontario Reign. Lines and pairings via Wilde, who has some impressive game notes in the previous thread.