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Game Thread: Canucks vs Oilers - The Fourth Time Is The Charm

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For the fourth time in 19 games the Oilers play Vancouver.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

If it seems like the Oilers have played the Canucks a lot this season, it's because they have. Tonight will be the fourth of five meetings between these two teams this season, and it's only game number nineteen (because I know that you're dying to find out, the fifth meeting is the Oilers' final game of the year). Seeing a team frequently is fine if you're winning but when you're not and the fans of the opposing team are annoying it can start to get old in a hurry. And so far the Oilers have just one point to show for their efforts against the Canucks; and also a three game suspension for Andrew Ference. Yeah, it's safe to say that I've had enough of the Canucks for a while.

How To Tune In

6PM on Sportsnet. No really, 6PM. Why? I don't know, because Sportsnet is out of the bloody minds maybe. I can't come up with a better reason.

What To Watch For With The Oilers

Steve Pinizzotto, ladies and gentlemen. For those who might have missed the gameday preview (WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?), Pinizzotto will draw in tonight for Jesse Joensuu tonight, and he brings grit.

Honestly, I don't have a huge issue with this move. Pinizzotto can play a little, and even though I've liked Joensuu's game so far this season, giving him the night off isn't the end of the world. And when the inevitable fight with Zack Kassian happens I should be able to hit the bathroom and avoid any lines. There is a lot to like about this move.

What To Watch For With The Canucks

The Canucks are switching things up on the first power play unit. From Jim Jamieson at The Province:

Yannick Weber gets a shot on the point with Alex Edler on the first unit power play. Clearly, the plan is to create a double threat from the points, with both Weber and Edler having big shots. "If you put another weapon in there maybe it opens up a few things," said Weber. "If they don’t take me away then I might get open for a couple shots. If they have a guy right beside me it opens up something somewhere else."

Projected Line Combinations

Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
David Perron - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov
Benoit Pouliot - Leon Draisaitl - Teddy Purcell
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Steve Pinizzotto

Nikita Nikitin - Jeff Petry
Keith Aulie - Mark Fayne
Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Ben Scrivens

Vancouver Canucks

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alex Burrows
Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian
Andrew Alberts - Linden Vey - Jannik Hansen

Alex Edler - Chris Tanev
Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa
Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Ryan Miller

Final Thought