EDMONTON. Whether you are in a whirlwind that is constantly being restored in Edmonton, or in one that is starting to gain momentum in Vancouver, much of what you can achieve depends on faith.
So, when the Vancouver Canacos moved through the Oilers in the Western Conference standings with a score of 4: 2 – their second victory over Edmonton in the last five games – faith began to form in this locker room Canucks. If not yet completely outside these doors.
“If not us, who else will believe in us?” Asked goalkeeper Jacob Markstrom. "You (media) guys are not, so what the hell are we."
This defines Canucks, a group that was supposed to be in the constellation “Lose for Hughes”, which instead turns out to be directly in the wildcard mask when half the season is approaching. On Thursday, “Vancouver” was lucky when goalkeeper Oilers Mikko Koskinen sent by mail in his first bitch of the season, but buried four goals on six shots of the first period, before holding the victory.
The kanaki are winning because they were opportunistic, and their goalkeeper was better than their opponent. So, if they had only 20 shots on goal and dominated on long stretches of Edmonton?
The last thing we checked in the standings is no room for explanations, and this victory puts the Canucks at 18-18-4.
“This is how it should be,” said Markstrom. “Victory should not be something that you celebrate. This should be normal … and in this organization we have had it for a long time. This is what we work to get back.
Of course, there are holes. That is why there was no voice in the hockey wilderness that would have chosen the Canucks to challenge the playoffs this season. But they have an incredibly skilled superstar in Elias Pettersson, as well as an experienced and strong second-line center in Beau-Horvath, a legitimate sniper in Brock-Bosere and several other figures.
Not to mention the coach, who looks like a long-term solution, something that Oilers has not yet found in its project for ten years.
“From the first day we talked about how we want to play,” said Travis Green. “We want to be faster and harder to play against, and we wanted to play meaningful games for the duration. For us, this is the development of our young guys and, obviously, a victory. We want to win, and we preach it.
"We are not ahead of ourselves – now we are at around 500 and we have a long way to go."
You could hear the faith in their voices in the Vancouver room as they walked down the hall in the Oilers bathhouse, they were there – still, in 2018 – trying to convince themselves that this losing four-game steak was just a fraud. That they can break right out of it and start this playoff on Saturday against San Jose.
“In the last four games we dug a little hole, and we cannot afford to continue to dig it,” said Milan Lucic, a winger with six million dollars, who had two games left in 2018 to add to his two goals. scored this calendar year. “We have to find a way out, and we don’t need to take one or two guys, it will be everyone.
“We know that this is there,” he pleaded. “We believe in this group. This is the way out of this point and the difficult part of the season, through which the teams pass. If we find a way out of this sooner rather than later, I hope it makes you better. ”
In fact, Edmonton dominated most of the game, losing the advantage of the first 4: 1 period (the first Canucks period with four goals in exactly nine years). They beat Vancouver 32–20, and Cam Talbot released Koskinen after 20 minutes and did not allow a goal.
Alas, it was another moral victory for the team that was able to build an office tower from them, since this restructuring began about 11 or 12 years ago.
“I believe that now it’s a building block again,” said Ken Hitchcock, who is able to tell the media exactly what he thinks his players should hear. "I know that we are in a really difficult situation because of injuries, we have a lot of people, but today I saw some things that are some building blocks that we can move this thing forward and, I hope, to another level."
Oh yeah. Player of sixteen goals Alex Chiasson left the game and did not return after hitting the puck on his knee. It is bad news.
Good news? Edmonton will not see Vancouver again until January 16.