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GAME PREVIEW: Game 53/56 Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks

Oilers look for split at home versus Canucks

Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers (32-18-2, 2nd in North) vs

Vancouver Canucks (20-25-3, 7th in North)

08 May 2021

Sportsnet West



Radio: 630 CHED


The Oilers got behind the eight-ball early when the first four shots got behind Mikko Koskinen in Thursday’s 6-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. I can’t imagine how incredible the moneyline must have been after the fourth one went in, but the Oilers made it reeeeeal tough on themselves early. Credit to the Canucks, who had a 4-0 lead by the time thirteen minutes had elapsed in the first. The Oilers got a pair of goals from Leon Draisaitl (including a power play tally) and Jesse Puljujärvi picked up his 14th of the season in defeat.

The Oilers will look to close out their two game home series by splitting with Vancouver. Can the Oilers turn last game’s loss into two more points?

Let’s go to the tape.


I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that, the first four shots go in your net, so it’s a big hole to jump out of.


That’s Oilers head coach Dave Tippett after his club’s 6-3 loss to the Canucks on Thursday night.

Mikko Koskinen is just the third goaltender in NHL history to get pulled after giving up four goals in four shots. Don Beaupre and Daniel Bouchard own a little slice of that record too. I don’t know when Mikko Koskinen gets another start, but here’s hoping he can put this one out of his mind quickly if he hasn’t already.


As the season grinds along, it’s never going to go necessarily the way you think and want. But you have to slow things down and enjoy the wins when they come your way and then reset tomorrow. It felt good, it felt like we had been grinding for a little bit and it was nice to get one.


That’s Canucks defenceman Travis Hamonic on his club’s 6-3 win over the Oilers on Thursday night.

The win is Vancouver’s first since April 24th, a 4-2 win over Ottawa.


  • For a game that the Oilers went down early in, there was a lot going on here. Zack MacEwen picked up a one game suspension for kneeing Darnell Nurse. Kneeing someone o the ice is a dumb thing to do, especially when the person you’re kneeing could probably dummy you senseless.
  • FOUR TO GO: Connor McDavid assisted on every goal the Oilers scored on Thursday night and now sits at 96 points on the season. He could hit the 100 point mark as soon as tonight. I’m dead serious when I say that a stretch goal could be 105 points or more. Thatcher Demko turned aside a McDavind penalty shot that could have brought him one closer.
  • DRAI DAYS: Lost in McDavid’s point explosion is that of Leon Drasiaitl. Draisaitl picked up a pair of goals in Thursday’s loss, and is honing in on 80 points this season. Currently at 28-49-77, Draisaitl would lead the league in scoring if not for Connor McDavid just blowing the lid off of things.
  • NET GAINS: For the Oilers, expect Mike Smith to get the start once again tonight (19-6-2, .925 SV% / 2.26 GAA / 3 SO). I’ve got the Canucks turning back to Braden Holtby tonight (7-9-2, .899 SV% / 3.34 GAA), though they could turn back to Thatcher Demko (13-16-1, .912 SV% / 2.92 GAA 1 SO) after he picked up the win on Thursday.
  • Barring an injury (and with Dmitry Kulikov back in), I think this is pretty close to what we’re likely to see for game 1 of the playoffs. I have accepted Devin Shore is going to be in there somewhere, but I hope it doesn’t come at the expense of Tyler Ennis. I think McLeod is also going to be there too.
  • SECOND’S ALRIGHT TOO: The Oilers look like they’re going to finish second in the North Division. They’ve got a pair at Montréal after tonight and one more against Vancouver next Saturday. They’ll open the playoffs at home against the Jets or Canadiens. May the top line fill the opposition nets with six pucks a night.

Let’s get at it.