Get The Body Bags Ready: Oilers @ Canucks

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The Oilers are in first place in the Western Conference.

I repeat…. The Edmonton Oilers are in first place in the Western Conference.

In the last six seasons, we had already been all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at this point. To say this is progress may be the understatement of the year. The boys are hot. There’s no way around it. Connor McDavid is the best player in the world, the Iceman has been lights out, all four lines have been contributing,  and Adam Larsson and Kris Russel have been very solid additions to the back end so far. Oh, and did I mention Connor’s the best player in the world? Because he’s the best player in the world.

Lineup

The Oil practice ran late today, so there’s nothing definitive about the lines just yet. We do know the Iceman is making his eighth straight start, looking to add to his NHL league lead in wins. We also know that Connor will be playing, as expected, on the first line. He looks to add to his league lead league in points. What a team, man. We assume the lineup will be the same as Wednesday’s, meaning there’ll be a Pool Party in Vancouver tonight.

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Tonight’s Opponent

The Vancouver Canucks

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Why They Stink

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If this blog was written five years ago it may have been too dark for the internet. I used to hate the Canucks with a burning hot passion. Dare I say, even more than I hated the Calgary Flames. But those days are long gone. Calgary is back atop the shitlist and they’ll be there for good. And don’t get me wrong, I still hate the Canucks, but it’s a different kind of hate. Most of the bums that we used to love to hate are gone: Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler, Max Lapierre. They were the goddamn worst. Bieksa is an all-time spot picker, Kesler is in the HOF of whiners, and Lapierre would give Matt Barnaby a run for his money as the biggest rat of all time. But those guys have been shipped out and it just feels different. Sure, Alex Burrows is still there, but he’s so washed it’s almost hard to hate him anymore. It’s just sad really. Good for him for trying to stay relevant. Here’s a gif of Milan Lucic cranking him in the back of the head:

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At this point, I hate the Canucks only to carry on a tradition. They’re not a threat. They’re where the Oilers were about nine years ago. Hanging on to old veteran players, trying to sell incredibly average young guys as “the future of the franchise.” Bo Horvat screams Sam Gagner. Ryan Miller is a slightly more sober Khabby. Loui Eriksson is the forward equivalent of Sheldon Souray. My God. Jim Benning is literally Steve Tambellini. At least they have those President’s Trophies championships. Nobody can take those away from them.

Why Their Fans Stink

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All it took was one year of pure stink for Canucks fans to fire themselves off the bandwagon. They wouldn’t survive a goddamn day in our shoes. It is well known that their owner, Francesco Aquilini, refuses to rebuild the team because he knows nobody in Vancouver will show up. Every Canucks fan lined up to tell the world about winning back to back President’s Trophies, the ones they acquired by beating the wheels off the worst division in hockey 20 times per year. Then the team plays like wet farts for a year and oh, they’re nowhere to be found. Just trying to connect the dots here. Whatever. At least the few hundred in attendance tonight will be lucky enough to watch Connor.

Which Canuck Stinks

Jake Virtanen!!

Unanimous winner of the world’s worst haircut. Josh Donaldson thinks Jake’s hair stinks. Look at that stupid idiot. Remember Connor’s rookie tournament? Jake threw a big ol’ hit on our boy. That was all Canucks fans needed to christen this jamoke as their next big thing. And boy were they right!

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Jump off the page numbers. At least Billy Nylander or Nik Ehlers weren’t passed for this skid mark.

The Roundup

Technically tonight is a battle for first place. But if the Oilers come out and play like they have been in the last week, this won’t be much of a battle at all. Vancouver is not good. They somehow managed to win their first three games without ever holding a lead, but since then they’ve started to plummet back down to earth. Maybe you’re still waiting for the Oilers to do the same, but don’t count on it happening tonight. The Canucks are undermanned right now. They’re without their best dman, Chris Tanev (holy shit), and the rest of their blueline features juggernauts like Erik Gudbranson, and former Oiler turnover expert Phil Larsen. Connor will have fun tonight.

If Edmonton can stay out of the box and keep this game at even strength I like their chances. They should be able to get in a disrupt the forecheck, and the Canucks D will definitely turn the puck over. If Edmonton can get the PP going then this could be a good night for Oil fans. I’m looking at you, Jay.

Prediction City

The fellas stay hot. They come out flying and get on the board early. McDavid sets up Lucic for a beauty in front of his hometown crowd and he continues to terrorize the Nucks for the rest of the night. Connor adds one of his own and conference leading Oil cruise to their fifth straight with a 6-2 win. Big Rig with 2. Buy a shirt. 

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