HOCKEYNEWS Oilers @ Canadiens: PREVIEWS

 

Game Preview

A Look Back

The  laid an egg in this one giving up an early goal, a short handed goal and had multiple breakdowns leading to goals against. Despite making numerous big saves on breakaways and odd man rushes Carey Price was clearly hung out to dry by the the Habs horrible defensive play.

Last game: MTL 3  OTT  6  F

For a complete game recap: Senators @ Canadiens: ‘We Weren’t Good’

 

Players to Watch

  • Eric Staal
    Staal will make his Habs debut on a line with Jonathan Drouin and Tyler Toffoli and is expected to get some power-play time.
  • Jeff Petry
    Petry has struggled since the Habs have returned from the break. He was especially bad on Saturday night with a minus-5 rating. Petry only has two points in his last seven games and hasn’t played well defensively.
  • Jesperi Kotkaniemi
    With the addition to Eric Staal, Kotkaniemi has been pushed back in the depth charts. While Kotkaniemi should still get ice time, not getting a chance to play with highly skilled forwards regularly will hurt his potential.

Keys to Victory

  • Get a quick start
    The Canadiens must bounce back from a flat a start against the Senators last game.  The Habs have to be ready and find the back of the net early.
  • Commit to defensive hockey
    The Habs had an abundance of defensive breakdowns last game. It wasn’t pretty and cost them the game. The Habs can’t afford to do that again against Connor McDavid and company.
  • Shoot the puck
     Several chances were nullified by over-passing last game. The Habs need to start being more selfish with the puck and take advantage of opportunities from good quality areas.   
Statistical Matchup
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | April 5, 7:00 PM ET | TV: TSN2, RDS, ESPN+

2020-21 statistics

OILERS CANADIENS
47 (11th) Points (rank) 41 (14th)
23-14-1 Record 16-9-9
10-6-1 Away/Home 7-6-2
6-3-1 Last 10 5-3-2
3.29 GF/G 3.24
2.87 GA/G 2.68
26.4 (2nd) PP% (rank) 21.9 (14th)
78.0 (19th) PK% (rank) 76.1 (25th)
49.16  CF% 55.89
Pre-game Quotes
Eric Staal

  • “My excitement is at the top. Just being here in this hockey city, it’s got to excite you and give you that good, nervous energy. It felt really good to be on the ice with these guys. The first thing that jumps out is the talent level and skill level. Watching a few of those games, they’re really competitive, quick and aggressive, all things that you like to see out of a good hockey team. I’m excited to get involved tonight, hopefully play a good game and just be another part of the group that’s already here.”
Projected Forwards, Defense and Goaltenders (subject to change)
Forwards
Draisaitl – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Turris – Nugent-Hopkins – Yamamoto
Ennis – Haas – Kassian
Shore – Khaira – Archibald
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Drouin – Staal – Toffoli
Perry – Suzuki – Anderson
Byron – Kotkaniemi – Lehkonen
Defensemen
Nurse – Barrie
Lagesson – Larsson
Russell – Bear
Edmundson – Weber
Kulak – Petry
Romanov – Mete
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Jones, Neal, Chiasson, Kahun, Nygard
Injured: Koekkoek, Klefbom
Scratched: Frolik, Evans
Injured: Chiarot (hand), Armia (COVID protocol)
Goalies
Mike Smith Carey Price
Record: 13-3-1
GAA: – 2.39
Sv%: – .919
SO: 2
Alternate: Mikko Koskinen
Record: 11-6-5
GAA: – 2.70
Sv%: – .902
SO: 1
Alternate: Jake Allen
 Game Expectations
The Habs could win half of their remaining games and still have a great chance at making the playoffs. While a playoff spot is a goal the Habs are going to want to finish the season going much better than that.

Bottom Line

If the Habs want to be a true contender they need to start winning their remaining games convincingly and it starts with a solid win tonight.

 

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