How to watch
Puck drop: 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/Rogers NHL Live
As Montreal continues through its Western Canada road swing, a bumpy start against Edmonton was a solid wakeup call for a team that has turned heads for positive reasons so far this season. The Canadiens were victim to an overwhelming third-period push from the Connor McDavid-led Edmonton Oilers, in what could be possibly the most disappointing effort of the season.
Tonight, they move forward against the Calgary Flames, a team that has had a Jekyll and Hyde type season, and could prove to give the Canadiens either a great opportunity to rebound, or another tough test in Alberta.
Tale of the Tape
|52.7% (6th)||Corsi-for pct.||54.3% (4th)|
|58 (9th)||Goals for||56 (12th)|
|61 (27th)||Goals against||55 (18th)|
|13.0% (30th)||PP%||17.2% (21st)|
|82.5% (9th)||PK%||76.3% (24th)|
Despite a solid showing through two periods, which included contributions from a red-hot Max Domi, who shows no sign of slowing down, and Andrew Shaw, who has moved up alongside Domi and Jonathan Drouin, the Habs were completely shut down in the third as the Oilers posted a three-goal period to take the game decisively.
Meanwhile, the Calgary Flames currently sit in third place in the Pacific, but as with all teams in the West this season, have been shifting up and down the standings. Carried by their first line of Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm, the Flames have managed to amass a 10-7-1 record, but have been inconsistent during the process to get here.
Lindholm in particular has fit in nicely with the Flames since arriving from Carolina, currently sitting with nine goals and nine assists, with point-per-game production so far this season.
Prized free-agent signing James Neal has been unable to gain any sort of traction with the Flames since signing in the summer, producing only four points in 18 games so far this season, and was recently benched in Calgary’s last outing. In goal, Mike Smith has struggled, and is now in competition with David Rittich for the starting spot in the crease.
The Canadiens will have to hope that a quick bounce-back is in order for their team, as they’ve only lost back-to-back games once this season, and have been excellent in responding after a loss. After Antti Niemi’s outing against the Oilers, Carey Price will most likely get the call to the crease in order to get back in the swing of things after having admitted there have been some mental issues in his game as of late.
Another strong night from the Domi line would do wonders for the Canadiens as well, as they’ve been one of the most effective lines for Montreal so far.
The Flames and the Canadiens only see each other twice a year, and the season series was split 1-1 last year. It would be important for both the Canadiens and Price to have a good match against the Flames, especially when looking ahead to the matchup against the Vancouver Canucks, another surprising team this season, and a homecoming for Price.