The Day After 79.0: Canucks sweep season series with Oilers, playoff picture looking more clear

Dakota Joshua Vancouver Canucks
Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
21 days ago
Though it isn’t official just yet, the Vancouver Canucks have all but clinched the Pacific Division crown.
Following their 3-1 victory in Edmonton on Saturday night, the Canucks are now five points up on the Oilers in the standings. Edmonton has three more games to play and Vancouver has two, meaning the Oilers need to not only sweep their remaining games but also hope that the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets beat the Canucks in regulation time.
It’s safe to say that’s all very unlikely, so the Oilers can instead focus on going into the playoffs in a familiar spot as the second seed. As it stands right now, Edmonton will host the Los Angeles Kings in the first round for the third year in a row, though the Vegas Golden Knights are only three points back of L.A. with a game in hand.
For Vancouver, the win capped off their first series sweep of the Oilers since the 2014-15 season. Once they pick up another point, Vancouver will clinch their first Pacific Division banner since 2012-13.

What they said…

Head coach Kris Knoblauch on what the Oilers can learn from their losses to Vancouver…
“Three of those four games happened at the beginning of the season so long ago I don’t know if anybody really remembers what happened there. I think we’ll look at tonight, in a competitive game, and see things we could have done better. We’ll have to look very hard to see how to beat them, but we will.”
Oilers defender Vincent Desharnais on the Oilers gearing up for the playoffs…
“It was a tight-checking game, lots of hits. It got chippy here and there. I thought we battled pretty hard.
“We lost and it doesn’t really matter, as long as we are in the playoffs. These type of games will get us ready for playoffs. Games like Vegas got us ready as well. We just have to build on it and look at some tape. I thought we did some pretty good things.”
Canucks defender Tyler Myers on facing the Oilers without Connor McDavid…
“You definitely notice when he’s not out there. When he is playing, your awareness on the ice seems to be a lot higher, making sure you know when he’s picking up speed so you don’t get burnt.
“Saying that, I don’t think those guys get enough credit for the depth they do have. Even without him, I thought they were still a good team. They were on a back-to-back, they pushed hard and they played a good hockey game.”
Canucks goaltender Casey DeSmith on coming through with a four-point victory…
“We knew this was a four-point swing toward that goal that we had. It’s not the ultimate goal that we have this season, but it’s definitely something we’ve been working toward and it’s something we take pride in.
“They came out hard and they pushed in the beginning of the game, and then we found our legs and I thought we were the better team for the second two periods, for sure, and (we) got some big goals from some guys who you might not expect.”


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