Canucks 4, Oilers 3: Gritty street win backstopped by battling Casey DeSmith

Canucks did simply sufficient to maintain the Edmonton tide at bay.

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As a common rule, it’s not a good suggestion to be closely outshot by the Edmonton Oilers.

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They simply have an excessive amount of fireplace energy.

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However in the event you’re going to be, a minimum of do what you’ll be able to to get gritty and of their face.

That was the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night time, who’ve began the season at a shocking 2-0 after defeating the Oilers for the second sport in a row, this time 4-3.

Andrei Kuzmenko #96 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates a aim towards the Edmonton Oilers through the first interval at Rogers Place on October 14, 2023 in Edmonton, Canada. Picture by Codie McLachlan /Getty Pictures

After the Canucks trounced the Oilers 8-1 in Wednesday’s season opener, you knew the Oilers would come out of the gates on Saturday night time spitting fireplace.

They had been embarrassed by Wednesday’s effort and end result.

Effort-wise, they reversed course. They utterly managed play in their very own dwelling opener, however in the long run the Canucks did simply sufficient to maintain the tide at bay.

It was a sport about Casey DeSmith battling aim as a lot as anything. The Canucks had a couple of defensive breakdowns on the night time, however DeSmith stood tall greater than as soon as.

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Vancouver Canucks’ Conor Garland (8) chases as Edmonton Oilers’ Evander Kane (91) dives for the puck throughout first interval NHL motion in Edmonton, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson Picture by JASON FRANSON /THE CANADIAN PRESS

Dominance…up prime

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Connor McDavid is actually superb.

He needed to make this sport occur on his personal.

He nearly did.

He mainly was by no means on the different finish of the ice; solely on offence.

The Oilers outscored the Canucks with him on the ice.

It’s the underside half of his workforce that allow him down.

The highest two Edmonton strains had been transcendent — however it nonetheless wasn’t sufficient. Have a look at Mattias Janmark’s line: he barely performed however was on the ice for 2 objectives towards.

One was Andrei Kuzmenko’s energy play aim, the opposite was Jack Studnicka’s which was a tire fireplace from the Oilers.


Critically: what had been Ceci and Nurse doing?

Each Oilers defencemen had been excessive up on the frenzy, did nothing, and the Canucks had a 2-on-oh the opposite approach.

Good for Studnicka ending like that; he’s on the identical goal-scoring tempo as Connor McDavid.

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Good penalty killing however gotta give your goaltending an opportunity

The Canucks gave away seven energy performs on the night time. They gave up two energy play objectives.

However the stats don’t fairly inform the story right here.

The primary aim towards got here after a horrible turnover by Noah Juulsen, who was making an attempt to clear the puck however failed to take action.

The second energy play aim got here after the Canucks had managed to maintain the puck to the surface, however Ryan Nugent-Hopkins managed to wire the shot previous DeSmith’s blocker, a shocking factor on an evening when the goalie was prepared for almost every thing else.

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DeSmith famous it wasn’t about blocking pictures that was the important thing to success on the night time, slightly it was the work in entrance of him taking passing lanes away.

“Take away seams. That’s a very expert workforce they usually wish to search for these seams (for) one timers, that form of factor and I believed we had some good sticks and good blocks,” he stated.

A goalie likes to face the shooter. He doesn’t wish to have to maneuver earlier than making his save try.

And in the event you’re protecting groups from getting pucks via the passing lanes, that’s precisely what he’s referring to.

Turning the nook

One factor is clear about Sam Lafferty, he is aware of how one can use his mixture of velocity and measurement to get across the nook on defencemen.

He did it a number of instances on Wednesday night time, however his aim within the third interval was the perfect instance but.

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He caught Mattias Ekholm flat-footed, no imply feat as Ekholm is a really nice defender.

He bought a shot off that you just’d assume Stuart Skinner would really like again — however you recognize what Wayne Gretzky stated about capturing the puck.

Not what Miller needed

It wasn’t on J.T. Miller, however the chaotic first shift for the Canucks was removed from what the Canucks’ abrasive centre needs.

There have been loads of errors, loads of turnovers, Casey DeSmith scrambled as greatest he may however when your goalie finally ends up going through backwards — in any respect, not to mention some time — you recognize issues have gone south.

Ian Cole
Ian Cole #82 of the Vancouver Canucks skates towards Zach Hyman #18 of the Edmonton Oilers through the first interval at Rogers Place on October 14, 2023 in Edmonton, Canada. Picture by Codie McLachlan /Getty Pictures

Total, Miller and his line battled onerous, however like the remainder of their workforce, they generated little sustained offence.

Subsequent outing, he’ll need extra of what he managed on Wednesday, much less of what we noticed on Saturday.

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