The sporting world was turned upside down today hearing about the serious car crash that involved the lone occupant in an SUV sending Tiger Woods to the hospital in serious condition.
Any US station including CBC were all talking about Tiger, his career and his future if indeed there is such a thing.
Coming into the Canuck game just prior to five I was listening to the ONLY sports station in Vancouver, AM 650 and they were talking about tonight’s Canuck game, which is only fair.
They did mention prior to going to a break that following the break they would discuss the accident maybe not in full, but discuss it nonetheless.
So following the commercial they continued to talk about Canucks as they are the rights holders, but not once did they mention Tiger’s accident until after the five o’clock hour and even then it was only briefly.
So for the only major market sports station in the lower mainland there’s no wonder why so many are up in arms about how Bell Media ruthlessly treats its staff, not only in BC but elsewhere as well.
So having said my piece it’s time to focus on the Canucks (8-12-20 game as they are playing McDavid and company.912-8-0 ) who are riding a pp% of 26.4 to Vancouver’s 17.1 with the Oilers riding a 9 game winning streak in the last 11 games.
Regardless it’s important to get a quick start and that’s what Vancouver did on a shot from the corner that hit Oiler starting tender Smith sending the puck low under the stick for the first goal of the game.
Coach Green mentioned that it was important to get the jump on Edmonton and given the way that Vancouver approached the pre-game skate it wasn’t a real surprise that Horvat (9) got their first at 1:06.
Vancouver continues to play rock and roll with both goalies probably hoping to find the one that can carry them for the remainder of the season, but that’s wishful thinking.
They continued to throw shots at the net at 8:04 of the period. It was Myers (3) who hammered one from the right point sending one over the shoulder of Smith on their sixth shot.
One could sense that their game plan was simply to shoot on or at the net every chance they had that saw them get their third at 15:17 with Pettersson getting his 8th of the season set up from Benn and Miller.
A blocked shot by Boeser took him out of the play that allowed Edmonton to utilize the extra man advantage on net simply putting one on net that slid under a shocked Demko at 18:23 making it a 3-1 game after one.
Revitalized or energized are two words that could best describe the play of the Canucks in the first given the fact they had better scoring chances for the first over what looked like a tired Oiler squad.
Shots after the first saw the Canucks outshooting Edmonton by an 11-9 margin with Vancouver having more scoring chances through 20 minutes.
Given the second periods this season one might imagine the Canucks should skip the middle twenty and go straight to the third, but I’m sure that the Oilers would have something to say about that.
Edmonton ran into penalty trouble with Ennis assessed a minor for high sticking allowing Vancouver their first power play of the game putting their top line on the ice.
Pettersson and Hughes on the back end with Boeser, Horvat and Miller up front throwing quality shots at Smith
Edmonton showed more offense that saw McDavid over skate the puck in front of the net allowing Miller a free shot to the surprise of Smith who was wondering what the H?
Edmonton were given a PP with minor for roughing going to Roussel for a foolish punch deep inside the right corner, but were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
As much as the Oilers pressed it was McDavid who kept the play inside the zone hammering one off the crossbar that went to a video review but failed to get their second of the game.
With the second winding down both McDavid and Nugent-Hopkins both hammered one off the post still searching for their second of the game.
Starting the third shots were a narrow 20-19 for Vancouver with good friend Cam Moon calling the game for Edmonton and when they are trailing after two there are 0-7-2 but are hoping to change that outcome.
Having a jump to start the period for Edmonton it was Kahaun who collected his second of the night pulling the Oilers making it a -32 game.
Pettersson managed to get the puck from the face-off only to have Edler assess a tripping minor that was short lived that saw McDavid get his 13th of the year tying the game at three with Draisalti collecting his third assist of the game.
It’s not that penalties prove costly, but allowing the opposition to score eight seconds into a minor shouldn’t happen at this level of play.
Despite the fact that the Canucks squandered a three goal lead it’ been a McDavid show that continued that saw the Oilers hammer shot after shot at Demko
With 6:35 left in the third the Oilers jumped out to a 4-3 three lead on a pinball shot that sees Vancouver giving up numerous chances allowing the Oilers to grab four unanswered goals.
As much as Vancouver has several quality chances for Edmonton it was Smith who played stellar between the pipes turning aside shot after shot.
With 5:53 left Vancouver was outshooting the Oilers by a narrow 30-28 margin you knew that the Canucks would press on all chances they had.
The longer the game goes, the more frustrated we are seeing the Canucks get and while this is a game they should have had, they let it slip away putting another loss in their stat column.
Both clubs meet again in two days and given the outcome of this game, it’ll be interesting to see how the Canucks approach it.
1) L. Draisaitl – Edmonton
2) E. Pettersson – Vancouver
3) D. Kahun – Edmonton