Winners of two in a row - lopsided wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Ottawa Senators - the Oilers head to Montreal looking to turn this into a real winning streak during a matinee game with the Canadiens that will kick off the NHL action portion of Hockey Day in Canada.
Coming off wins by a combined score of 12-3, things are fun in Oilers land right now, in Montreal it's the exact opposite. The Canadiens have been Oilers bad for a couple months now, playing below the 0.250 mark since the start of December (that's not a typo) and most recently gave up three third period goals to the Sabres, on home ice no less, to lose 4-2. No things are not going well for the Canadiens right now. And with Carey Price's return from injury increasing doubtful to happen this season, things might not get better anytime soon either.
The Canadiens almost certainly aren't as bad as their recent record would indicate - they'd be historically bad if that was their record reflected their true skill - but this is still a game that the Oilers should look at as winnable. They're facing a team that's down right now and they need to take advantage of that. The key to doing that will be another strong start, something the team has done in each of their two wins; against the Senators the Oilers led 3-0 just past the midway point of the first period, and although trailing Columbus by a goal had carried the play for the first twenty minutes and led in Corsi attempts 31-12.
It hasn't been just strong starts that have carried the Oilers to wins in the most recent games though, the team's power play has played a big role in that as well, scoring five times on six attempts in those games. Again, not a typo. That kind of success almost makes you wonder what the players were doing during the one power play that they didn't score on; did someone fall asleep? What other excuse could there be?
There aren't many games that a team tied for dead last in the league (in a six-way tie!!!) should win, but this is one that you can look at and reasonably think that they've at least got a good chance, and that's not something that fans in Edmonton are used to.