So the Canadiens were not able to tie the NHL record for most wins in a row to start a season, and if you were on social media at all after the loss to Vancouver Tuesday night, you might have forgotten that the Habs are 9-1-0, and ranked first in the NHL, up 3 points on the Nashville Predators, and up 4 points on the closest team in the Eastern Conference (the New York Rangers) by 4 points. As well, the Habs have scored the most goals in the league (36) and are ranked 1st in goals-against/game (1.70).
The Canadiens will have a chance to get their 10th win of the season tonight when they head to Edmonton to take on a team that has been in terminal flux for about 5 years now. With its crop of elite prospects that include the likes of Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid, Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the Oilers still find themselves in familiar territory, 4 games under .500 (3-7-0) and 5th in the Pacific Division. The Oilers began their season on a 4-game losing streak, then went on a 3 game run, and are now in the midst of a 3-game losing streak. The Oilers are coming off two 1-goal losses, one at the hands of the L.A. Kings, and the other at the hands of the Minnesota Wild. So, although they have trended downwards in the standings, a positivist may find a way to spin those losses into "quality losses", although the OIlers gave up 3rd period lead to the Wild on Tuesday in the loss.
The Canadiens will want to use the return-to-form we saw in Tuesday's loss in Vancouver to overcome a team that is still finding its footing. The Oilers have been a streaky team thus far, and the Habs will be hungry to respond to Tuesday's loss with a strong performance tonight that will produce the winning results we've seen otherwise this season.
There will be one lineup change tonight, with Alex Semin out and Paul Byron in. Semin has 3 points (1G, 2A) in 10 games played alongside Alex Galchenyuk (7 points, 1G, 6A) and Lars Eller (4 points, 3G, 1A). Carey Price will start tonight. The move will see Brian Flynn moved up to the second line (while Byron is slotted to the play on the 4th line). Flynn has been very active with 18 shots on net this season (8th on the team, and 1 less than Alex Galchenyuk) and has shown the kind of tenacity that Michel Therrien generally rewards with top-line minutes.
The puck drops at 9:00PM EDT.
How To Watch:
In the Canadiens' region (French): RDS
Regionally (English): Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario
In Canada (English): SN360
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Lars Eller||Alex Galchenyuk||Brian Flynn|
|Tomas Fleischmann||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Paul Byron||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Tom Gilbert|
Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Alexander Semin
Injuries: Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)
|Taylor Hall||Ryan Nugent-Hopkins||Leon Draisaitl|
|Benoit Pouliot||Connor McDavid||Nail Yakupov|
|Iiro Pakarinen||Anton Lander||Teddy Purcell|
|Andrew Ference||Mark Letestu||Anton Slepyshev|
|Darnell Nurse||Oscar Klefbom|
|Andrej Sekera||Mark Fayne|
|Brandon Davidson||Eric Gryba|
Scratched: Andrew Ference, Luke Gazdic
Injuries: Jordan Eberle (shoulder), Matt Hendricks (foot), Griffin Reinhart (undisclosed), Justin Schultz (undisclosed)
Check out the enemy over at Copper & Blue.