In the end, the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 4-2. However, while the Oilers win was good for the team, the bigger moment was about then-Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau.
It turned out to be Boudreau’s last game as coach of the Canucks. He was fired yesterday, less than a day after the loss. Everyone knew what was going on; And, after the game, Boudreau, who has been in the NHL for nearly 50 years, said he just had to stay on the bench to take one last look at the crowd to try to remember the moment.
The scene after the game got confusing. Canucks players weren’t sure what to do; And, in the dressing room, they were almost speechless. [That’s what veteran defenseman Luke Schenn reported.]
Canucks captain Bo Horvat said the team wanted to play for Boudreau until the end. He noted that the Canucks’ players tried to drag the game out for him, but their efforts weren’t good enough.
The Canucks fought hard, but the Oilers won the game. This is their sixth straight win. Jack Hyman had a four point night with a goal and three assists. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had a goal and two assists; And, Connor McDavid scored his 40th goal and added an assist. Not to be outdone, Leon Draisaitl scored his 28th goal. Oilers goaltender, Stuart Skinner, made 27 saves in the game, helping the team improve to 27-18-3.
Quick Hit One: Stuart Skinner is back on the winning track
Stuart Skinner started the game. Prior to the game, Skinner was on the non-roster list from January 10-15 for personal reasons. He played in his last game on Jan. 9, but has struggled in his past three, allowing at least three goals in each.
On Saturday, Skinner had a tough game against the Canucks. He made 27 saves on 29 shots. It was his first victory since 30 December; And, with the win, he improved his record to 13-10-2, with a 2.92 goals-against average and .915 save percentage.
Interestingly, the Oilers’ other goaltender – Jack Campbell – is starting to play well. He helped the Oilers go on a six-game winning streak. Suddenly, Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft has a “good problem.” Both of his goals are in their game. Now what happens at the crease? Will there be a timeshare for the Oilers?
Quick Hit Two: Connor McDavid has been on a hot scoring streak this season
McDavid, even for him, is having a season. He is on a 10-game point streak, during which he scored eight goals and added eight assists. Five of those 10 games are multi-point games. This brings McDavid’s season total to 88 points in 48 games.
McDavid scored a goal and added a power-play assist in the team’s win Saturday. With that goal, McDavid became the first NHL player to reach the 40-goal mark for a season. He also assisted on Zach Hyman’s goal late in the first period.
Quick hit three: Jack Hyman is having a career season
For the Oilers, Jake Hyman (already almost halfway through the season), set a personal career-high in points for Edmonton. He had a four point night with one goal and three assists. His total points are 56 (24 goals and 32 assists). Last season, he finished with 54 points last season.
Hyman scored his goal on the power play and added an early assist in the team’s 4-2 win. That means he played a role in every goal the Oilers scored. If not his best game of the season, it was one of his best.
Hyman is currently on a five-game point streak. He scored four goals and added eight assists in those five games. As mentioned, Hyman is having the best season of his career.