Game Seven: Oilers-Canucks series to be decided in winner-takes-all showdown

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Playoff Game Day 2.7
Edmonton at Vancouver

Game Seven. Both words are common enough, but when conjoined in that fashion will set a hockey fan’s heart aflutter. On Monday night, those will be fthe supporters of the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Cancucks, as the two surviving Canadian squads play a winner-take-all showdown to decide who moves on to face Dallas Stars in the Conference Finals.

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It’s the twelfth time in their 45-year NHL history that the Oilers have played a Game Seven. Many words could and have been written about each of its predecessors, but we’ll stick to the basics here:

  • 1984 second round: EDMONTON 7, Calgary 4
  • 1986 second round: Calgary 3, EDMONTON 2
  • 1987 Stanley Cup Finals: EDMONTON 3 Philadelphia 1
  • 1989 first round: LOS ANGELES 6, Edmonton 3
  • 1990 first round: EDMONTON 4, Winnipeg 1
  • 1991 first round: Edmonton 5, CALGARY 4 (OT)
  • 1997 first round: Edmonton 4, DALLAS 3 (OT)
  • 1998 first round: Edmonton 4, COLORADO 0
  • 2006 Stanley Cup Finals: CAROLINA 3, Edmonton 1
  • 2017 second round: ANAHEIM 2, Edmonton 1
  • 2022 first round: EDMONTON 2, Los Angeles 0
  • 2024 second round: Edmonton at VANCOUVER

Winning team shown first, home team in ALL CAPS. Edmonton has a 7-4 record in prior Games Seven, but so does the home team. 7 of the 11 games produced 5 or fewer goals. Games Seven are traditionally hotly-contested affairs with open ice at a premium anywhere on the sheet and especially so in the slot.

Tonight’s line-up

No surprises here as the Oilers will ice the exact same lines, pairings and starting goaltender as produced their 5-1 win in Game Six. It was likely the squad’s most complete game of the series.

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The Canucks are not so fortunate as to be able to ice the same line-up, having lost star winger Brock Boeser to blood clots that were diagnosed in the aftermath of Game Six. Boeser led Vancouver with 40 goals during the season, and is doing likewise in the playoffs with 7 tallies and 12 points. He terrorized the Oilers in particular, scoring 9 times in the 10 prior games this season.

Canucks news Game 7

The home squad will in fact make a pair of line-up changes, as depth forward Vasily Podkolzin will reportedly be scratched. Veterans Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikhevey will draw back in.

One change the Canucks won’t be making is in net, where Vezina Trophy finalist Thatcher Demko remains sidelined, as he has been for this entire series.

So it’s advantage Oilers on the health front, whose players are dealing with a variety of aches and pains not to mention illness but are mostly available to play. Only veteran forward Adam Henrique has been ruled out due to injury.

On the ice, though, it’s a single game, where things can be decided by a crazy bounce (see: 1986), an amazing save (1997), or an individual dominant performance (2022). Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to an official’s call or video review but is decided cleanly on the ice.

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Game time is officially 7:00pm MDT.

More to come.

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