Edmonton Oilers (1-2-0 6th, North) vs
Montreal Canadiens (1-0-1 2nd, North)
18 January 2021
7 PM MST
TV: Sportsnet West
Radio: 630 CHED
SB Nation Opponent: Eyes On The Prize
GO BACK GO BACK GO BACK GO BACK GO BACK
Almost nothing went right for the Oilers in Saturday night’s 5-1 loss to the Canadiens. The Habs tilted the ice almost immediately from the first face off to the final horn of the third. Jeff Petry scored a pair, Tomas Tatar scored a pair, and Jake Evans had a shorty for the Canadiens. Carey Price stood tall for 35 saves in net. Slater Koekkoek scored a goal for the Oilers, but they never stood a chance. Edmonton will face off against Montréal again tonight while looking for vastly different results.
Will they find them?.
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“They were definitely quicker than us. Playing three games in 3 1/2 days is a lot coming out the gate...But not making any excuses for ourselves, we have to be better, we have to win more battles. They were the more rested team and they showed that, but I don’t think our battle level was good enough.”
That’s Oilers captain Connor McDavid after his club’s 5-1 defeat at the hands of Montréal on Saturday night.
The Oilers got blown up early and often. They were trapped in their own zone for most of the first period, and things didn’t get much better after that. On three occasions a defenceman was on the ice for a two minute shift. The Oilers will need to shake it up in order to get things going tonight.
THE CANADIENS ARE SAYING
“I think we stuck to our plan the whole game...Where we got in trouble [in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday] at the start of the second period, we got sloppy with the puck, and I think we managed the puck well tonight and our forwards did a good job staying above their forwards, and that allowed us to have good [defensive] gaps.”
That’s Habs defenceman Jeff Petry after his club’s 5-1 win over Edmonton on Saturday. Petry had a pair of goals in the win.
Tonight vs MTL:— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) January 18, 2021
HAVE SOME OF THIS
Montreal took the Oilers to the cleaners. Beat them off the rush and didn't allow Edmonton to get much going up the ice. Good by-committee offense from the Habs. pic.twitter.com/BD0zEECwyh— Corey Sznajder (@ShutdownLine) January 18, 2021
- The Habs had Edmonton’s number for nearly the entire game on Saturday night. The Oilers couldn’t get much going; Carey Price was solid in net for the Canadiens. Mikko Koskinen wasn’t able to stand on his head in the loss, but the club in front of him didn’t do him many favours.
- It’s only three games in, but the Oilers sure do miss Oscar Klefbom out there. Caleb Jones had a rough outing on Saturday, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Kris Russell draw in and Slater Koekkoek get the push up. Koekkoek scored his first goal as an Oiler on Saturday, he’s been a pleasant surprise so far.
- Scratching Ethan Bear? I’m not here for any of it. Joakim Nygärd gets the push to 3LW, while the fourth line looks like chaos ready to unleash.
- The New Jersey Devils claimed goaltender Aaron Dell. Hopefully this means that the Devils will release a goaltender, the Jets will claim that goaltender, the Jets will release that goaltender, and the Oilers will claim that goaltender. This is taking too long.
- KASS IS BACK: Zack Kassian should be back in the lineup tonight for the Oilers. Kassian was out of Saturday night’s game as he and his wife welcomed their second child. Josh Archibald was slotted onto the first line in Kassian’s absence, the first line was kept from the score sheet.
- MOVIN’ ON UP?: By the time Edmonton was down 4-0, the line blender was in full effect. We saw a handful of minutes for Jesse Puljujärvi on the top line. It’s only a matter of time before we see some more.
- NET GAINS: Look for Mikko Koskinen to get the start once again for the Oilers tonight (1-2-0, .892 SV% / 4.04 GAA). The Habs may counter with Jake Allen if they do not run with Carey Price (1-0-1, .913 SV% / 2.92 GAA).
- SCRATCHES: James Neal and Gaetaan Haas are out for the Oilers, goaltender Mike Smith is on injured reserve. There are no injuries to report for the Canadiens.