Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/26/13 at 07:00 PM ET
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
To close out the 2012-2013 NHL season in Western Canada, rival teams the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers will collide at Rexall Place in Edmonton Saturday night to put one last exclamation point on the shortened campaign.
Because it’s a rivalry match, tickets are pricey, averaging out at $285.79, according to TiqIQ. Overall, the Oilers tickets average seat price rings in at $163.94 this year. For the cash-strapped, tickets are still available for $112, TiqIQ reports. This is below the average for Vancouver Canucks tickets.
Saturday’s matchup will feature two teams on the opposite end of the developmental spectrum. In Vancouver, it’s been another strong season for the Canucks, which fans have come to expect from the Sedin Bros. and Co. The Canucks are a mature squad, but one that’s always seeking to answer the question, “who else besides the Sedins?” This season, the answer hasn’t always been power forward Ryan Kesler, who only recently came back from injury. The team picked up center Derek Roy at the trade deadline to try to give the Sedins another skilled player too deal the puck to going forward. In net, the team has found its rock in Corey Schneider, whose overtaken Roberto Luongo and posted a GAA of near two, enshrining himself as the Belle of the ball in Vancouver.
Edmonton, on the other hand, seems to be a team constantly wrestling with its own growing pains. With scores of young talent, it’s baffling how the team can’t put wins together. With six top-10 draft picks on the team’s roster (including three first overall picks), Edmonton has the young firepower in place. How do you ignite the team as a whole though? In net, Devan Dubnyk does not seem to be the answer, though the defense in front of him has been shoddy at best.
One name in particular has haunted Oilers fans this season: Schultz. Defensemen Nick and Justin are a combined -34 going into Saturday’s game. Defense is only the root of Edmonton’s troubles, however. Even with so many young, well-thought-of names, the Oilers rank second to last in shots on goal this season. At home they have the second least goals scored in the entire league.
Oilers fans have reason to pout. How many top picks does it take to put together a winning franchise? The Oilers keep adding to that incomplete figure. Fans, understandably so, are furious.
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