Edmonton Oilers (0-1-0) at Vancouver Canucks (0-1-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday October 5, 2013, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Vancouver Canucks -152 / Edmonton Oilers +138 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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Another head coach who had a rough debut was John Tortorella of the Vancouver Canucks. Throughout the preseason we heard a lot of talk from Canucks players about how they’re going to need time to adjust to this different style of play after seven years of Alain Vigneault behind the bench. Tortorella has a much different defensive structure than Vigneault and it looked like the Canucks struggled to identify their assignments at times in their opener. Jason Garrison got Vancouver off to a good start with a power play goal that gave them a 1-0 lead, but that was all the offense the Canucks would muster in this one. They watched the Sharks score twice in the second and twice in the third on their way to a 4-1 victory. Roberto Luongo looked as strong as a goaltender can look giving up four goals, but the truth was his team in front of him wasn’t giving him much help. Everyone knows there’s going to be an adjustment period but it will be interesting to see how long the home crowd gives this club if they start slow against Edmonton on Saturday night.
Things were going well for the Oilers in their opener until they collapsed against the Winnipeg Jets in the first period. Dallas Eakins has a lot of positives he can take from his first game as head coach in the National Hockey League, but he also knows he’s got a lot of work to do. His hockey club couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead and failed to even pick up a point as they just fell apart in this one. Luke Gazdic and Boyd Gordon scored first period goals as the teams were tied 2-2 after 20 minutes of play, and after Ales Hemsky and Jesse Joensuu scored in the second it looked like the Oilers were going to cruise to victory. Instead Devan Dubnyk had a rought final 25 minutes and the Oilers fell by a final of 5-4. This team needs to focus on the defensive side of the puck because they’ve got enough offensive talent to give other teams fits on a nightly basis.