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Canadiens vs. Oilers Game Thread, roster, lines, and how to watch

The Habs face the Oilers in the opening game of this year's Hockey Day in Canada.

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

A person's level of sanity is the difference between their expectations and reality.

For a number of weeks Habs fans have been expecting this team to find a way to turn their season around, and re-capture the spark of one of the greatest starts in Montreal Canadiens history. Now, it seems like the expectation is that this season is over and the time has come to ride it out and put all our hopes aside until next year, which seems to be in line with the real outcome for this team despite the tremendous start.

For some, this gives a reason to stop watching. To tune out until next year. That's perfectly understandable. At the same time, there are still many reasons to watch.

Today's reason to watch is Connor McDavid. The rookie phenom has five points in two games since returning from a clavicle injury that had him sidelined for 37 games. McDavid has been rolling at a 1.33 point-per-game pace (17 points in 15 games), which projects him to 69 points had he played a full 52 games to this point in the season (six less than Patrick Kane, who leads the NHL right now).

Ben Scrivens gets the start today on the big national stage, as Hockey Day in Canada kicks off with this game between the Habs and Oilers. This is the second game of a four-game homestand for the Habs, who will be back on the ice tomorrow afternoon to face the Hurricanes for the second game of their annual Superbowl weekend back-to-backs.

Win or lose, it should be an entertaining game today, with the Oilers' firepower and run-and-gun style. It's been a while since the Canadiens have had fun playing hockey, which in my opinion, was a 5-2 win at the Winter Classic. When the Canadiens are having fun, they seem to play better. I don't expect them to win as many games as they need to in order to make the playoffs, but that doesn't mean we can't still have fun watching this team play hockey.

Line-up notes: Nathan Beaulieu will be out today in favour of Mark Barberio; Ben Scrivens gets the start; Sven Andrighetto has been moved up to the third line alongside Lars Eller.

The puck drops at 2:00 PM EST.

How To Watch:

In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): CBC, Sportsnet
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Dale Weise
Alex Galchenyuk Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Tomas Fleischmann Lars Eller Sven Andrighetto
Brian Flynn Torrey Mitchell Devante Smith-Pelly
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin Jeff Petry
Mark Barberio Alexei Emelin
Ben Scrivens
Mike Condon

Scratched: Greg Pateryn,  Nathan Beaulieu
Carey Price (lower body) Paul Byron (upper body), Daniel Carr (lower body), Lucas Lessio (lower body)

Edmonton Oilers Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Taylor Hall Leon Draisaitl Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot Connor McDavid Jordan Eberle
Zack Kassian Mark Letestu Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski Matt Hendrucks Iiro Pakarinen
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrej Sekera Mark Fayne
Darnell Nurse Justin Schultz
Brandon Davidson Eric Gryba
Cam Talbot
Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Griffin Reinhart, Adam Clendening, Anton Lander
Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (finger), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand)

Check out the enemy over at Copper & Blue.