In the end, the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-2. However, while the Oilers’ win was a good one for the team, the bigger moment was about Bruce Boudreau, the then coach of the Vancouver Canucks.
It turned out to be Boudreau’s last game as a coach for the Canucks. He was fired yesterday, less than a day after this loss. Everyone knew what was going on; and, after the game, Boudreau, who has been in the NHL for almost 50 years, said that he just had to stay on the bench to take one last look at the crowd to try to remember the moment.
The after-game scene became confusing. The Canucks’ players were not sure what to do; and, in the dressing room, they were almost speechless. [That’s what veteran defenseman Luke Schenn reported.]
Bo Horvat, the captain of the Canucks, said that the team wanted to play right to the end for Boudreau. He noted that the Canucks’ players wanted to pull the game out for him, but their effort just wasn’t good enough.
The Canucks fought hard, but the Oilers won the game. It was their sixth win in a row. Zach Hyman had a four-point night with a goal and three assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had a goal and two assists; and, Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal and added an assist. Not to be left out, Leon Draisaitl scored his 28th goal. The Oilers’ goaltender, Stuart Skinner, made 27 saves in the game, helping the team improve to 27-18-3.
Quick Hit One: Stuart Skinner Back on Winning Track
Stuart Skinner started the game. Prior to the game, Skinner was on the non-roster list from January 10th-15th for personal reasons. He had played his last game played on January 9th, but had struggled over his past three, allowing at least three goals in each.
On Saturday, Skinner had a solid game against the Canucks. He made 27 saves on 29 shots. It was his first win since December 30th; and, with the win, he improved his record to 13-10-2, with a 2.92 goals-against-average, and a .915 save percentage.
Interestingly, the Oilers’ other goalie – Jack Campbell – has started to play well. He’s helped the Oilers go on a six-game winning streak. Suddenly, Oilers’ head coach Jay Woodcroft has a “good problem.” Both his goalies have their games. Now, what happens in the crease? Will there be a timeshare for the Oilers?
Related: THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE UGLY MAPLE LEAFS’ 3-2 LOSS TO THE CANADIENS
Quick Hit Two: Connor McDavid Is on a Heated Scoring Run this Season
McDavid, even for him, is having a season. He’s been on a 10-game point streak, during which he’s scored eight goals and added eight assists. Of those 10 games, five have been multi-point games. That brings McDavid’s overall numbers for the season to 88 points in 48 games.
McDavid scored a goal and added a power-play assist in the team’s win on Saturday. With that goal, McDavid became the first NHL player to reach the 40-goal mark for the season. He also assisted on Zach Hyman’s goal late in the first period.
Related: Edmonton Oilers’ Quick Hits: Hyman, Campbell & McDavid
Quick Hit Three: Zach Hyman Is Having a Career Season
For the Oilers, Zach Hyman (already about halfway through the season), set a personal career-high in points for Edmonton. He had a four-point night with a goal and three assists. That brought his point total to 56 (24 goals and 32 assists). Last season, he finished with 54 points last season.
Hyman scored his goal on the power play and added primary assists in the team’s 4-2 win. That means he was instrumental in every goal the Oilers’ scored. If not his best game of the season, it was one of his best.
Hyman is currently on a five-game point streak. In those five games, he’s scored four goals and added eight assists. As noted, Hyman is having the best season in his career.
Related: Toronto Maple Leafs Reminiscent of Wayne Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers
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