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GAME PREVIEW - 2021-22 Season Opener: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks

It all starts tonight. It all starts here.

Winnipeg Jets v Edmonton Oilers - Game One Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (0-0-0) vs

Vancouver Canucks (0-0-0)

13 October 2021

Rogers Place

8 PM MST

TV: Sportsnet

Radio: 630 CHED

SB Nation Opponent: Nucks Misconduct

FOR BETTER OR WORSE

It’s time to be excited for another year of Oilers hockey. It couldn’t have gotten here any sooner. After a shortened season that saw the Oilers join all the other Canadian clubs in the North Division, they’ve returned to the Pacific Division with all of their rivals. This year, they’ve got a new one in Seattle. Wild times.

The Oilers have made plenty of offseason moves; some more loved than some others. For better or worse, they’ve got to start out hot and make an impact in the playoffs this year. Now in Connor McDavid’s seventh year, the time is (and has been) now for the Oilers to begin to assert some dominance in the league. GM Ken Holland has added a top six free agent, he’s traded for a defenceman to play top four and added another via free agency. This is Ken Holland’s club, built like Ken Holland clubs of the past. Will his craftsmanship help take the Oilers to a deep run in the playoffs?

We begin to find out tonight.

The Oilers host the Canucks tonight in game one of the regular season. The Oilers will look to get the ball rolling early and often tonight and pick up two points to start the year out right.

Let’s go to the tape.

LINES

THE OILERS ARE SAYING

“We like where our game is at. You can see an identity throughout the lineup”

Source

That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid on where he sees the Oilers to start the season.

The Oilers have an embarrassment of riches in their top six. Connor McDavid is a generational talent, while Leon Draisaitl isn’t far off. The Oilers brought in Zach Hyman to play in the top six and this might be the year that Jesse Puljujärvi shoots off like a rocket. They’re going to score some goals, the Oilers are going to need them this year.

THE CANUCKS ARE SAYING

“We’re just comfortable. We know each others habits pretty well. We know what it takes to have success as a line. We’re excited to be together and ready to have a good first game”

Source

That’s Canucks forward J.T. Miller on playing with Elias Pettersson

The second leading scorer on the Canucks last season, centre J.T. Miller will be switching it up a bit to start the season Look for him to appear on Elias Pettersson’s wing tonight.

HAVE SOME OF THIS

  • HY, MAN: Zach Hyman will make his regular season debut for the Oilers tonight, he’s likely to be on a line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto. I’m a little surprised that he’s not with one of McDavid or Draisaitl, but Dave Tippett sure sounds like he’s going to run with Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid on the same line right out of the gate.
  • Colton Sceviour has signed a one year deal with the Oilers for 750K, linking the gap from PTO to a two way deal. Sceviour will replace Zack Kassian tonight. Kassian as been added to the IR stemming from a nasty fall to the ice in a fight with Vancouver’s Zack MacEwen during a preseason tilt. Kassian has been back on the ice to practice following the event, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see his IR placement be retroactive.
  • Ryan McLeod gets the nod tonight over Devin Shore, who is out after ‘tweaking’ something per coach Tippett.
  • BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Alex Chiasson signed a two way deal with the Canucks after spending his last three years in the City of Champions.
  • NET GAINS: Mike Smith and Thatcher Demko are the likely two goaltenders to go tonight. Mike Smith looks to continue right where he left off last regular season with a .923 SV% and three shutouts. Thatcher Demko put up a .915 SV% and one shutout in the 2021 shortened season, he’s the Canucks number one netminder after Braden Holtby was bought out after a disappointing campaign.
  • SICK BAY: Zack Kassian and Josh Archibald are on LTIR for the Oilers, as is Devin Shore. For the Canucks, Tyler Motte is on IR, Brock Boeser is also out for the Canucks.

Let’s win one to start. Join us tonight for game 1.