Canucks Weekly Fares: Trading Wins All Week

By: Trent Leith / May 20, 2024  

Struggles In Game Four

Game four for the Canucks was a struggle in Edmonton. Hot off of their 4-3 victory in their first game at Rogers Place, the Canucks failed to develop much offence for the bulk of the game.

Vancouver was outshot 30 to 21 by the time everything was said and done, with perhaps the only silver lining being that Vancouver played a strong physical game having outmuscled the Oilers with 45 hits to their 36.

The Canucks were scoreless in the first and second periods. However the same could not be said for the Oilers. In the first period, just around the halfway mark Leon Draisaitl opened the scoring for his team, with, you guessed it, an Oilers power-play goal. The Canucks simply can not take penalties early in the game, the Oiler’s power-play is too deadly and it tilts the ice far too early, to allow them to go up by one on the man advantage.

Then in the second period in the final minutes of play, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins earned himself a goal and closed out 40 minutes of hockey, leaving the Oilers up by two.

Perhaps the most… interesting to come out of this game rather than goals from either squad was Correy Perry’s “reaction” to Brock Boeser approaching a scrum that was being handled by the referees. Petty with his back to the scrum decided it was his job not to let Boeser’s get a step closer, by holding his stick as if a cross-check was imminent, right up to Boeser’s face.

This was no doubt a reference to the cross-check that was served to McDavid a game prior. But Boeser’s tame appearance in this interaction combined with Perry’s ridiculous white-night stance was a striking contrast.

The Canucks did turn it on in the in the third period. Their first goal came after pressure in the Oilers’ zone allowed Conor Garland to send a wrist shot into the back of the net from the slot, just above the hashmarks.

Then with just under two minutes to play and with an empty net Dakota Joshua tied the game. Showing once again that the Canucks have an uncanny ability to bounce back when their chips are down.

Unfortunately for Vancouver, they only got to celebrate tying the game for just over one minute of play, as with 39 seconds left on the clock Oilers’ Evan Bouchard scored a late one to lock the game for Edmonton. Despite coming back at the 11th hour Vancouver was outplayed for most of the game and couldn’t produce when they needed to. Had they turned on the jets a bit sooner, perhaps the results could’ve been different.

Tilted Ice Back At Home

The Canucks were back at home on Thursday night with the series tied at two a side. The game got off to a bit of a rocky start with an Evander Kane goal just over four minutes into the first period.

However it didn’t take long after this opening slide for the Canucks to pick up the pace and begin putting on the pressure which was eventually rewarded with a Carson Soucy goal. What a way to come back from a suspension.

The Oilers did get another goal to end the period with the lead, but neither of their goals came on the man advantage. Which was remarkable as the Oilers had four powerplay chances in the first period and six chances in the whole game. The Canucks shutdown them all.

After missing the last game due to the birth of his son Philip DiGiuseppe scored the tying goal in a magical spin-o-rama fashion.

Things them took a turn for the weird as Elias Pettersson was called for a charging penalty on Warren Foegele. Only problem with that is that Petterson was stationary and Warren Foegele was charging at him.

By the third period the Canucks were dominating the game completely. At one point the shot total was 34 – 13 in favour of the Canucks. After many games this series where the Oilers had the ice tilted with shot attempts, it was great to see the Canucks tilt the ice totally in their favour.

The physicality also maintained at a high level in this game during the third period, with Zadorov and Kane at it again in the third period.

Just as the game was about to go into overtime, in a role reversal from game four, J.T. Miller scored the game winner in the dying seconds off of a Lindholm pass that hit Pettersson’s skate, then the post, before J.T. sent it home.

All and all it was a fantastic win, and should give Canucks fans a lot of hope for a potential game-six close out. There were definitely no passengers tonight.

The Canucks Fail To Show Up For Game Six

On Saturday Night the Canucks went back to Edmonton to try and close out the series in six games. As described in the header, that did not happen. The Canucks were dominated. It was the most decisive win this series.

If there were 5-7 passengers in game four, there were approximately 20 passengers after Saturday Night’s game. The Oilers opened the scoring making Dylan Holloway look like a regular McDavid beating Pettersson, Hughes and Hronek as he danced his way to the net and beat Artūrs Šilovs for the game’s first goal.

But the Canucks didn’t crumple, less than two minutes later Nils Höglander scored his first goal in the playoffs.

There was a lot to like about this goal for the Canucks, the immediate pushback after being scored on. There was some hard work by Höglander on the wall to get Pettersson the puck. Pettersson took the puck behind the net and set up Höglander who battled and scored on his second whack at the puck. Not only was the Höglander’s first goal of the postseason, it was Filip Hronek’s first point of any kind this postseason. However, you’ll notice the Hronek was not featured in the highlight at all. This is the most secondary assist there ever was. I watched the game and I couldn’t tell you how he was involved in that play.

But hey, a point is a point I suppose.

And if I was in a better mood, this is where I would make a joke about power going out, or the game ending but just like the Canucks on Sunday, I don’t have it in me. The game went on and it sucked the rest of the way.

There was even a sixth goal scored on the night, but it was waived off for goaltender interference and it was not challenged.

For once, I think this was a no-brainer and everyone agreed, this would not count.

Some have even pointed out, based on the rulebook and president set in this series, that McDavid should have been assessed a minor for charging on the play, just like Pettersson was in game five.

If I am going to try and find a silver lining for you folks, it is that the Canucks have killed 9 Oilers powerplays in a row to this point, including a lengthy 5-on-3. Unfortunately, that means the Oilers scored five times on the Canucks at even strength and neither McDavid nor Draisitl scored. Wait, hold on that isn’t the silver lining, it’s tinfoil, my bad.

After the Canucks killed the Oilers’ 5-on-3, the Canucks were awarded their own. This is where the Canucks could have really turned the tide of the game with a successful powerplay, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

The Oilers made the decision to play Jeff Skinner for game six despite his atrocious numbers this series, but they decided to ride their number-one goalie. That should have had the Canucks Salivating, throwing everything they can at the Oilers’ net, but instead, the Canucks only managed to get 15 shots on call. All night. Only 15.

That is simply not good enough, you can’t even say the Canucks went down swinging. The Canucks just politely agreed to let the Oilers win this game. It was not the ideal Saturday night I was hoping for.

The Canucks return to Rogers Arena on Monday to play game seven.

Demko Is Not an Option for Game Seven

I have been in mental anguish this last week wondering if playing Demko in game seven is the right call if he is healthy enough. I was leaning towards no, it is Artūrs Šilovs’ net until he loses it. Well, five goals against could be argued as losing it. While the game wasn’t on him by any means, something might need to shift before coming back to Vancouver for game seven.

Post-game, the media asked Rick Tocchet if Demko was an option for game seven. He firmly said Demko will not play.

There has been less word floating around late last week about how well he has been progressing, and Demko still hasn’t been a full participant in practice. At that point, seeing Demko in this series seemed like a long shot, but that said, there was always a chance.

Until now, the head coach firmly put his foot down saying that Demko would not start, and the chanced of DeSmith starting are all but none. The Canucks will ride the man who got them here, Artūrs Šilovs is locked for game seven.