Canucks Weekly Fares: Edmonton Series Underway and Abby Call-ups

By: Brayden Fengler / May 13, 2024  

Another Sweet, Sweet Come Back

On Wednesday the day finally came, game one of round two. After what felt like a decade of slinging mud at Oilers fans, fans on both sides actually had some hockey to watch. There was one major key that every talking head in Vancouver mentioned for the Canucks to have success. Don’t take penalties. The Oilers’ powerplay was 45% coming into the second round.

As strong as the Canucks’ PK had been lately, you simply cannot give the Oilers’ chances with the man advantage if you expect to be competitive in this series.

The Canucks came onto the ice as massive underdogs in the series ready to show the world what they are capable of. And what do the Canucks do best? Take too many men penalties.

The Canucks got assessed a bench minor only 40 seconds into the game putting the Canucks on the penalty kill early and the Oilers made them pay. Zack Hyman, the guy famous for scoring from 18 inches in front of the net, found himself all alone in front of the net (?) and opened the series scoring on the second shot.

This is going just how the Canucks drew it up!

A few minutes later Conor Garland was sprung on a breakaway and Stuart Skinner was able to make a save to keep the Oilers up a goal early.

Metias Ekholm scored next in the final five minutes of the first after Ian Cole decided to make maybe the worst defensive play he could (for now). Cole decided to make an indirect pass off the boards to Leon Draisaitl.

Ian Cole would redeem himself in later in the game, with an assist on Dakota Joshua’s goal to bring the game back within one. Joshua has now opened the scoring for Vancouver in both game ones.

While we’re talking about it, the goal scorers had an interesting tangle together with Ekholm’s stick getting wedged into Joshua’s helmet. There was no call on the play, which was probably right, but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Cody Ceci almost put a puck in his own net, but luckily for him, the puck stayed out. On the breakout, Ian Cole touches the pass with a high stick. But it wasn’t blown dead because he couldn’t touch the puck again, instead, the Oilers broke in with control and Cody Ceci got on the board by putting the puck off of Cole’s leg.

If Cole touches that puck again after the high stick, the whistle blows. Or if he simply lets it pass him, the break-in looks very different. Instead, he settles the puck and allows the Oilers to gain the zone with control and eventually score by redirecting the shot off of his leg.

This was shaping up to be a tough one for Cole.

Later Hyman scored an awkward goal to put the Oilers up 4-1, but this is where it gets fun for us.

Elias Lindholm kicks off the comeback with a strange goal off of Stuart Skinner’s own stick from being the net. 4-2 Oilers.

JT Miller scored to bring the game within one which can only be described as magic. Miller glitches the game physics to score a tip-in goal three feet to the left of the goal, on the goal line. I still don’t understand how this works, but whatever, you can see it here.

Witchcraft. It must be.


Zadorov streaking down the left side let a one-time shot that caused the police to show up to Rogers Arena citing a noise complaint all the way from Mission.

Zadorov is quickly becoming the most important piece of off-season business this team has to deal with after the playoffs. He has been unstoppable in this playoff run.

Garland scored with 5:35 to give the Canucks their first lead of the game after getting Skinner to bite on a fake shot.

The Canucks are making new folk heroes right in front of our eyes. The Canucks would lock it down and win the game 5-4 after being down 4-1 in the second period.

What might be more impressive than the comeback itself is the Canucks only allowed 18 shots on net, 10 in the first, four in the second and four in the third period. Even more outstanding is McDavid didn’t register a single shot on goal for the first time in his playoff career. If you were smart, you bet the over on McDavid’s shot totals for game two.

Also worth noting is that Draisaitl missed a significant period in the game with an apparent back injury. The team would say it was cramping and equipment issues, but he missed practice the next day.

Officiating Woes in Game 2

The Canucks were riding high off of a massive comeback victory over the Oilers in game one. In their final game at home before flying off to Edmonton, Vancouver looked to use their remaining home ice advantage to go up 2-0 in the series.

The game started out strong for both teams, with each club having its fair share of offensive zone chances and a respectable quantity of shots on the net. However, it took the special teams of both clubs for the first goals of the game.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took a tripping call against Nikita Zadorov, which gave the Canucks their first power play, and on said power play Elias Pettersson scored a goal. Yes, you are reading this right. Pettersson broke his playoff goalless slump by putting his team up early on the Powerplay.

Pettersson’s goal was a spitting image of the wide-open empty net shot that he missed in game 2 of the first round. So it was great not only to see him score, but to do so by converting on an opportunity eerily similar to one of his biggest blunders of the postseason so far.

Just over five minutes later, however, Leon Draisaitl earned his club their first goal of the game on the powerplay, and the frame ended tied at one.

The Canucks’ first even-strength goal came less than a minute into the second frame thanks to a well-placed tip by Brock Boeser off of a Carson Soucy shot.

The second period is also when the game began to unravel for the Canucks however, starting with their luck in regards to missed calls by the officials.

There is no more blatant example of this than Connor McDavid’s high stick on Quinn Hughes. Accident or not, Quinn was the victim of a McDavid stick blade to the face, which drew blood. Not only was this not called in the moment, but as it drew blood Quinn was asked to leave the ice, rather than participate in the next faceoff.

How a play that draws blood and sends a player to the ice does not get called and doesn’t even result in any meaningful conversations between the refs regarding it, is baffling.

The Canucks did get the last laugh in the period though, thanks to another nonsensical Nikita Zadorov snipe, which somehow found a sliver of room and beat Skinner near-side while Zadorov was rushing into the Oilers zone.

In the third period, the Canucks lost the bulk of the puck battles and showcased dangerously low possession throughout the frame. This is when the shot totals between the two teams really began to drift into the Oilers lane.

A Connor McDavid goal at 5:27 in the period dashed Vancouver’s hopes for riding out the rest of the game with their 3-2 lead heading into the third.

The Canucks did hold the Oilers back for the rest of regulation, but again, just over five minutes into OT Evan Bouchard ended the game for the Oilers. This was with the help of a well-rested Connor McDavid, who was sat for two shifts prior to his appearance in the game-winning shift.

Ultimately the Canucks could’ve done a lot more, specifically in the third, that may have allowed them to hold onto their lead and steal this game from Edmonton. However, it became clear as time went on, that not only was Edmonton having themselves a night, but the Canucks were getting no help from the refs. Vancouver was on the receiving end of missed calls and uncalled-for cowardly cheap shots that clearly worked to take them off their game.

Abbotsford Players Now Available

The Abbotsford Canucks were officially eliminated from the AHL playoffs after a 4-3 loss in Abbotsford against the Ontario Reign. You can read about the game here because what is more important to the big club is the list of available black aces suddenly ready to go.

The Canucks recalled seven forwards, five defenders, and a goalie to join the NHL club:

F Arshdeep Bains
F Linus Karlsson
F Danila Klimovich
F Jonathan Lekkerimäki
F Vasily Podkolzin
F Aatu Räty
F Max Sasson
D Nick Cicek
D Matt Irwin
D Cole McWard
D Elias Pettersson
D Christian Wolanin
G Zach Sawchenko

Most of these players won’t get a chance to play in the playoffs, but are ready just in case and will serve as a practice squad for the remainder of the Canucks playoff run.

However, on Sunday’s morning skate prior to game three, the Canucks practice lines included Linus Karlsson skating alongside Ilya Mikheyev and Elias Pettersson implying he will get a chance to skate in Nils Höglander’s place for game three. This would end up being the case, as Karlsson drew into game 3.

Not a Pretty One, but We’ll Take It

With the series tied one aside the Canucks headed to Edmonton for their first game of the series without home ice advantage. The Canucks got outplayed in game two, so they needed to come out swinging in this contest in Edmonton’s home barn.

Brock Boeser received the game’s first penalty for a tripping call on Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers wasted no time showing how deadly their power play can be as Mattias Ekholm put his team up by one, on the man advantage.

However, Boeser more than made up for this penalty call by getting not one, not two, but three goals all within the first period of play, to earn himself a hat-trick and put the Canucks up by two, headed into the second.

Unfortunately for Brock, but not the Canucks, during the intermission Boeser’s first goal was rewarded to Lindholm, meaning that Boeser still had a hat-trick to earn.

Like in period one, the Canucks had a poor start to the second a Filip Hronek holding call against Corey Perry put the Oilers back on the power play, something you simply can not do if you’re the Canucks. Surprise, surprise the Oilers scored on their second power play opportunity and the game was back within a goal.

There was almost a second Oilers goal early in the period as well, as a puck sent to the net by Ryan McLeod on a wide angle almost found its way across the goal line if not for Silovs’ amazingly timed glove save.

Although the Canucks started to fall behind in shot attempts their physicality sure wasn’t taking a break. In the middle frame, Miller laid a massive hit on Mattias Ekholm while the play was behind the Canucks net

But the play that really stole the show was Nikita Zadorov’s massive hit on Evander Kane, while Kane was trying to chip the puck into the Canucks zone. Zadorov sent Kane into his own bench, about as head over heels as a player can possibly be in those situations.

Zadarov ended up getting a penalty, as it was ruled that he overstayed his welcome by pushing Kane into the Oilers bench beyond the initial hit. However, the Oilers also got a bench minor for potentially holding Zadarov’s stick/arm and keeping him at the bench… Which one is it folks.

Thanks to a Lindholm goal that took place late in the third, just before the Zadorov/. Kane shenanigans, the Canucks entered the third period up by two.

This was probably the Canucks worst period, they allowed the Oilers to pepper Silovs with shots, and hardly controlled any zone time in the Oilers’ end. By the end of the game, Silovs would see 45 shots on net, compared to the 18 that the Canucks sent Edmonton’s way.

Once again the Canucks kicked off the period with a penalty thanks to Nikita Zadorov tripping Connor McDavid. However this time the Canucks actually killed off an Oilers power play.

The Canucks gave the Oilers two more power play chances in the period and killed both of those as well. The Oilers did get a third goal on the evening thanks to Evan Bouchard, who had the honour of scoring while the Oilers where on a 6 on 5 in the dying minutes of the game with their net empty.

However all their shots and zone time wouldn’t be enough and somehow, someway Vancouver took the W, and now sits 2-1 in the series.