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Preseason game #4 – Vancouver Canucks (3-1) @ Edmonton Oilers (1-2) – game recap

Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves in a 6-1 victory over the Oilers

As the Canucks continue to evaluate players and veterans get ready for the season ahead, the Canucks continued preseason action with a tilt against the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks reassigned Vincent Arseneau, Michael Dipietro and Jonah Gadjovich. Dipietro may begin his professional career in Kalamazoo of the ECHL, but for now he’ll join the Utica Comets training camp. Adam Gaudette was in the lineup for the third straight game, as the Canucks give him a long look. Starting goalie Jacob Markstrom saw his first preseason action with Richard Bachman serving as his backup. Markstrom was 28-23-9 with a 2.77GAA and .912save% in 60 games last season. Ex-Canuck Markus Granlund faced his former team tonight and was on the Oilers 4th line. Sven Baertschi also made the trip to Edmonton and played along side likely future captain Bo Horvat and newbie JT Miller. The two BC boys Troy Stetcher and Jordie Benn were paired together on defence. Loui Eriksson, who has a lot to prove this year, was on a line with Gaudette and Josh Leivo, who was one of the better Canucks down the stretch last season. Tim Schaller was on a line with Jay Beagle and Tyler Motte. Schaller had fallen out of favor with the Canucks coach last year and is battling just to make the team. The 4th line consisted of bubble players Landon Ferraro (who’s on a professional tryout) and prospects Justin Bailey and Lukas Jasek, who will more than likely start in Utica. Chris Tanev, who continues to break in his new modified padding, was paired with Guillaume Brisebois. The final defensive pairing tonight was Oscar Fantenberg and Brogan Rafferty, who was signed as a college free agent at the end of last season. Could the Canucks make it three wins in four games? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights:

  • The Canucks opened the scoring just over 4 minutes into the game as Brogan Rafferty slammed one from the point, and upstairs on Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen immediately after a faceoff win
  • Just over two minutes later, the Oilers tied the game as Cooper Marody was johnny on the spot to stuff a rebound by Jacob Markstrom
  • with just over 90 seconds left in the 1st period, Tim Schaller intercepted a pass at the Oilers blueline and took off on a 2-on-1 break with Jay Beagle, who calmly snapped the centering feed over the glove of Koskinen
  • The Canucks added a goal just over 12 minutes into the 2nd on a slick cross-ice feed by Bo Horvat that was tipped home by Sven Baertschi
  • Almost 4 minutes later, Lukas Jasek wheeled in and snapped a wrister through a crowd and by Koskinen
  • The Canucks added a goal just under 2 minutes into the 3rd period as Horvat forced a turnover at the Oilers blueline, wheeled in and snapped it by Oilers goalie Shane Starrett
  • Almost fifteen and a half minutes later, Adam Gaudette broke Sam Gagner’s ankles with a sweet deke and snapped it by Starrett
  • Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 of 27 shots, including all 9 PP shots
  • Final score: Canucks 6 Oilers 1

My Take:

  • Jacob Markstrom looked sharp in his first action of the preseason. He stopped 26 of 27 shots, allowing just the one goal on a goalmouth scramble. He stopped all 9 shots the Oilers had on the PP. He’ll likely play one of the two games against the Ottawa Senators early next week
  • I was really impressed with the Canucks power play. The team was moving the puck really well all night and scored twice with the man advantage. Horvat showed great chemistry with likely linemate JT Miller.
  • The penalty killing unity needs to work at reducing the shots on goal because 9 is too many. The better teams will score with that many chances. The Canucks did score a late one while short-handed thanks to some deft stickhandling by Adam Gaudette, who broke ex-teammate Sam Gagner’s ankles and slid it home.
  • Sven Baertschi, provided he stays healthy, should give the Canucks another offensive weapon.
  • The Canucks edged the Oilers in hits, and were led by Troy Stetcher, who dished out 4 hits
  • The Canucks blocked 10 shots, led by Jordie Benn, who had 3 blocked shots
  • The Canucks won 56% of the draws, led by Loui Eriksson, who won every draw he took. Bo Horvat (89% success rate), Landon Ferraro (75% success rate), JT Miller (62% success rate) and Jay Beagle (62% success rate) also had good nights in the faceoff circle.
  • Up next, the Canucks make their first trip to California to take on the LA Kings, their original 1st opponent from their inaugural season 50 years ago. The Canucks won 3 of the 4 meetings between the two squads last year, including both tilts in LA. Ex-Canuck Ben Hutton could be facing his former team for the first time since signing with LA today.
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