In a game where the Canucks were offensively outclassed, the turning point came relatively early into the game. In the first five minutes the Oilers received two powerplay opportunities which were cashed by Eberle and Penner. The Canucks were unable to rebound, as the Oilers went on to take a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard along with a 14-5 shot advantage into the first intermission. The Canucks slowly marched back on the shot clock but it turned out to be much too little, much too late.
It was a night of pairs as the Oilers lit up the Canucks offensively. Penner, Horcoff and Eberle all recorded two goals each, while Vandermeer, Brule and Hall recorded two assists each.
In an offensive game where many of the goals were scored at even strength, you expect some skewed numbers in terms of team plus/minus. Edmonton finished the night with a +20 team rating while Vancouver totaled a -20 team rating.
The Oilers continued their hot start to the pre-season tonight as they improved to a perfect 3-0 record.
Offensively gifted forward Linus Omark got a tremendous opportunity tonight as he played alongside Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner. Omark gets the Play of the Game honours with his goal in the third period when he danced around the entire Canucks defence, including goaltender Cory Schneider, to put the Oilers up 7-2. For many Oilers fans, this was a small taste of the talent that has been seen numerous times on his famous YouTube highlight videos.
Coming into tonight, it would have been difficult to believe another Oilers youngster could put in a performance similar to Magnus Paajarvi's hat-trick and 4-point night vs. Tampa Bay, but Jordan Eberle did just that tonight against the Canucks. Eberle scored twice and added an assist in the first period to lead the Oilers into the first intermission with a 4-1 lead. The team didn't look back and Eberle was awarded with the game's first star honours after the game.
Vancouver's defensively responsible Mikael Samuelsson struggled on this night as the Oilers ran over the Canucks on the scoreboard. Samuelsson finished last season with a solid +10 but struggled mightily tonight with a -5 rating. With the Oilers scoring two powerplay markers, Samuelsson was on the ice for five of Edmonton's six even-strength goals.
"He's a good player. He's getting better and better every game and he's really easy to play with. Like I said, if he keeps continuing to be like that he's going to be a pretty special player."