Nugent-Hopkins comes up clutch for Oilers in Game 4
Gino Hard  

Nugent-Hopkins comes up clutch for Oilers in Game 4

What a snipe for the kid from Burnaby!

Trevor Connors

The kid from North Burnaby is playing inspired hockey tonight against his hometown team.

Edmonton Oilers forward and British Columbia native Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored a crucial 2-0 goal late in the 2nd period this evening to give the Oilers some cushion over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 4 of their second round playoff series. 

Check it out:

Read below for our earlier daily reports on the Oilers.

The Edmonton Oilers Old Boys Club has officially spoken.

Former Oilers player and executive Craig MacTavish was critical of the team earlier this week, telling broadcaster Bob Stauffer that the team isn't playing near physical enough. 

“There really is nothing worse — or should not be worse — of a feeling for a player if you’re not involved in the game offensively or physically… We have far too many guys that at the end of the game take their jersey off and don’t really participate or contribute to the overall performance of the group — and that can’t happen," MacTavish said on Oilers Now. "If you’re going to win, if you serious about winning, and want to win the Stanley Cup, you can’t be satisfied in that dressing room without being a contributor physically."

The quote that grabbed everyone's attention though was this one:

“As maybe the best leader in the history of sports, Mark Messier, said to our group at one point, ‘It’s time to get your balls on the crest of your jerseys and go play the game.’

Get your balls on your crest? Like... tea bag your jersey? 

Hey, whatever floats your boat...

Now, for more insight from the Oilers Old Boys Club:

“Talking to Kevin Lowe today and Kelly Buchberger and Mark Lamb, the (Oilers) players looked like they were semi-surprised at how hard Vancouver players came at them early in the game. How can that happen? (Vancouver coach) Rick Tocchet was talking about being nastier, more physical, and it looked like we were just a little bit late to recognize the intensity… As Lamber said  last night when we were watching the game, that you need to put out a line that is going change the momentum of the game through physical play but we don’t as of yet have that animal.”

Read below for our earlier report on the Oilers' situation in goal this evening.

This just in, according to a report from NHL insider Frank Seravalli, the Edmonton Oilers will be starting goaltender Calvin Pickard in place of Stuart Skinner for Game 4 tonight against the Vancouver Canucks.

From Seravalli:

Pickard has started exactly zero NHL playoff games, so there's quite a risk here from the Oilers' perspective. On the other hand though, Skinner has been abysmal this post-season. He's been especially poor in the 2nd round against the Canucks. He's been out-dueled by 24 year old Canucks rookie Arturs Silovs so far in the series and has arguably cost the Oilers two victories. While Silovs has been outstanding, the Oilers have produced more scoring chances throughout the series and arguably deserve a better fate than a 2-1 series deficit.

The problem is that Skinner has allowed weak goals in every single outing thus far in the series. It'll be up to Pickard to shore things up this evening. Stay tuned.

Skinner has allowed 12 goals in three games against the Canucks for a .793 save percentage after owning a respectable .910 save percentage in five contests against the Los Angeles Kings in Round 1. After Edmonton's Game 3 loss to the Canucks, head coach Kris Knoblauch said the club "needs more saves."

As for Pickard, he has made 23 appearances for the Oilers this season, going 12-7-1 with a .909 save percentage. 

Source: Gino Hard