Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will be hosting the Vancouver Canucks at Rexall Place. The puck drops at 7pm. Though they started off with a somewhat inauspicious start, the Vancouver Canucks are now sporting a 3-4-0 record. Missing from the game will be one Sedin sister. As well, Hemsky skated today in the morning skate, yet he may or may not be in the lineup tonight as he’s still reportedly recovering from the Flu.
Entering this game, Dustin Penner is currently tied for 2nd in the league in terms of even-strength goals with Kovalchuk at 5 goals. Alexander Ovechkin leads the league with 8 even strength goals. Surprisingly, Gilbert Brule is currently tied for 6th in the league with 4 even strength goals. Also of note and widely publicized, this game will mark the 200th game that Mike Comrie has played as an Oiler.
Tonight for the Edmonton Oilers’ first game of the 2009/10 season against the Vancouver Canucks, here are the expected lineups:
Edmonton Oilers lineup
Comrie – Horcoff – Nilsson
Penner – Gagner – O’Sullivan
Moreau – Cogliano – Stortini
JFJ – Brule – Stone
Grebeshkov – Gilbert
Smid – Visnovsky
Strudwick – Chorney
Vancouver Canucks Lineup
Burrows – H. Sedin – Samuelsson
Raymond – Kessler – Grabner
Bernier – Wellwood – Bolduc
Hordichuk – Johnson – Rypien
Mitchell – Edlier
Erhoff – Rome
Obrien – Bieksa
***If they’re incorrect, don’t look at me. Go complain to Racki over at Putting on the Foil’s blog where I copied them from. :)
Though Staios and Souray are already out with concussion injuries, Dan Tencer announced via twitter that Brule is also out with the stomach flu. Hemsky or Steve MacIntire might be drawing in for Brule.
Post Game thoughts [later on tonight]
- Just a few quick notes… Ryan Stone is apparently in the dressing room possibly out of the game with an undisclosed injury.
- Grebeshkov has a nickname, “acid-eater” which I first came across over at Lowetide. It sounds like the name came from the off nights that he makes some odd/spazz plays. Tonight he looks to have taken the LSD again. He’s turned the puck over more than a few times including once on the powerplay and another time that lead to the Canucks goal.
- I like Stortini, but he picked a fight early in the game when we already had the momentum going in our favor. Then he ate a handful of knuckle sandwiches… Him losing the fight might have turned the momentum, but he was probably out matched.
- Grebeshkov redemed himself with better play this period along with a stretch pass that lead to a goal by O’Sullivan (his second of the season).
- Overall, the Oilers had a pretty good period and managed to kill off some penalties.
- Speaking of penalties, Comrie got what I believe to be his 3rd offensive zone penalty of the night. He’s now killed 2 Oiler powerplays by drawing a tripping penalty
- Chorney’s seen a fair amount of penalty kill time and he’s fared well so far.
- More updates after the game :)
- Saved by the bell! The Canucks put a puck in the back of the net just after the clock ran down-a margin of far less than a second after the game ended.
- The Canucks benefited from some generous officiating during this period. O’Sullivan was obstructed and took a glove to the face not more than 5 feet in front of the a referee while skating into Vancouver’s zone.
- After that Hemsky looked to be tripped mid ice from my first viewing (the crowd booed if that means anythig, lol), but the referees let the game play out. On this particular play, the Hemsky trip nearly lead to a scoring chance after the Canucks made a nice stretch pass, but failed to do much with it after entering Edmonton’s zone.
- Hemsky was denied the empty netter with under a minute left in the game. One of the Nucks dove and knocked the puck off his stick and then took out his feet.
- Sam Gagner scored the game winning goal with some good pressure in Vancouver’s zone with the assist going to O’Sullivan. JFJ provided some distraction near Luongo to create some space for the goal.
- Smid made a nice kick save (did he ever play as a goalie?) during the third to prevent a goal.
Post Game Thoughts:
Overall, it was a pretty tight game. Khabibulin got the first start of the game and he definitely deserved it. Horcoff and Hemsky both failed to put the puck in the back of the net on breakaways earlier in the game. Horcoff tried a deak move and it looked like Luongo knocked the puck of his stick while I believe Hemsky’s shot went over the net. Vancouver outshot Edmonton 40-29. On the other side, the prime shot location tallies were 20-18 in favor of the Oilers.