Canucks finish a 7-game road trip tonight against the Oilers
They have gone 2-3-1 on this trip and really need to finish it at 500 and go home. Enough of these insane road trips already. After tonight the Canucks will play 4 straight and home, and 8 of their next 12 games at GM Place.
According to TSN, Sami Salo is still not ready to play for tonight. Doesn't matter. If Rob Davison is going to beat up on Edmonton like he did the Predators, then he's the better choice for tonight, in my opinion, because it's going to get violent if the Canucks played the way they did against Nashville. It was a new step in a physical direction.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY
The Oilers seem to be finding some form of success lately. Despite losing 2-0 to Florida last game (the Panthers are streaking it up with Craig Anderson in net-Oilers threw more than 40 shots at him), the Oilers beat the Sharks Kings and Stars in recent games. Their power play is better than ours at 11th overall (having Souray and Visnovsky helps) but their PK is 29th overall.
The Canucks are 7 points ahead of Edmonton, who sit 3 points out of 8th spot in 11th place.
Edmonton has a better road record than home record so far. 10-8-0 on the road and 3-4-2 at home not-so-sweet home.
Ales Hemsky has finally arrived this season. After starting the campaign ice cold, he now has 28 points in 27 games.
Sheldon Souray is healthy enough this year to have 8 goals (4 on the PP) and 21 points in 26 games. That is why he is being paid the big bucks.
What the hell has happened to Erik Cole? I thought his style would suit the Oilers' more wide-open offensive style but that has not happened yet. The once 30-goal scorer has 3 goals and 8 points in 27 games this season. Wow.
The Oilers really had a great 1-2 punch on offence last season with the kids providing the secondary scoring. The kids being Cogliano, who has 8 goals this year, and Sam Gagner, who has hit a major sophomore slump, with 1 goal and 5 assists in 24 games. Ouch.
Yeah, there is too much wrong with the Oilers these days.
A plus for Edmonton? Dwayne Roloson is packing the goods lately. I am surrounded by Rolo-haters here, but I always stand by my opinion that he is a good goalie.
Complete Oilers player stats here.
Bytes: Craig MacTavish talks about the Canucks being a formidable team, the Oilers' 4th line struggles, and well hell even more compliments about the Canucks. Yeah, basically that the Oilers are measuring themselves up to us because we are so great....etc.
Looks like this will be a penalty-filled aggressive game. My hunch is that the Oilers will have the better power play and could quite possibly take this one. The Canucks are going to have to put Luongo out of their minds for a while yet and continue their tightened-up play in front of Sanford. We'll see what happens. It will no doubt be entertaining as hell: a power play-ridden, visor-fightin' blood bath.
Last time these 2 teams played on October 25th the Canucks' organization unveiled the #7 mystery and the team destroyed the Oilers 6-3. Here are the highlights:
Love that Wellwood goal! The Canucks actually scored 4 PP goals that night.
GAME TIME: 7:00 PST
Canucks.com Fan Zone has a live blog up tonight. That is the place to go to hang with ultimate Canucks fans and put some alcohol down your throat perhaps!
And what's this? An Oilers lament of sorts written by Matt at the Battle of Alberta to the tune of "Bowling For Soup."
Hey, keep your head up, Matt! I think the Oilers will turn it around.
T Tags: Oilers+Canucks+game+preview Sam+Gagner+cold Hemsky+hot Salo+groin+injury