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Canucks sweep Oilers as Pacific Division title turns from fantasy to reality

Updated: Apr 17

This is a picture taken from the first game of the season between the Vancouver Canucks and the Edmonton Oilers. The Canucks beat the Oilers 8-1 at Rogers Arena in this game.

Image Credits: Sportsnet

The Canucks, with a 3-1 win over the Oilers, accomplished one of many things with this win tonight. They swept the season series over the Oilers, and not only that, but it was their first clean sweep over the Oilers, meaning the Oilers didn't even score a loser point in 4 games. The Canucks also ended Leon Draisaitl's point streak against Vancouver, pulled 5 points ahead of Edmonton, and are now just 1 point away from their first division title since 2013, when they won the Northwest Division before being swept by the Sharks in the First Round.

With this win, Vancouver has proven that they will likely be well suited to play in a playoff game. In this game, they displayed their usual talented selves, with the bottom 6 coming through for them, limited a potent Oilers offense to just 1 goal for the 2nd time this year, and the goaltending came through big for them tonight. The Canucks have been a very consistent team all year long, despite my criticisms of them lately. Thatcher Demko's absence hasn't helped, but the team has been consistent all year long, and even their worst stretches of play have been around the .500 mark. But the Canucks showed up to play against an Oilers team that is looking to contend for the Cup again, and with more desperation.

It's no secret the Canucks owned the Oilers in the first few games of the year, being the single biggest cause for Edmonton firing Jay Woodcroft early in the year. However, the Oilers were doing much worse then than they are now, and I think that winning tonight mattered more than the other times because this win shows that Vancouver is built to handle speedy and skilled, and counter with some of their own. Early in the year, they handled the Oilers by frustrating their superstars, McDavid and Draisaitl, and getting under their skin. Because of this, they took stupid penalties, lost their cool, and they were easily able to keep them to the outside to keep them from following through on Draisaitl's one-T spot on the right wing. Though the Oilers were missing McDavid tonight, this game is a microcosm of what we can now expect from a talented Canucks team that is getting really good on the defensive side of the puck.

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