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the last two games with a lower-bo

Started by sakura698 Feb 10th, 2020 at 21:38
Posts: 1622
Feb 10th, 2020 at 21:38
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks try to burst the Oilers bubble -- and put some air back in their own -- when they host Edmonton on Friday night.The Oilers (6-1-0) are off to their best start to a National Hockey League season since 1985-86, when they won their first five games, and are riding a four-game win streak. On the other hand, the Canucks (4-2-1), are reeling from three straight losses after starting the campaign with four consecutive victories -- a feat that they had not matched since 1992-93.Clearly the Oilers, with sophomore sensation Connor McDavid, 19, leading the way offensively and as captain, have developed a new attitude after missing the playoffs for 10 straight seasons.I think (players) are believing now in their game and, thus, feeling more confident about it, Oilers coach Todd McLellan told reporters in Edmonton this week. Its each individual showing up with his toolkit and being ready to work, and thats where the confidence comes from, where the swagger, the wins come from. They dont just happen by accident. If you keep doing that, your belief system goes up and you believe you can come from behind and play with leads, and that is what we are working toward.The Oilers displayed some of their new belief Tuesday night as they broke open a tight game in the third period and thumped the Washington Capitals -- a team expected to contend for the Stanley Cup again this season -- 5-1 in Edmonton. The strong start is a good omen because history has shown that games lost at the beginning of the regular season can spell a teams downfall at the end. Now, the Oilers want to continue riding the winning wave.We have a lot of work to do but this start is huge for us, said winger Benoit Pouliot, who is in his third season with the Oilers. The last couple of years, we havent had great starts, and its tough to climb back. Now we just have to keep this going.Meanwhile, the Canucks, who were blanked 3-0 at home Tuesday by Ottawa, are looking to end a habit of slow starts. Despite the success in their first four games, the Canucks are struggling because of a lack of scoring. Averaging two goals per game, they have constantly been forced to try and play catch-up.Accordingly, the Canucks do not want to fall behind too early against McDavid and the rest of the potentially explosive Oilers.Thats a team we have to play tight against, Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin said. We know the speed they have. When they are up, they are going to keep coming at you. Its very important to get the first goal against those guys. It could open up a lot of room for us.Ultimately, the game could prove to be a depth test for both clubs. Although McDavid is in early contention for a league scoring title with four goals and seven assists, Edmonton has also been able to count on the likes of fellow forwards Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Pouliot.But the Canucks are searching for offensive consistency as highly touted free-agent signing Loui Eriksson continues to struggle. Eriksson, who signed a six-year deal worth $36 million, has yet to score a goal while playing wing on the top line with Henrik and Daniel Sedin -- and elsewhere at times, although he has four assists.In addition, a number of holdovers have been slow off the mark, and Vancouver is starting to run into some injury woes with veteran winger Alex Burrows sidelined with an undisclosed lower-body issue and defenseman Chris Tanev out with an ankle problem.The Canucks promoted winger Mike Zalewski from their AHL farm team in Utica, N.Y., on Thursday. But Zalewski, who has only one assist in five games with Utica, is not slated to play against the Oilers.He figures as a bottom-six forward who can also kill penalties, but lacks the offensive firepower that the Canucks need.Second-year winger Jake Virtanen, 19, is someone who could provide a spark, but has been used sparingly. Virtanen expressed some frustration this week about his intermittent activity, but has done little to suggest that he deserves more playing time. Coach Willie Desjardins is opposed to using him on the fourth line -- the only place where he might fit regularly at this point -- and wants to put him in situations where he can produce.However, Virtanen might not have to wait long for more action if the Canucks fail to put air back in their bubble soon. Vapormax Plus Grigie . -- Hunter Smith scored the winner with just 12 seconds remaining in the third period as the Oshawa Generals edged the host Sarnia Sting 5-4 on Friday in Ontario Hockey League action. Vapormax Flyknit 3 Nere . Coach Mike Munchak says Fokou stretched ligaments in his left knee Oct. 13 against Seattle, which could keep out up to five weeks even though the linebacker didnt need surgery. . The nimble-footed quarterback got his wish, dashing through the snow and a weary defence all the way into the NCAA record book. Vapormax Scontate . The Celtics closed out their first preseason under Stevens on Wednesday night with a 101-97 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who rested a lot of their lineup including former Celtics Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Vapormax 97 Silver . After taking two big hits this week -- losing at home and dropping back-to-back games for the first time all season -- Indiana struck back by playing its most complete game of the year. COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Just over a week after whipping NHL-leading Montreal 10-1, Columbus had its fans chanting We want 10! late in the second period Saturday night during another blowout.This one wasnt so satisfactory to coach John Tortorella, though.Sam Gagner scored twice, Nick Foligno got a goal and two assists and 13 Blue Jackets had at least a point, helping Columbus rout the St. Louis Blues 8-4.The Jackets demanding coach wasnt as enthused as the home crowd, instead calling out his teams defensive and physical mistakes.We shot the puck and it went in the net, Tortorella said. Its not going to happen that way that often. We need to understand how were playing, not what the score is. As far as the checking part of the game, as far as our sticks. A lot of the little things in the game. Were going to continue to work at that.Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Markus Nutivaara, William Karlsson and Zach Werenski also scored for Columbus.The Blue Jackets rebounded from a tough loss Thursday night in Boston and have points in six of their last seven games (5-1-1), winning four straight at home. Cam Atkinson added a career-high four assists, and Brandon Saad, Scott Hartnell, Lukas Sedlak and Boone Jenner each had two.Foligno agreed with his coachs assessment, even after thumping a St. Louis team that played in the Western Conference finals last season.I still think weve got a lot to improve on in our game, he said. I didnt like some of our decisions. Its hard sometimes when you get up that fast. But Im not going to take anything away from the win. Its a big win at home.Sergei Bobrovksy, pulled in the first period against the Bruins, stopped 33 shots for the Jackets.Robby Fabbri scored twice and Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored for St. Louis, which has lost three straight and five of seven.I think were in a spot right now where were a little dazed by the situation, Shattenkirk said. You look bacck at the last five or six years, we havent really had a run like this at all.dddddddddddd Its new to us and we have to grow out of it. Its not fun. Its frustrating for everyone.Jake Allen stopped eight of 12 shots and was pulled early in the second period. Carter Hutton finished with 14 saves.St. Louis dormant offense finally showed up, but its goaltending was a no show. Tarasenko and David Perron had three assists, but the Blues lost their fourth consecutive on the road by a combined score of 22-7. All St. Louis goals came on the power play.Were not competing at the puck near hard enough and were not firm with it, St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. Thats a bad recipe. It doesnt matter what you do in the offensive zone if youre going to get beat one on one in your own zone.The Blue Jackets led 3-1 after the first period and 7-2 heading into the third.Gagner started it at 2:34 of the first, turning from behind the net and lifting a backhand shot inside the near post.Shattenkirk tied it three minutes later, finishing a rush.Just 8 second after that, Foligno put the Blue Jackets ahead, powering a snapshot off Allen at 6:43 for his sixth.Wennberg scored later in the first, and Gagner, Dubinsky, Nutivaara and Karlsson scored in the second for a 7-1 lead. Fabbri made it 7-2 late in the second.Tarasenko and Fabbri then sandwiched goals around Werenskis tally in the third.Game notes Dubinsky had missed the last two games with a lower-body injury. ... St. Louis and Columbus entered tied as the top penalty killing teams in the league. ... Fabbri played on the first line after being a healthy scratch Thursday in a loss to Nashville.UP NEXTBlues: Welcome Buffalo on Tuesday night to begin a three-game homestand.Blue Jackets: Play five of next six at home, including Washington on Tuesday night. ' ' '
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