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Oilers @ Canucks Game 82 Preview

Mercifully, it ends.

A loss in regulation would give the OIlers 61 points on the season, their worst in a decade
A loss in regulation would give the OIlers 61 points on the season, their worst in a decade
Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

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24-44-13, 61 points, .752 p/g Ranks 47-19-5, 99 points, 1.222p/g
Western Conference - 13th Western Conference - 6th
28th P/G 11th
24th ST 15th
28th ES 22nd
28th Goal 18th
8:00 PM MDT - SNW
Rogers Arena
The opposing view: Nucks Misconduct

Don't Dream, It's Over

Laurent Brossoit played remarkably for his first game in the NHL.  49 saves for Brossoit, but the Sharks prevailed by a score of 3-1.  Brossoit turned aside 19 shots in the first period, which is the most shots for a goalie's debut since 1990.  Nail Yakupov scored Edmonton's lone goal in the second period, his thirteenth of the year.  San Jose had a three goal third period, and that was all she wrote for Club Oilers.

Game 82 in a sixty point season doesn't appear to have a whole lot riding on it.  A regulation loss will keep the Oilers at 61 points, the lowest full season total since the miracle run of 2005-06.  If you've been here for more than a minute, there were some pretty awful moments during these last nine years.  To think, five years after Taylor Hall was drafted that we *finally* might have hit rock bottom?  Unfathomable.

The Oilers are saying

"How good was he tonight?  He was outstanding.  I'm happy for him, with the way he played, but disappointed that he couldn't get enough support from the people in front of him.  We had way too many passengers tonight.  But I am happy for Brossoit.  He played outstanding.  It was one of the best efforts I've seen all year."

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on goaltender Laurent Brossoit's NHL debut.

One game is hard to gauge a player's net worth to a team, but Brossoit turning aside 48 shots in his NHL debut looks promising.  Brossoit's performance no doubt turned heads in management.  My only wish is that he doesn't get thrust into the Oilers Goaltending Pit of Despair™ before the team gets better on defence.  It would shock absolutely no one to see more Brossoit next year should the Oilers fail to get a goalie this offseason.

The opponents are saying

"Big game on Saturday.  We'll take the same approach as we did today, just play hard and play our system and I think we'll be fine"
That's Canucks forward Daniel Sedin after Vancouver's 5-0 victory against Arizona on Thursday.

Daniel Sedin thinks the the Canucks will be fine so long as they 'play their system' tonight.  Even if they lose 9-1, they're going to the playoffs, and Edmonton is going to Burger Baron.

Have some of this
  • GOALIES AND KNEE TROUBLE Ryan Miller is expected to start for the Canucks tonight (28-15-1, .913 SV% / 2.47 GAA), his first start since late February when he injured his knee.  Viktor Fasth was activated off of injured reserve, and might get the start tonight.  Fasth hasn't played since the middle of February after injuring his knee during an Oilers / Jets shootout.
  • SOME GOOD - We shared some good times this year right?  Nail Yakupov isn't on the fourth line anymore, he's not getting replaced by Roman Horak.  He looks like he might have a future with a semi-competent centre with him, eh?  That's not bad.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took some steps forward this year, yeah?  The power play looks better with Nelson on board, no?
  • MOSTLY BAD - The defence is still a pit of despair.  Nikita Nikitin should be bought out at the very earliest moment possible.  Andrew Ference is under contract for two more years. The problem?  The Oilers will have to overpay for replacements, and convincing decent players to come to Edmonton via the UFA route gets more difficult with every year of failure.  Goaltending got worse this year.  Scrivens and Fasth both have SV%'s under .900, which isn't good. Devan Dubnyk is riding into the playoffs in Minnesota for the first time in his career, good for him. Our third and fourth lines might make some AHL teams take notice, especially with Boyd Gordon out.  The depth at centre is still hilarious, and not in a good way.  I have absolutely no confidence that this team has any idea what moves should be taken next, and that's a slight cause for concern.  If the Senators slink in, then every other Canadian team will make the playoffs (except the Leafs, screw them), while we get to prep our draft parties.  That's a good time.  Which brings me to...
  • OUR SUPER BOWL - The draft lottery is in a week.  Get excited, everyone.  Maybe if the Sabres defeat the Penguins and the Bruins win, we'll get an additional 1% chance at landing McDavid.  Lucky us.