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Hurting Canucks look to slow down high-flying Oilers

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Lachlan Macintosh Oct 28, 2016 4:00 am 501

The Canucks look to get back on the winning track tonight as they face the Edmonton Oilers in the first game of a back-to-back home set. It wouldn’t do much good to look ahead to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, though. The Oilers are 6-1-0 and appear to have found their groove… finally.

Matchup

Edmonton Oilers (6-1-0, 12 points) vs Vancouver Canucks (4-2-1, 9 points)

Venue: Rogers Arena, Vancouver

Time: 7 pm PT

TV: Sportsnet One

Radio: TSN 1040

By the numbers

  Canucks Oilers
Goals for 2.00 (30th) 3.86 (T-1st)
Goals against 2.29 (5th) 2.43 (T-8th)
Power play % 12.5 (24th) 18.2 (19th)
Penalty kill % 83.3 (14th) 88.5 (6th)
Shots for 24.9 (30th) 28.9 (20th)
Shots against 27.7 (8th) 33.4 (28th)
Faceoff % 47.6 (26th) 48.7 (22nd)

Lineup

It’s a banged up Canucks squad suiting up to face the Oilers. Burrows and Dorsett skated this morning, but will not play. Neither will Chris Tanev, who is still out with injury, which means Troy Stecher will get another audition.

Forward Mike Zalewski was called up from Utica on Thursday, but will not play.

Ryan Miller starts in goal for a third straight game.

D. Sedin H. Sedin Eriksson
Granlund Sutter Hansen
Baertschi Horvat Skille
Megna Gaunce Virtanen
Edler Stecher
Hutton Gudbranson
Sbisa Larsen
Miller

What you need to know

1. Stecher’s Audition Continues

Despite being flung into the fire, Troy Stecher provided very little fodder for his detractors when he made his National Hockey League debut Tuesday evening against the Ottawa Senators. Matched up against the Sens’ top line and defence pairing, Stecher showed well and looks to continue that strong play tonight.

In fact, in 22:35 minutes of ice time, Stecher held a +7 (27/20) Corsi rating. Not bad for a first timer. Slotted next to Alex Edler again tonight, the young defenceman will likely be matched up against Connor McDavid and his linemates, Milan Lucic and Jordan Eberle.

See also

2. Injury Bug Bites

Already missing Derek Dorsett and Alex Burrows (each on injured reserve), the Canucks will have to play on without arguably their most dependable defenceman in Chris Tanev. Seen in a walking boot on Wednesday, Tanev is technically listed as day-to-day.

The holes left by these veteran players do provide the Canuck youngsters, like the aforementioned Stecher, an opportunity on the big stage.

3. The McDavid Show

It’s no secret that Connor McDavid is one of the best young talents in a generation. Now, despite being so well documented, he’s still nearly impossible to stop. “McJesus” currently leads the league in points (11) and has the Oilers out to a tremendous 6-1-0 start; good enough for 1st in the Western Conference.

McDavid was named team captain of the Oilers before the season began and, in accepting that honour, became the youngest player to be handed the ‘C’ in league history. A few thought it would be an unnecessary amount of pressure to place on a 19-year old, but based on the response from the young phenom, those predictions were ill-founded.

Watch out for McDavid tonight. When he’s not scoring highlight reel goals like he did in his return to the ice following injury last year, he’s setting up his teammates for tap-ins (see below).

Prediction

Okay, it’s obviously going to be pretty tough keeping Connor McDavid off the scoresheet. However, if Super Stecher is going to become a thing (fingers crossed), what better way to get the ball rolling on that nickname?!

Troy Stecher locks down McDavid and the Canucks win a squeaker, 3-2 in overtime.


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Lachlan Macintosh
Above average cook, below average fantasy football player, Harvard graduate, and eternal lover of the Peyote Coyote.

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