We have an opening night for both of these NHL teams when the Vancouver Canucks meet the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL North matchup. Vancouver finished last season with a record of 36-27-6 record and lost in seven games to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Conference Second Round of the expanded playoffs. Edmonton ended its 2020 campaign with a 37-29-9 mark and lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the qualifying road of last season’s playoffs.
Plenty of New Faces in. VancouverThings are a bit different in the Canucks dressing room this season; gone are goaltender Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Toffoli, Christopher Tanev, and Troy Stecher and those losses are huge for Vancouver. The Canucks did a nice job in free agency, signing goaltender Braden Holtby, Nate Schmidt and Travis Hamonic won a tryout and earned a roster spot.
LIVE: Hear from Coach Green, Bo Horvat, Tyler Myers, Jake Virtanen & Zack MacEwen ahead of tonight’s Season Opener. https://t.co/al7hoRvvE6— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 13, 2021
Last season, the Canucks power-play unit finished fourth in the league while their penalty kill unit ended the regular season sixteenth in the league. Vancouver was eighth in scoring while ending their season eleventh in goals allowed per contest.
It appears Thatcher Demko will tend to the twine on Thursday. Demko finished his 2020 season with a 13-10-2 record with a 3.06 GAA alongside a 90 percent save percentage.
Edmonton Hoping for PlayoffsEdmonton fell short and failed to qualify for last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs. That isn’t a good thing for a team finishing in fifteenth place in scoring but also had the most successful power-play unit in the league. Gone from that team are Andreas Athanasiou, Matt Benning, and Riley Sheahan and the club welcomes newcomers Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris, and Dominik Kahun.
"We want to come back a stronger group."— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 13, 2021
After finishing the 2019-20 regular season as the top Canadian club, the #Oilers seek new heights in the North as they open the new season tomorrow night. #FuelledByG | #LetsGoOilers pic.twitter.com/ohjCmwYnhY
The Oilers were tops in power-play success rate and the penalty kill unit ended the season as the second-best penalty kill unit in the league. Edmonton allowed the seventeenth fewest goals per game and scored the fifteenth-most goals per game in the league last season.
Mikko Koskinen is the likely netminder on Thursday and he’s coming off of an 18-13-3 record with a 2.75 GAA and 91 percent save percentage with one shutout last season.
- Canucks are 3-7 in their last 10 vs. Pacific.