Oilers do not break a sweat vs. Canucks with their sights mounted on playoffs


EDMONTON — There was a time when the Sedin twins had been the cycle and the Edmonton Oilers had been the observe.

When the Vancouver Canucks wanted a purpose, Henrik and Daniel merely hopped over the boards and furnished one. So simple as placing collectively a Billy bookcase.

Both Danny pumped one previous some faceless Oilers goalie, or Henrik bounced one in off of Alex Burrows’ pants.

No matter, the 2 factors had been an “on-demand” merchandise for Vancouver in the course of the years that they had been a Western Convention powerhouse, whereas the Oilers had been within the midst of their multi-decade rebuild.

Properly, isn’t the skate on the opposite foot now?

The Oilers walked into Vancouver and gained two straight this week, whereas resting a couple of regulars and throwing some minutes to some taxi-squad gamers to shake off some rust with the playoffs across the nook. There wasn’t a minute in both recreation the place it appeared as if the Oilers wouldn’t win.

Not even a shift.

The Oilers fell behind 1-0 simply 34 seconds into Tuesday’s recreation and didn’t sweat a bead. All that early deficit meant was that that they had 59 minutes to erase it, and that the Oilers did in a tidy 4-1 win.

And actually, all they wished to speak about afterwards was the icing on hockey’s common season cake — the playoffs, which may’t start quickly sufficient for goalie Mike Smith.

“It’s every thing. That’s why we play,” stated Smith, after a scientific 28-save efficiency that raised his save proportion to .925 and lowered his goals-against common to 2.25. “The final quarter of the season has passed by so gradual. It’s good to see the top in sight and be enjoying good hockey going into a very powerful time.”

Oh, boy. Are they ever.

Edmonton has gained 5 straight on the street, 9 of its final 12, and is enjoying .710 hockey since its 3-6 begin to the season. Now, the Oilers get the posh of throwing some ice time on the taxi squad — Evan Bouchard and William Lagesson — a pair of kids who changed Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones on Tuesday.

“You’re employed actually exhausting off the ice. To lastly get again in a recreation was a great feeling,” stated Bouchard, who faked a slapshot, side-stepped a defender and lasered residence a wrist shot for his third profession NHL purpose.

“It’s a part of getting photographs via to the web. It doesn’t at all times must be a slapshot. When you possibly can throw a wrister via with guys in entrance, I simply wished to offer the blokes an opportunity to get a rebound. Fortunately it went in.”

Bouchard is the fourth defenceman on head coach Dave Tippett’s proper facet, behind Tyson Barrie, Adam Larsson and Bear. He’s been hanging round on the taxi squad all season ready for an harm that has not come, however Tippett is aware of {that a} participant like Bouchard is usually a main actor as soon as the playoffs start.

“You’re going to wish quite a lot of our bodies,” Tippett predicted. “Playoffs, knock on wooden, you by no means know when accidents come alongside, and the totally different mixture of your lineups you’ll be on the lookout for. So we attempt to have all people keep engaged.

“I give the taxi squad guys an excessive amount of credit score. They work. Typically they don’t play for some time, however they keep prepared. You noticed that tonight with a man like Bouch leaping in and enjoying an actual strong recreation.

“We’re going to wish quite a lot of our bodies,” he repeated. “You possibly can by no means have sufficient depth, particularly on defence.”

In between the introductions of Bouchard and Lagesson, and the persevering with auditions of younger Ryan McLeod and the buzzing second line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between Kailer Yamamoto and Dominik Kahun, the standard occurred for Edmonton.

Connor McDavid arrange a pair of Leon Draisaitl objectives, to carry the previous’s level whole to 93 with 5 video games left to play.

Draisaitl, who scored twice within the second interval, was requested primarily about McDavid after the sport, a subject he’s joyful to debate. Even when he’s the man scoring the objectives.

“It’s advantageous,” he shrugged. “I had my shine in the summertime. It’s all good.”

Draisaitl advised Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy between intervals that, regardless that McDavid hasn’t been overly verbose regarding his run at 100 factors, it has develop into his teammates’ purpose to assist him get to the century mark. The massive German is joyful speaking in regards to the man he calls “the best passer on the earth,” an admirable trait for a celebrity who’s second in NHL scoring and is coming off of a Hart and Artwork Ross Trophy marketing campaign.

“He does a lot for our staff,” Draisaitl stated of McDavid. “He does a lot for us on a nightly foundation. The least we are able to do is assist him out as a lot as we are able to. It won’t be that essential to him, but it surely’s positive essential for us.

“If there’s a two-on-one, a three-on-two, you’re making an attempt to get him a contact. Our staff actually desires it to get it.”

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