The Oilers have one goal in mind: go for two.
After being embarrassed by the worst team in league last Saturday, it is almost inevitable that the Vancouver Canucks will dress their top players (including Luongo) to reciprocate with an equally embarrassing result.
Place your bets now because tonight promises to be mean, nasty and perhaps unrelenting and you can almost assume that the Canucks will be foaming at the mouths. Yet with 4 games remaining, the Oilers will continue to press hard and hope to implement the same style of play as witnessed last Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada.
No mercy will be present.
“We have to be ready, be alert and on our toes,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney about Tuesday's approach. “We can’t stand around and watch what Vancouver is going to bring."
“We have to make sure we don’t get consumed by their reputation and what they’ve achieved. This is all about us having an opportunity to play a real, good team and play within our structure.”
“These guys are capable of being unbelievable any night and they didn’t lock up the President’s Trophy by accident,” said Devan Dubnyk. “They’re capable and we have to know that and be prepared for it, understand what we did right the other night that worked for us and continue to do those things while expecting a harder push from them as well." he said.
"With a year like this, given our circumstances, you look for those little opportunities that you can feel good about and allow yourself to feel like we're going in the right direction, and this is another opportunity against a great team and that's how we'll approach it. The only reason we had success in Vancouver is because of that, quite honestly," said Renney.
Chris VandeVelde, is expected to play on the first line with Teemu Hartikainen and Jordan Eberle. The rookie from Minnesota has been a magician on the face-off dot since his NHL debut. VandeVelde has earned a respectable 56.7% on the dot and continues to turn heads amongst the organization and of course the bench boss.
“I like the way Chris sees the game and processes the game and makes decisions. More often than not he’s on the right side of the puck,” said Renney.
Hartikainen - VandeVelde -Eberle
Paajarvi - O'Marra - Jones
Reddox - Cogliano - Omark
MacIntyre - Jacques - Strudwick
Defenceman Jason Strudwick will play right wing, since Gilbert Brule (undisclosed) and Colin Fraser (foot) will be scratches for tonight.
Canucks vs Oilers tonight on Sportsnet West www.atdhe.me 6:08 pacific time!