So how about we all just pretend that the NHL's season is 78 games long instead of 82. Take those first four games and, assuming you haven't already wiped them from your memory, forget all about them entirely. They're gone, never to be thought of again, almost like they never happened. The real season starts now. The defence is better than it was last season, same with the goaltending. And things will be different this season, no more basement dwelling for the Oilers. The team might not make the playoffs but things will be looking up when this season ends.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could actually do that?
How To Tune In
Sportsnet West will have the game for your viewing pleasure starting at 7:30PM.
What To Watch For With The Oilers
Jersey raining down onto the ice from the stands. Fan anger is at full boil right now and if there was a fan mad enough to throw a hoodie complete with a cell phone after opening night, there have to be a few more already thinking about doing the same after watching the three games that followed. If the Oilers fall behind by a couple of early goals like they did against both Calgary and Los Angeles we could see jerseys hitting the ice before the end of the first period.
Second to the jersey toss would be the "Fire Eakins" chant which is a near certainty to be heard at some point this evening. I've got my money on the first TV timeout of the evening for this one.
What To Watch For With The Canucks
Courtesy of the fine folks who bring you the blog Nucks Misconduct:
Avoid retaliation penalties. One of the few things that is working for the Oilers right now is their power play. It's chugging along at a respectable 27.3% clip, so the fewer chances the Canucks give them, the better. And take advantage of the Oilers when they're in the box, as the Canucks PP (30.0%) should be able to make some hay against the Oilers PK (68.8%). And try not to allow any shorties this time, boys...
Taylor Hall - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle
Teddy Purcell - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Nail Yakupov
Benoit Pouliot - Leon Draisaitl - Jesse Joensuu
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - David Perron
Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Martin Marincin - Mark Fayne
Nikita Nikitin - Justin Schultz
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alex Burrows
Linden Vey - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian
Derek Dorsett - Shawn Matthias - Jannik Hansen
Dan Hamhuis - Luca Sbisa
Alexander Edler - Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa