Gretzky scored more points (239) against the Canucks than any other team, but actually scored a few goals against a few others.
Gretzky’s first National Hockey League goal was against the Canucks, as was his 500th and 802nd, which broke Gordie Howe’s career record that most people thought was untouchable before The Great One arrived. .
Watching these highlights reminds you of just how great Gretzky was and how opposed most of those Canucks teams were to the ones he plundered throughout the 1980s.
No matter how hard they try, the current Canucks will never be able to forget this terrible pandemic season, and now they will remember it whenever Connor McDavid’s career highlights run.
Edmonton’s best Oiler since Gretzky hit an unthinkable threshold on Saturday when his goal and three assists in a 4-3 win over the Canucks gave him 100 points with three games to lose in the 56 games that will never be repeated never. regular season.
McDavid finished his four-game, six-day streak against Vancouver with 13 points. He’s doing to the Canucks what Gretzky did over a generation ago – but with far fewer accomplices. In nine games against Vancouver this season McDavid has scored eight goals and 21 points and, yes, we rechecked that because it sounds silly.
As a young NHL reporter in the 1990s, I saw a reporter from Tampa breathlessly ask Canucks coach Ricky Ley what he thought of Petr Klima’s beautiful and victorious performance. for Lightning.
Shuddering, Ley looked at his interlocutor, took a deep breath, said through clenched teeth “I don’t care about Petr Klima”, and slapped the cinder block wall behind him. Lesson learned.
But sometimes you still have to ask.
“I mean what are you going to say?” Canucks coach Travis Green said Saturday. “He’s a great player. He had another good night. He is a difficult player to stop. I think their lead line and (Leon) Draisaitl combined for almost 20 shots tonight. And when your team is a little tired and you have injured guys, it gets even harder to stop a guy like that with his speed. He’s a great player.
Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko, who was actually quite exceptional as the under-equipped and overworked Canucks stood alongside the Oilers, was less effusive when asked how he would remember that game.
“I won’t be a fan until I croak,” he said. “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
Demko is 25 years old. I hope he has another 60 or 70 years to get used to what McDavid did at the Canucks this week.
But the second most impressive thing that has happened in the series is that the COVID survivor Canucks, who had lost six straight games and missed eight regular players from the roster as they started a final kick of 11. matches in 17 days, were pushed back to Edmonton in the final. two games. They won 6-3 on Thursday and rallied twice to tie Saturday’s game before Draisaitl scored his second of two power play goals on a side feed from McDavid in what is essentially an unstoppable streak.
JT Miller, Travis Boyd and Tyler Graovac scored for the Canucks, and Quinn Hughes had another goal reversed for offside on a coaching challenge.
“I’m sure I’m proud of our group,” said Demko. “I will always be proud of our group. You know we had a hard hand. I think everyone knows that. Obviously we’ve had injuries from COVID, which I think gamers expected to happen (because) guys aren’t really physically ready to play. We have guys stepping in right now who have been training here to train and be part of the taxi team, and I think they do a good job stepping in and trying to do their best to contribute . We are all doing our best here. And obviously we are all competitors and it’s hard when you don’t win. We all want to win every night, but we do our best to compete and try to get victories along the way.
McDavid made the difference in the game. But the Canucks’ power play could have been.
Vancouver went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, bringing the Canucks down to 1-for-29 in the season series. The Oilers’ power play is 11 for 34.
“The special teams made the difference tonight for sure,” said Miller. “I’m trying not to be too negative, but we’re not clicking right now. I don’t want to dive into it more than that. We are just not on the same page.
“It happens sometimes; that sucks. We’re talking about building momentum as a five-man unit. There are a lot of games where we do a lot of good things and don’t score, (but) tonight wasn’t one of them. It’s tough right now, but we’re going to work hard to try to get out of it. We’re playing a new opponent in the next game, so sometimes that helps.
The Canucks visit the Winnipeg Jets for two games, starting Monday. No McDavid.