How to watch
Start time: 9:00 PM EDT / 6:00 PM PDT
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Oilers region: Sportsnet West
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Live
The Saturday afternoon game against the Ottawa Senators is one that we’ll put in the “I’d rather forget” column after handing the Senators their first shutout of the season in a 4-0 loss.
Carey Price made his return after missing six games due to a mystery lower-body injury, which was a bit of a surprise considering there had been no real update on what was going on with him before he was suddenly ready to play. But alas, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference considering nobody really came to play anyway.
Oh, and did I mention Ottawa only had 15 shots on goal in that 4-0 victory?
The Canadiens managed to muster up 23 shots on goal, with five of those coming from Ben Chiarot, who had just returned from a hand injury himself on Friday night against the Calgary Flames. The fact that Chiarot was the one with the most shots on goal is concerning in itself.
Jonathan Drouin had the best chance of the game after picking up a turnover right in front of Matt Murray, but in true Drouin fashion, he overthought the shot instead of trying for any old ugly goal he could get, and so continues his goal drought.
Tale of the Tape
|54.9% (2nd)||Corsi-for pct.||48.5% (20th)|
|2.91 (13th)||Goals per game||3.20 (8th)|
|2.79 (15th)||Goals against per game||2.75 (13th)|
|18.8% (21st)||PP%||26.2% (3rd)|
|77.9% (22nd)||PK%||79.8% (15th)|
The Edmonton Oilers, who are sitting comfortably in third place in the North Division, have their eyes on swooping in on the Winnipeg Jets and booting them out of second place. This is a real possibility considering they’re just three points behind and have won four of their last six games. The two losses came at the hands of the Canadiens. Hopefully, that will be the case tonight as well.
After having a week off due to schedule changes, the Oilers came back for a dominant 3-0 win over the Jets on Saturday. Mike Smith turned away all 26 shots that he faced while Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Adam Larsson played some heavy ice time, coming in at 24:38, 27:08, and 24:45, respectively.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who has 28 points in 40 games this season, has been sidelined with an upper-body injury since April 7 and didn’t join the team on the road. He’s been skating on his own but has yet to join a practice, so it’s probably a safe bet that he won’t be facing the Canadiens tonight either.
After Saturday’s victory, McDavid said, “We can’t just float our way into the playoffs. We have to put a couple wins together.” Wise words. Take note, Montreal.
The Canadiens will look to regroup during this five-game western road trip. Chiarot seems to think this will help the team get back on the same page for the home stretch. “This is sort of the last long road trip that we have in the regular season. It’s an opportunity to get everyone together again and spend lots of time together. It’s good to get on the road and spend time with your teammates.”
The Canadiens have a tough schedule as they head toward the end of the regular season and — more than likely — into the playoffs. They’ve been suiting up for four games a week since coming back from their COVID shutdown and that will be the case until the final buzzer of the season.
They’re going to have to stop overthinking and play the way we know they can play. They need to start racking up some wins because with the inconsistent, and sometimes frustrating, kind of play we’ve been seeing lately, they could have a tough time holding on to that final playoff spot if they don’t.