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Oilers @ Canadiens Game 56 Preview

Oilers head to the Bell Centre looking for another rare road victory

Tom Gilbert is a defenceman that the Oilers should've kept.  Dummies.
Tom Gilbert is a defenceman that the Oilers should've kept. Dummies.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

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15-31-9, 37 points,  .71 p/g Ranks 35-15-3, 73 points, 1.378 p/g
Western Conference - 14th Eastern Conference - 2nd
29th P/G 2nd
26th ST 25th
28th ES 5th
29th Goal 1st
5:30 PM - SNW
Bell Centre
The opposing view: Eyes On The Prize

If Losses Were Wins, We'd Be Kings

I'm really starting to enjoy when the Oilers and Islanders meet.  The Islanders were awful forever, and the Oilers...well, you know.  It's interesting to see two teams who rented out each other's basements in the standings for so long get back together again.

Naturally, because you're here, the Oilers found another exciting way to lose on the road on Long Island.  A late third period goal yielded to Casey Cizikas ended up being the difference maker.  The Oilers mustered up an impressive 36 shots,  Anton Lander (there he is again) scored again, while Ryan Hamilton scored his first NHL goal early in the first period (on the powerplay!?!).  It wasn't a bad effort on the road.  But they lost, because, well, the Oilers do that a lot.

The Montréal Canadiens know a thing or two about winning.  They've got thirty five victories on the season (think about thirty five victories for a second.  Impossible, right?), and the Oilers will likely have their hands full tonight. Let's see who's saying what.

The Oilers are saying

"We want to definitely play with a high tempo.  We're going to have to tonight against Montréal.  They play a fast game and they all play hard."

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on tonight's matchup.

Who doesn't play hard?

The Canadiens are riding high in the Eastern Conference.  35 wins in 53 games isn't anything to sneeze at.  I think it's funny that they've lost three games to the Sabres this year, but if you can look past that blip, they're getting it done. They're not blowing the doors off in goals per game (21st in the league), but they're getting a huge push from Carey Price.  The Canadiens *don't* allow a bunch of goals (1st in team GAA), and if that trend keeps sticking, look out.

The Opponent is saying

We have a busy calendar. I like it. It lets you move on quickly after a bad game

"We have a busy calendar.  I like it.  It lets you move on quickly after a bad game."
That's Habs forward Alex Galchenyuk on getting the bad taste out of your mouth after a loss.  Fortunately for the Habs, they haven't had to worry much about that so far.  The Canadiens are playing six games in the next nine days.

Have some of this
  • Viktor Fasth (5-14-2, .889 SV% / 3.33 GAA) should be getting the go for the Oilers tonight,  Dustin Tokarski (5-4-1, .916 SV% / 2.56 GAA) will start for the Habs.
  • SECOND VERSE, SAME AS THE FIRST - Edmonton will ice the same lines as they did on Long Island.  Anton Lander with Luke Gazdic?  Feel the burn.
  • Iiro Pakarinen had an assist on Ryan Hamilton's first NHL goal.  It was Iiro Pakarinen's second NHL point.
  • Twenty-eight more games to go!