G14: Oilers @ Canadiens (Hopefully) - Proving Things Have Changed
There is a chance there will not be a game tonight as it was announced the game was being pushed back an hour because an Oilers player was in COVID Protocol. This is potentially Jesse Puljujarvi who was not on the ice at the morning skate but that is still speculative.
If it does end up being a positive case there will not be a game tonight so we will all cross our fingers and hope everyone is healthy.
Last time Edmonton faced the Canadiens it was a lackluster affair with Edmonton not having any answer for the Canadiens depth and defensive core. They were outscored 8-2 in two games.
Since then Edmonton has started to come together much better as a team and while there are still some warts, the Oilers look to have hit their stride. The Canadiens are a great team and tonight will be a good test.
OILERS LINE COMBINATIONS
CANADIENS LINE COMBINATIONS
4 THINGS TO WATCH FOR
1.) Sustained Pressure on Allen - Jake Allen has been stellar for the Canadiens with a 0.940SV% and has outperformed Price. One and done chances aren't going to cut it tonight. Edmonton needs to find a way to get multiple chances on Allen and battle for rebounds.
2.) Back To the Top - It's good to see the occasional game where Edmonton wins without McDavid and Draisaitl leading the way but tonight the Oilers need their top guys to show up and counteract the impressive forward depth that Montreal has built.
3.) Taking Advantage of a Back to Back - Montreal just played against Toronto at home yesterday and after starting the game with a 1-0 lead, the Leafs came back and scored a quick 3 in a row. Montreal will be looking to gain a win on this homestand awhile Edmonton needs to pressure a team that just played a tough game.
4.) Reduce Scoring Chances - The Oilers allowed 42 shots on net against the Senators and while very few were high grade that is still way too many. Look for the Oilers D to play a stronger transition game.
THE OILERS WIN IF...
They are aggressive in the Canadiens end and can score some greasy goals around the crease.
THE CANADIENS WIN IF...
Allen continues to shut the door on the Oilers top guys and Smith reverts to his old self.