Fans Used To The Feeling After Canucks 4-3 Collapse To The Oilers
A great start was squandered after the Canucks 4-3 collapse to the Oilers. It was Deja-Vu for Canucks fans after jumping out to an early 2-0 lead. But then they made it 3 before the Oilers decided to start playing in the 3rd period.
Mike Smith had a shaky start but responded well to make 30 saves on 33 shots. While Thatcher Demko for Vancouver couldn't get timely saves in his 25 on the night. The Canucks lose their 9th in the last 12 games while Edmonton is heading the other way with their 9th win in 12 games.
Connor McDavid had a quiet night for his standards but wasn't needed. Elias Pettersson got another goal for his 3rd in two games. Vancouver drops to 8-13-2 while the Oilers try and catch the Toronto Maple Leafs for first in the Scotia North Division. They move to 13-8-0 only 4 points back of 1st place. How did it all happen you ask?
Canucks Came Out Lucky And Hot To Start The Game
The Canucks couldn't have asked for a better start to the game. Just 66 seconds in Bo Horvat would rush down the left-wing and fire a bad angle shot towards Mike Smith. Instead of getting a rebound, he got a goal, and Vancouver had the early 1-0 lead. Nate Schmidt and Elias Pettersson would draw assists on the goal.
The game would open up along with the pace. Both teams were rolling lines and Edmonton would get their first real test on Demko 6:40 into the game. He was sharp to stop Evan Bouchard and relieve the pressure. Vancouver would increase the lead to 2 off a face-off win in the attacking zone. The puck would slide out to Tyler Myers who blasted a slap shot that tipped off an Olier stick and past Smith.
The teams would trade chances but the goalies were settling into the game. Demko would stop a top by Dominik Kahun before Smith would make a save on Boeser on the other end. Vancouver would extend the lead to 3 off the faceoff thanks to some hard work in front of the net. Petey would swipe another cheeky backhand past Smith for his 8th of the season. Miller and Benn would get the helpers at 15:17.
The Oilers had too much talent to go away and after some control, in the offensive zone, they were rewarded. Brock Boeser would block a shot and came up favoring his leg. The Oilers would strike as Kahun squeeze it through Demko before it bounced off his pad and into the net. Leon Draisaitl got his 21st assist of the year and the score was 3-1 after the 1st period.
Physicality Picked Up In The 2nd Period Between The Canucks And Oilers
The physicality would pick up but the score would remain the same thanks to both Demko and Smith getting into the game and a crossbar. Connor McDavid had a quiet first period in his terms. He had a chance early off of a turnover but was stopped by the Vancouver netminder on the five-hole attempt. Adam Gaudette has been one of the Canucks best players creating chances. He got another but again could not finish and break his cold streak.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would have two great chances to get the Oilers on the board. The first was just wide of the net before Demko would make the save from the slot on RNH. The Canucks super rookie Nils Hoglander would show off some wheels on the chip and chase to beat out an icing. And Vancouver would get the first powerplay of the game when Tyler Ennis would high-stick Quinn Hughes. It was about waist high but Vancouver would take it.
Captain Bo Horvat would get a good look on the rush but Smith was equal to the task. He stopped Horvat once again this time freezing the puck for a whistle. Vancouver would go 0/1 with 3 shots on their first powerplay. It was The Oilers turn for pressure and McDavid drew a slashing call on J.T. Miller. The best chance would go to Antoine Roussell short-handed. He would pick off a pass in the Oiler's end and went backhand on Smith. The Edmonton Goalie was able to dive out the right way and keep it 3-1.
Vancouver would kill off the penalty thanks to some great work at the line by Tanner Pearson to get it out of the zone. Brock Boeser would steal the puck shortly after and find Petey in front but he was hauled down before he could get a shot away. Gaetan Haas would head off for tripping but Vancouver wouldn't manage any shots. They couldn't set up properly and didn't look dangerous on their second-man advantage. The second unit continued to get limited time.
Edmonton would end the 2nd period strong which foreshadowed what was to come. After Nate Schmidt was able to stop a McDavid and Draisaitl 2 on 1 and Nugent-Hopkins hit the crossbar. Roussel thought it would be a good idea to put the Oilers back on the powerplay by punching Jesse Puljujarvi in the face. The Canucks were able to once again kill the penalty but Roussel gave it away to McDavid upon returning to the ice.
The Oilers superstar ripped it off the crossbar and they would whistle the play dead just to make sure it wasn't a goal. Hey, the guy is that good! Vancouver would take their 3-1 lead into the final frame despite giving up 5 high danger scoring chances in the period at 5 on 5.
3rd Period Canucks 4-3 Collapse To The Oilers
Things got bad in a hurry for Canucks fans. Dominik Kahun would net his second of the game just 55 seconds into the period. Kyler Yamamoto was stopped on the initial shot and Demko couldn't cover the puck. It would come back out to Kahun would cut the lead to just 3-2. It was an all too familiar feeling in Vancouver.
Some strong shifts the other way and Adam Gaudette was almost able to restore the two-goal lead. Smith saved the Roussel shot before kicking out the pad to stop Gaudette on the rebound. Edmonton would break up ice and Alex Edler was a step slow on Yamamoto. He got his stick in the legs over the blue line and skated right off to the penalty box. Edmonton didn't waste any time with the beautifully drawn-up play leaving McDavid wide open. He fired it past Demko to tie things at 3 just 4:23 into the 3rd.
It was evident the Canucks 4-3 collapse to the Oilers was coming. Vancouver was not skating hard and just overall didn't look motivated to break the tie. It was almost as if they were at the end of a long road trip and wanted to end things and head home. They were not on the road but would see things come to an end.
The Oilers would continue to pressure forcing Vancouver to just dump it out and regroup. Horvat would get a chance for the Canucks when he beat Tyson Barrie down the wing. He couldn't get his shot high enough glove side to beat Smith. The Lotto Line would put in several solid shifts before Edmonton would provide a dagger in the most unlikely way.
With under 3 and a half minutes to play Edmonton would move into the Vancouver zone. An Adam Larsson shot from the point would take 2 bounces before finding its way past Thatcher Demko. Tyler Ennis was the lucky recipient on the last bounce. It was heartbreak all over again for the Canucks.
Tyler Myers missed the penalty box, so took a late interference penalty on Yamamoto to solidify the Canucks 4-3 collapse to the Oilers. Despite a goal and assist from Pettersson and the defense chipping in. Vancouver loses again. It is hard to be a Canucks fan right now...
Sports Talk Lines Vancouver Canucks Coverage
Where do the Canucks go from here? Bottom 3 in the league in point percentage ahead of only the Ottawa Senators and Detroit Redwings. With the halfway mark in the season, just 5 games away. Is it time to look to the future?
Vancouver and Edmonton face off again on Thursday, February 25th from Rogers Arena. It will be a must-win game for the Canucks. Who am I kidding every game will be a must-win from now on if Vancouver wants to make the playoffs.
Make sure to check out the Sports Talk Line website for more Canucks coverage. Stay tuned for a look at prospect Joni Jurmo and his loan to Keikko-Espoo. Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @JoshuaGriffith0 for more Canucks talk.
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