|1-2-0, 0.667 p/g||Ranks||1-2-0, 0.667 p/g
|Eastern Conf: T-11th||Western Conf: T-13th|
7:30 p.m. MDT | Sportsnet Oilers
The Oilers were really bad against New Jersey for the first 48 minutes, but then saved the game with an incredible uphill charge/Martin Brodeur collapse. Essentially the Oilers have played 32 solid minutes through three games, and goaltending isn't causing that. Besides, eliminate the 4 own-goals the Oilers have put in behind Devan Dubnyk and Jason Labarbera and they Oilers team save percentage moves from .854 to .896, not great, but certainly not "sign Ilya Bryzgalov" bad.
Changes up front: Mark Arcobello slides up with David Perron and Ales Hemsky while Boyd Gordon moves in to centre Nail Yakupov and the demoted Ryan Smyth. Considering Dallas Eakins' comments on Yakupov, it doesn't seem like Yakupov is destined for more playing time.
The Oilers are saying:
"Remember, MacTavish said when he took the job that he wanted to be bold. He hasn't had that opportunity to make that bold move, but I think he's still lying out there in the weeds trying to find something that would be considered bold and that would make a dramatic difference to the way this team plays behind the blue line."
Bob McKenzie, on TSN's Intermission Panel
The Oilers don't have much cap space and teams aren't looking to take dead space back. Couple that with impact defensemen being in short supply and MacTavish is going to have to work really hard to make anything happen. It would help if they weren't paying Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and Philip Larsen $3.625 million to play in Oklahoma City and Nick Schultz $3.5 million to play on the bottom pair.
The Opponent is saying:
"I really didn’t live through it. I don’t remember any of it. And maybe that’s a good thing."
I'm sure those two games taught Eric Gryba a lesson.
Key matchup: There's a ton of talent at forward in the game, so Michel Therrien's matchup game might be the difference in this one. The Candiens bottom line isn't talentless, so the old gentlemen's agreement might be very bad for the Oilers.
Expected Lines & Pairings:
The Canadiens expected lineup comes via Andrew Berkshire at Habs Eyes On The Prize:
The long trip begins after Montreal, so Absurdism seems proper. Here's "Camus", by Samuel James: