The Sunday Crease

The Sunday Crease: Victory, Pouliot and Real Hockey!

Embed from Getty Images

Wow. By a show of hands, who woke up this morning still energized about the Canucks’ massive win over the Oilers last night?

Oh wait, I can’t see your hands. Ah well, I’ll just make it the poll question down below instead.

To recap, the Canucks gave up a goal on the first shot of the game before Bo Horvat scored a highlight reel beauty on the power play to tie it up. Brandon Sutter made Edmonton pay on a costly mistake in their own zone not long after and Horvat chased Oilers goalie Cam Talbot early in the second period with a wraparound goal. It was at this point that Jacob Markstrom took over and made 33 saves on 35 shots and even kept Connor McDavid off the scoresheet entirely.

Now not to put a damper on the mood here, but we’re just one game into an 82 stop adventure that’s bound to include its fair share of highs and a whole lot of lows. But what we can take out of yesterday’s thriller is the fact that in the NHL, any team can beat any opponent on any given night. There’s a lot of great Canucks moments on the way this year, but yesterday’s win is sure to go down as one the highlights of the season and the start of great new era.

Canucks open season with 3-2 win over Oilers

I’ll be going more in-depth on what happened in yesterday’s amazing game tomorrow. What’s happening tomorrow, you ask? Oh you’ll see, just keep your eyes peeled.

(UPDATE 10/09: I’ve postponed my (no longer) surprise until tomorrow due to the massive wildfires that have been taking place throughout Sonoma County and the North Bay Area today. Thankfully everyone in my area of Petaluma is okay, but Santa Rosa (20 mins north) and Napa (next county over) is completely devastated. My thoughts go out to the many people who’ve lost their family members, homes and businesses today.)

Canucks acquire defensemen Derrick Pouliot from Penguins

Andrey Pedan had just cleared waivers when the Canucks decided to ship him and a 2018 fourth round draft choice to Pittsburgh in exchange for former 2012 eighth overall pick Derrick Pouliot.

Pouliot and Pedan have more in common than just a last initial; both were unable to crack the top six on their original club, and will look to get themselves back on track on their new team.

Derrick Pouliot standard NHL career statistics
Scor Scor Scor
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM
2014-15 21 PIT NHL 34 2 5 7 -11 4
2015-16 22 PIT NHL 22 0 7 7 4 2
2016-17 23 PIT NHL 11 0 0 0 -4 4
Career NHL 67 2 12 14 -11 10
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/8/2017.

Say what you will about the “Lindenning Era”, but the Canucks have had a pretty decent record of buying low on underachieving prospects and turning them into key depth players of late. Vancouver arguably fleeced Calgary on two separate occasions with the deals that brought Sven Baertschi and Markus Granlund to town, and the addition of Pouliot it gives them yet another chance to prove their “buy low, develop high” method.

Flames sign Jaromir Jagr, make Pacific Division even scarier

Mullets are going to be all the rage in Calgary this season.

Jaromir Jagr’s new 1-year, $1 million deal is not only incredibly cap friendly, but it adds yet another solid scorer to an already dangerous Flames offense on a team known for its’ defense.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m more than thrilled at the possibility of a “Battle of Alberta” in April. Rivalries make sports all the more special and create moments that fans talk about until the end of time. I wasn’t alive in 1994, and somehow I’ll never forget Pavel Bure’s double overtime winner against the Flames. If that’s what Calgary and Edmonton have in store for us this season, count me in.

Also, just a friendly reminder; enjoy watching Jagr this year, because it’s quite likely that it’ll be the last for one of the best players in NHL history.

Around the Rinks

  • The Vegas Golden Knights won their first game in franchise history on Friday, and there’s no city that needs their NHL team more right now than the healing citizens of Las Vegas. The Knights are going to be a huge part of the recovery for the locals from the tragic events that occurred last weekend as a sort of rallying point around their city. Tuesday’s inaugural home game is sure to be a bittersweet moment for everyone in Nevada. Best of luck to you Las Vegas, and of course, welcome to the NHL family.
  • Alex Ovechkin has back-to-back hat tricks to open the season, a feat not achieved since the NHL’s first ever season. With all the talk about McDavid, Matthews and Crosby, Ovi has seemingly been swept under the rug as of late, but he’s making it very sure that it doesn’t happen again.
  • Staying in Washington, Nathan Walker became the first ever Australian national to play in the NHL with his debut for the Capitals on Saturday. How do you celebrate such a historical marker? With a goal, of course.
  • In just two games the Toronto Maple Leafs have scored 15 goals. Obviously that’s not something Leafs fans should get used to, and neither is the fact that they’ve given up seven to their opponents. But I can guarantee you that Toronto is going to be a very fun team to watch yet again.
  • Another team that’s scored 15 goals in two games are the Chicago Blackhawks, including TEN against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The best part of all this is that the Hawks will face the Leafs tomorrow in what’s sure to be an absolute barnburner. Or it could be a 1-0 evening of excellent defense. I’m no psychic.
  • On the flip side, the Winnipeg Jets goalie tandem of Steve Mason and Connor Hellebuyck have given up 13 goals in two outings. With Winnipeg’s players almost certainly ready to compete for a playoff spot this year, the netminders are going to need to step it up. It’s very early in the year of course, but this issue of inconsistent goaltending has plagued the Jets for almost their entire existence. Let’s hope Mason and Hellebuyck can pull it together soon.

That’s all for today, thanks so much for reading. As I work to try and grow this site, I’m incredibly grateful for any likes, subscribers, comments and link shares that I can get from you guys throughout the season. If there’s something you want to see from myself or the site, be sure to let me know by either using the handy contact form or sending me a message either on Twitter or through the Facebook page.

There’s a whole lot of great stories and content in the works this season, and I hope you enjoy it all as much as I will making it. Thanks again, and I’ll see you next time!

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