NHL Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks | Round 2, Game 5 | 05/16/2024

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Playoff hockey can be defined by two words: intense and stupid.

A series between two Canadian franchises, two very passionate fanbases, and some of the best players in the league turned into a battle of the AHL goalies overnight. Calvin Pickard, a 32-year-old NHL journeyman, finally got his first start in a postseason game on Tuesday night. His proud parents were in the rink, watching with anxiety. He didn’t stand on his head, nor did he have to. Despite an ending to the game that wasn’t the most emotionally ideal, he made good stops when he needed to. He was certainly tested late in the first period when the Vancouver Canucks got a four-minute powerplay opportunity, and the whole team collectively shut it down brilliantly. With the Edmonton Oilers #1 goalie struggling in this series, it was beyond a ballsy move for Kris Knoblauch to start a blank resume in a game where they needed to tie a series. Except it’s the sort of demeanor we’ve been seeing from Pickard all year long.

When The Oilers had their nightmare start to the regular season, he was brought up from Bakersfield to replace a broken Jack Campbell and to relax a just as damaged Stuart Skinner. Just like with Arturs Silovs on the other end, it’s sometimes dangerous to face an opponent with little to no expectations. Both netminders were put in a position where they had to step in and write their Cinderella story. The sort of story that Jack Campbell deserved to at least attempt writing after Game 4 in Round 1 against the Los Angeles Kings last year. Skinner was struggling then as well, and Jay Woodcroft’s stubbornness to a line-up change cost the team a potentially longer Playoff run. This is why you have a goalie tandem, not just a goalie. I don’t know the starting line-up as I’m writing this. But I think every Oilers fan can confidently guess that Pickard will get the start again and keep getting starts until he has a bad outing.

Who else spent most of their Thursday rewatching Evan Bouchard’s Game 4 winning goal? Was it just me? Anyway, tonight is just as big a game as Tuesday night was for the Oilers. A Game 5 win on the road, and they have a chance to end the series at home. A Game 5 loss and the pressure can be heavily felt in front of their fans. The keys to the game are…

Slumping Petey: After Game 4, Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet stated, “We’ve been a resilient group all year, but we need five or six guys to get going. Some guys, I don’t know if they thought it was the Playoffs.” Of course he won’t name players, but Elias Pettersson is the first player that comes to mind with that quote. An 89-point player this season and a 102-point player last season, he has just 4 points so far in these Playoffs through 10 games; one point in this series, albeit a goal. From the perspective of our opponents, they need one of their stars to arrive. The Oilers defense needs to keep an eye on him and not give him opportunities to bounce back.

Puck Management: Though Tuesday night was a much-needed win for Edmonton, it still wasn’t the cleanest win. They had 12 giveaways throughout all of Game 4. Limit that, and it should help with what my last key will be.

Shut It Down: The Oilers have blown two multi-goal third-period leads in this series. The first was in Game 1, ending in a heartbreaking loss. The second was in Game 4, and they still pulled off a miracle-winning goal in the last minute of play. Every third period has told a different story. Vancouver will battle hard in front of their fans. If the Oilers take a big lead again, they have to grind down and learn how to keep it.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: EJ Emery

The Scouting Report A good, solid defenseman, EJ Emery is an up-and-coming player who is still developing but has the chance to be a second-pairing star. The native of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, is effective at both ends of the ice and contributes offensively when he has the green light. More of a defensive defenseman, […]

Read More

2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Maxim Massé

The Scouting Report: Maxim Massé is a Canadian right wing from Rimouski, Québec. Born April 7, 2006, he developed his play in Québec and, in 2022, was drafted third overall in the QMJHL Entry Draft to the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. He was named QMJHL Rookie of the Year for the 2022-2023 season. He notched 65 points […]

Read More

NHL Playoffs: Dallas Stars vs. Edmonton Oilers Game 2 Recap | 05/25/2024

The Dallas Stars looked to rewrite the script against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. The Stars beat the Oilers 3-1 in Game 2 at the American Airlines Center. Dallas and Edmonton are tied 1-1 in the Western Conference Final. The Stars’ starting lineup featured Joe Pavelski, Mason Marchment, Matt Duchene, Chris Tanev, Esa Lindell, […]

Read More