Come For The Banter - Stay For The Disappointment
Nucks Fan Rebuild & Retool Center - Come For The Banter - Stay For The Disappointment

Western Conference Round Two: Canucks vs Edmonton Game 4

We knew that trying to take down the Oilers wasn't gonna be easy, but we also didn't think the Canucks would already have to be taking on the league and national media in the process.


6:50PM PST



We'd seen signs of it throughout the season. Various pundits and Twitterati predicting the downfall of the Canucks that would see them be able to save face on getting their preseason predictions wrong. As the season wore on, everything that was supposed to spell the end of what was easily the best story in the NHL this season, failed to do so.

The injury to Thatcher Demko earlier in the season saw Casey DeSmith and Arturs Silovs step up and hold the fort til Demko could return, only to have the situation repeat itself after Game One against Nashville. And then when DeSmith was injured, Silovs stepped in and added even more mystique to the incredible turn around of this team.

Instead of giving the Canucks credit for rebuilding their defence corps, and adding some excellent complimentary pieces, and changing the way they play, all we heard was "PDO! PDO! PDO!!!" all season long. It's not that the Canucks weren't the beneficiaries of a high PDO, but they are nowhere near as good as they've been without the improvements on team defence.

And into the playoffs, the disrespect continues. From Nashville Head Coach saying "The better team did not win" the first round series, to the barrage of analysis three games in about how it's all how the Edmonton Oilers lost Game One and Three and not how the Canucks were able to win. Even the OT win in Game Two, the Oilers had to rely on another goal from Ian Cole to get the win. I mean, where would they even be without Ian Cole's scoring? It's not that the Canucks should be having their asses kissed, but for god's sake, people can see that they're making life miserable for the Oilers, giving them few prime chances, and have vastly superior goaltending.

And then there's the officiating. It's been bad, both ways. There's no denying that. But when we see Nikita Zadorov get a $5000 fine, and Carson Soucy get suspended for a game in the same series where we've seen Darnell Nurse run Elias Pettersson headfirst into the boards, Connor McDavid highstick Quinn Hughes, Evander Kane try to kick Zadorov, as well as Warren Foegele throw a punch on Zadorov while on the bench, none of these were punished. Add in Zack Hyman crosschecking Zadorov on THE SAME BLOODY PLAY that saw Soucy suspended, and actually causing more damage than the ones the Canucks got punished for? This is why we are the way we are. This is the shit that Roger Nielson raised that towel for.

I've said it already and I'll say it again. Keep disrespecting them. Keep underestimating them. This team doesn't quit, and will continue to find ways to win. Wanna suspend Soucy? That's nice. This team has been rolling on a 'Next Man Up' mentality all season long.

In the last game, there was a lot of stuff to be positive about. They came out and had a fantastic first period, especially after giving up that early power play goal, replying with one of their own. With two goals from Brock Boeser and Elias Lindholm, they did a great job of taking the crowd out of it for a good chunk of the game.

The third period was nerve wracking, but there was more to that period than a barrage of Oilers shots. The Canucks did a great job keeping the Oilers on the perimeter, withstanding the Oilers storm and coming up with two massive penalty kills in that final frame.

They're doing a lot of things right, and will again need to stay out of the box if they hope to head back to Vancouver on Thursday for a potential elimination game. The power play has been better, but they're going to need more from some of the guys who have been quiet, and maybe another game with Linus Karlsson, who was solid in Game Three, can get Elias Pettersson out of his funk.

The Oilers, meanwhile will need to get more out of anyone not named McDavid, Draisaitl, Hyman, Ekholm or Bouchard. Their depth scoring has been non-existent, and trying again to get 30 minutes a night out of McDavid and Draisaitl, especially when they're not getting the goaltending they need, is a recipe for failure. They've got their hopes pinned on a 32 year old journeyman goaltender who has less pro playoff starts than Arturs Silovs.


Canucks projected lineup

Pius Suter -- J.T. Miller -- Brock Boeser

Ilya Mikheyev -- Elias Pettersson -- Linus Karlsson

Dakota Joshua -- Elias Lindholm -- Conor Garland

Nils Aman -- Teddy Blueger -- Sam Lafferty

Quinn Hughes -- Filip Hronek

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyler Myers

Ian Cole -- Noah Juulsen

Arturs Silovs

Casey DeSmith

Scratched: Mark Friedman, Phil Di Giuseppe, Christian Wolanin

Injured: Thatcher Demko (undisclosed), Nils Hoglander (undisclosed)

Suspended: Carson Soucy

Oilers projected lineup

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Connor McDavid -- Zach Hyman

Dylan Holloway -- Leon Draisaitl -- Evander Kane

Warren Foegele -- Ryan McLeod -- Corey Perry

Mattias Janmark -- Derek Ryan

Mattias Ekholm -- Evan Bouchard

Darnell Nurse -- Vincent Desharnais

Brett Kulak -- Cody Ceci

Philip Broberg

Calvin Pickard

Stuart Skinner

Scratched: Connor Brown, Sam Carrick, Sam Gagner, Troy Stecher

Injured: Adam Henrique (lower body)

Lots to digest here, with both teams making some tweaks. As expected, Noah Juulsen will step in for Carson Soucy. That's gonna allow Ian Cole to play his normal side and could see the Oilers secondary scoring dry up. Juulsen was quite good on the PK this year, so we'll see how that comes into play tonight. PDG is still back in Vancouver on personal leave, and it's interesting to see Nils Hoglander listed as injured. It's not something we've seen discussed up til now, so we'll have to see what comes out about that. It's worth noting that in the series between Abbotsford and Bakersfield last season, which saw Silovs and Pickard go head to head, Hoglander had 2 goals and 2 assists.

The Oilers are in desperation mode, as you can tell by splitting McDavid and Draisaitl, as well as bringing in a 7th defenceman. And if you thought Nurse and Ceci were bad, if I were a Canucks forward, I'd be licking my chops at the prospect of facing Phillip Broberg on a shift.


If you didn't get a chance yesterday, Sekeres & Price had the OG himself, Tony Gallagher on and it is an absolute must listen, as well as their response to that Mark Spector garbage from earlier in the week.

This absolutely reeks of desperation, along with switching to Calvin Pickard. Start firing pucks on Pickard from puck drop and let that seed of doubt grow.


Going with some old school Van City Crossover today. I was scouring YT when I stumbled across this gem, haven't heard it for at least 20 years. From 1988, this is 'Fight Back' from Vancouver's own ADVERSITY. Canucks vs The World, baby! Enjoy the game, everyone! Go Canucks Go!!!


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