April 27 2013 12:59PM
The Oilers’ season will once again end at the same time as the NHL playoffs begin. Edmonton plays its final game tonight against the “Vancouver Canucks” – with third place locked up, the Northwest Division champs will rest a bunch of players against the Oilers, underlining the fact that this game is almost entirely meaningless.
There will be no need to worry about the Sedin twins putting on a passing clinic tonight.
AV on Henrik: "He'll start on a line tonight with Dale Weise and Steve Pinizzotto."— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 27, 2013
Also taking the night off are one or two players of note.
AV: "We're going to rest a number of players tonight. Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler won't dress. Burrows and Daniel will get the night off".— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 27, 2013
So: the Canucks will be without their three ice-time leaders on the blue line, and of their three ice-time leaders at forward two will be scratched and one will be playing on the fourth line. Frank Corrado (nine games of professional experience) led the team in even-strength ice-time one game ago and is likely to repeat the feat against the Oilers.
Presumably the Oilers use more or less the same forward combinations they played against Minnesota, but the defence is where things might get interesting. Mark Fistric left the game against the Wild early, Ryan Whitney has a leg injury, and Theo Peckham has mono, meaning the Oilers only have five healthy defencemen.
- Taylor Hall – Shawn Horcoff – Nail Yakupov
- Magnus Paajarvi – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
- Ryan Jones – Eric Belanger – Anton Lander
- Ryan Smyth – Jerred Smithson – Mike Brown
- Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
- Nick Schultz – Corey Potter
- Mark Fistric – Justin Schultz
Devan Dubnyk will start for Edmonton.
Game day prediction: Yesterday I predicted a dull, soul-crushing affair for the Oilers. They won 6-1. Since that worked out so well, this game’s going to be even more lopsided – a 4-0 Vancouver victory, with Frank Corrado scoring his first NHL goal.
Obvious game day prediction: In keeping with the above, by the end of May Oilers Nation will be flooded with complaints that the 4-0 score on the website’s “last game” marker is depressing.
Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Cam Barker will have a strong night on Vancouver’s third pairing. Jay Feaster, watching the game because Calgary’s season is already over, will be struck by Barker’s draft pedigree (mentioned on the broadcast), puck-moving ability, and size, then click over to NHL Numbers to see that he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. The Flames will sign him to a two-year deal on the first day of free agency and Barker’s agent will just be one team away from filling out his Northwest Division clubs bingo card.
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