NHL Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Vancouver Canucks | Round 2, Game 7 | 05/20/2024

That was a good feeling for Stu, as he had to come back eventually.

Stuart Skinner made his return to the net for the Edmonton Oilers. He hadn’t played since being pulled in Game 3 against the Vancouver Canucks. Kris Knoblauch had the cohones to start him in a Do-Or-Die elimination game after how he looked at the start of this series. Down 3-2, and you go back home in front of your fans to help keep your series alive but also play a good bounce-back game. I sympathize with Skinner, but he pulled through. I know 15 shots isn’t a lot to face, but there were still good saves made when he needed to make them. The most notable save was late in the second period when Vancouver had a 5v3 powerplay. Quinn Hughes took a wrist shot from the blue line, and with traffic in front of him, Skinner was still able to get a blocker on it. It was a crucial part of the game for Edmonton, who knows how the rest of the game would’ve looked if that puck went in.

Not only was Game 5 the first game in the series to’ve been won with a multi-goal lead, but it’s also the first multi-goal lead in this series that Edmonton didn’t give up. You don’t have to keep scoring but don’t just sit back and let the opposition find momentum again. The Oilers were very good at preventing the latter this time around, as opposed to Games 1 and 4. They’ve also gone from being powerplay merchants to even strength merchants. 5 5v5 goals with their backs against the wall tells a more impressive story than relying on the man advantage even once to save you, as great as this team’s man advantage is.

This is the only remaining second round series, and it will end tonight with the two greatest hockey words in the English language; Game 7. The keys to the game are…

Details Under Pressure: Part of what’s made this series really close is that, while it is entertaining, it’s also been the motherload of costly errors on both ends of the rink. It almost feels like these teams are just competing to see who can make fewer mistakes, and they’ve both shot themselves in the feet because of it. The recent pairing of Darnell Nurse and Vincent Desharnais looks better than any time Nurse has been paired with Cody Ceci. But on Saturday night, I didn’t at all like how they looked on the goal against. Two big defensemen made it too easy for Nils Hoglander to take a pass, drive the net, and score. Ryan McLeod, who is always a perimeter player, didn’t take the body at one point leading up to the goal. If you’re not putting your name on the scoresheet, at least intimidate the opposition physically and limit their scoring chances.

Different Shots: I think part of the problem with Edmonton’s PP in the last couple of games is that for as long as they’ve set up plays the way they do, viewers expect other teams to eventually catch on. Connor McDavid has just 1 goal in this series. Trying to set up Leon Draisaitl’s one-timer from the face-off dot became predictable in Games 5 and 6. There were too many passes and not enough shots. The Canucks have a lot of size on their defense, and even though Zach Hyman scored in Game 6, they’ve been very good at boxing him away from the goal crease. The top PP unit should think of other ways to score. I’m not expecting every shot to be a Bouch bomb, just hit the net.

Fallen Soldier: News broke out yesterday that Brock Boeser will not play for Vancouver tonight due to a blood clotting issue. Thankfully, it wasn’t said to be life-threatening. It’s a tough feeling for a top player on a team to miss a crucial game over things he can’t control. There are more important things in life than hockey, and both fanbases wish Boeser a speedy recovery. The Canucks should already be playing hard in front of their fans, but they’ll also want to put up a bigger fight for their teammate. Don’t ever sleep on them, their effort will be present.

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.

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