Canucks vs Oilers Game Preview - January 21, 2014

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The Vancouver Canucks have another important Pacific Division match-up vs the Edmonton Oilers with a 6:30 p.m. PT Tuesday night tilt at the ROG. I’d like to say that I know what we have in store for us, but, let’s face it, the Canucks keep serving up surprises. The game has the potential for fireworks given the Oilers have yet to get their retribution for an errant Zack Kassian stick that broke Sam Gagner’s jaw in pre-season. Dallas Eakins called it “a disturbing play, by a disturbing player.” Disturbing perhaps, but nothing as alarming as Dallas Eakins’ hair and coaching.

Last Game

A sleepy mid-season match between the lowly Calgary Flames turned into a fairly memorable 3-2 shootout victory for the Canucks. Canuck Nation is still in shock that the Canucks actually won a shootout with Luongo in net. Amazing!

WAIT!  A few other things happened, like this:

Then this happened:

Oh yeah, and then PJ Stock spoke:

I can confirm that it was only PJ’s Depends undergarments that saved him from ruining his fine wardrobe on this rant of all rants. PJ just brought HNIC to new lows with this one.

The Edmonton Oilers

I’ll sum up the Oilers in a few words: terrible team, delusional fans. I have to admit that I take pleasure in scrolling through #Oilers on Twitter. What a painful lot those Oilers fans are. I have loved every minute of the Oilers failed rebuilds, but lately I have begun to actually feel sorry for both the Oilers franchise and their fan base. The greatest gift from the hockey gods has lead to the greatest curse. This is a franchise that closely resembles a broken record stuck on repeat. The Oilers gift was a collection of some of the greatest young hockey players ever assembled that went on to for a dynasty, the curse is the franchise and it’s fans thinking it will somehow happen again. Make no mistake, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Justin Schultz are not Mark Messier, Jarri Kurri, Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey. Everyone seemingly knows this, except the Oilers franchise and it’s fan base keep hoping that they might be close. They aren’t. Until the Oilers stop trying to assemble a crop of young potential stars with “boys on the bus” dreams in their heads and build an actual team, they will continually be bottom feeders. Oh yeah, this clown isn’t really helping matters either:

Image Courtesy:  blogs.edmontonjournal.com

Image: blogs.edmontonjournal.com

Canucks Lines

The Canucks are starting to get healthy and there is more help on the way with Jordan Schroeder and Ryan Stanton back skating. Both Mike Santorelli and Henrik Sedin are out, ending Henrik’s 679 game ironman streak.

D. Sedin – Kesler – Burrows 

Booth – Richardson – Kassian

Higgins – Dalpe – Hansen

Sestito – Lain – Weise

Hamhuis – Tanev

Garrison – Bieksa

Edler – Weber

Luongo

The pretend Larscheid report

1. Play with a full team…for 60 minutes

This seems like a given, but it would be nice if the Canucks could play a full game with a full team. I’m not sure if the league has mandated more misconducts and instigator penalties, but this has gotten to the point of ridiculous. A full team would ease the load, specifically on the defensive end, where Alex Edler, Yannick Weber, Chris Tanev and Dan Hamhuis logged insane minutes vs the Flames.

2. Continued stellar goaltending

What was lost in the Canucks 3-2 shootout win was an exceptional performance by Roberto Luongo between the pipes. Luongo is quietly having a very good season and his positioning has never been better. Another solid game for Luongo vs the Oilers will go a long way towards a Canuck victory.

3. Rally around Torts

With John Tortorella suspended for 15 days, it is time for the players to take a page out of the fiery coach’s book. This market has been missing some passion from it’s team the last few years and now they have it. The team needs to rally around a coach who has their back and believes in them.

Prediction

The Canucks are coming off a bizarre 3-2 shootout win and no one is talking about the outcome. I believe the Flames game will prove as a lightning rod for the rest of the season and the Canucks are going to get on a roll. The Canucks take this 5-2!

The predictions season record is currently at 28-22. 

 

As a side note, I am very excited to continue to write on my favourite team with Vancity Buzz and I welcome your comments.

 

Feature image: Edmonton Oilers

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Ian Lusher Canucks Contributor
@ianlusher

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