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Game #49 – Vancouver Canucks (20-26-3) @ Edmonton Oilers (33-18-2) – game recap

The Canucks ended a 4-game home-and-home series against the Edmonton Oilers with an HNIC tilt in Edmonton. The Canucks snapped a five game losing skid last game on the back of a phenomenal goaltending performance from Thatcher Demko. Jack Rathbone scored his first career goal. Zack MacEwen was out of the lineup tonight after receiving a one-game suspension for inadvertently kneeing Darnell Nurse in the head. Meanwhile Nurse was not disciplined for later body-slamming MacEwen to the ice or the cross-check, slash and punch to the Canucks’ winger’s chest. The Department of Player’s safety is clearly broken and fixing it starts with getting rid of George Parros, who is not the right man for the job, given his own suspension history and penchant for fighting and engaging in questionable incidents himself. They either need someone who has played the right way in their career or had their career prematurely ended by a questionable act or an independent person not associated with the NHL. Marc Michaelis drew in for MacEwen. Thatcher Demko got the start in net. The Canucks are effectively playing out the string as they are officially eliminated from playoff contention. Could the Canucks make it two wins in a row? Here is tonight’s game recap.

Game Highlights

  • The Oilers opened the scoring 45 seconds into the game as Connor McDavid rifled a shot five-hole on Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko
  • The Oilers added a goal just under 7 minutes into the 2nd period as Jesse Puljujarvi snapped a one-timer by Demko after McDavid just about single-handedly skated through the entire Canucks defense
  • Just over 2 minutes later, the Canucks got one back as JT Miller scored on a sweet backhand deke after forcing a turnover
  • Eighty-nine seconds later, Travis Boyd snapped one short-side on Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen
  • Forty-seven seconds later, Leon Draisaitl got his 500th career point, snapping a one-timer by Demko for a PP marker
  • Just under 2-minutes after that, Tyler Graovac whipped one off the post and in
  • Five minutes later, Draisaitl scored his second of the game, one-timing one past Demko for a pp marker. McDavid got the primary assist on the play to give him 100 points on the season
  • Thatcher Demko stopped 30/34 shots
  • Final score: Oilers 4 Canucks 3

My Take:

  • Thatcher Demko stopped 30/34 shots tonight. He had zero chance on any of the goals. Three came off pretty passing plays and one came from a lethal snipe through a screen by McDavid
  • Unfortunately the Canucks were the team for a couple of milestones tonight. Leon Draisaitl got his 500th career point on his 1st goal of the night. Of course, McDavid needed 4 points to reach the century mark, which he did before the second period was over
  • Let’s talk about Connor McDavid for a second. He might be the best 1st overall pick in the history of the NHL. He’s putting up numbers that were common in the 80s/90s. He also makes his linemates and teammates better. He has more of a tendency to pass, but his shot is lethal too. The only thing he’s really missing is a Stanley Cup ring,
  • Travis Boyd scored is first goal as a Canuck on a lethal wrister that found an inch of space behind Koskinen. It was also his first point in a Canucks uniform
  • The Canucks won 47% of the faceoffs, led by Matthew Highmore, Tyler Graovac and Tanner Pearson, who each won every draw they took. Every regular Canucks center won less than half the draws they took/
  • The Canucks banged out 13 hits, led by Graovac and Tyler Myers, who both had 3 hits tonight
  • The Canucks blocked 17 shots, led by Alex Edler and Travis Hamonic, who both blocked four shots tonight
  • Up next, the Canucks continue the road trip in Winnipeg. Jonah Gadjovic may see his first NHL action. He was recalled from Utica last Monday and is meeting the team in Winnipeg, as he completes his week-long quarantine. Zack MacEwen will also be available after serving his one-game suspension tonight.
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