NHL Game Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. Montreal Canadiens | 03/19/2024

Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

Game 65 against Colorado on Saturday night had the feel of a Playoff game, didn’t it? It was 1-0 after the second period, but who says low-scoring games can’t be exciting? So much speed was on display at both ends of the ice. The final score should’ve been a barnburner, but Stuart Skinner and Alex Georgiev held their own with great performances in net. Skinner stopped a penalty shot, and Georgiev stopped a breakaway in Overtime. Congrats to Corey Perry for getting his 900th career point while making a soccer-type assist when he lost his stick. It was the secondary assist on Sam Carrick’s first goal as an Oiler. Zach Hyman had a chance to break the franchise record of 10 straight home games with a goal previously held by Wayne Gretzky in the 1981/1982 season, but he had a goal called back in the third period. Sharing a record with the Great One isn’t a bad thing, either.

The biggest lesson for this team heading into the Playoffs was in the dying seconds of OT when Evan Bouchard and Leon Draisaitl slowed down because they thought the overtime period was just about over and were mentally preparing for the shootout. That gave Nathan MacKinnon the opportunity to send a nifty pass over to Artturi Lehkonen, and his goal gave the Avalanche the extra point. Colorado could be a future opponent for Edmonton in the postseason, depending on how far they go. They just got a quick reminder against the wrong team that you have to keep playing until they officially hear a whistle or the end-of-period horn. They’re fortunate this happened while just looking to get home ice advantage in Round 1 and not during a do-or-die elimination game. At the same time, watching Sean Walker score 2 goals for his new team against ours and Cody Ceci being on the ice for both of them was pretty funny. You’ve got to see at least some humor in that.

The Oilers have 2 games left on a 4 game homestand. 3 points out of a possible 4 so far, one of them against a legit Cup contender, is pretty good. They need to take advantage of a team that, at the moment, is just playing for pride in the NHL standings. The keys to the game are…

No Slaf-ing Matter: Whenever we see the next 18 year old drafted first overall, the consensus is he has to be either a Hall Of Famer or a complete bust. Why not find a middle ground and just think he’s a pretty solid player. Juraj Slafkovsky has put the doubts from last year to rest, excelling on the Habs top line with Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. He’s also thrown 119 hits thus far to go along with the offense, playing like the power forward that his 6’3”, 230lbs frame would suggest.

A Duel Of Trios: Another mention of Slafkovsky, Suzuki and Caulfield. Since February 1st, they are the 4th highest scoring teammate trio in the league. Would you like to guess who the #1 trio is?

More Important Things In Life: Before Montreal’s Saturday night game in Calgary, it was announced that their head coach, Martin St. Louis, would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to be with his family. It hasn’t been 100% revealed what the situation is as I’m typing this, but it must be really serious if the word “indefinite” was used. We hope everything is and will be okay with his family. I’d hate to hear just how bad the news is. The harsh reality of this business is that the games still need to be played. The Habs will want to battle extra hard for him tonight and for the remainder of their season.

Stephen Vani

Oilers fan in Toronto. Staying up past my bedtime for Western games since the mid 2000s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Golden Knights Regular Season No. 7 Report Card

Another Vegas Golden Knights regular season has come to an end. In standard fashion, the season had goaltender drama, injuries, moments when the team was unstoppable, and periods when the team struggled with bottom-feeders. Let’s dive right into the grades. 98 Points, fourth-place in the Pacific, Wild Card No. 2, C- Listen, “C’s” get degrees. […]

Read More

ECHL: Trois-Rivières Lions Roster Transactions | 04/19/2024

Going into tonight’s Kelly Cup game two of series one, the Lions have Activated Mason Kohn and placed Charles-Antoine Paiement on reserve. Game one against the Norfolk Admirals was Wednesday, April 17th, and the Lions lost 4-2. Going into tonight’s game, the Lions are looking to tie the series at 1-1. Game one was very […]

Read More

Looking Back At Edmonton’s Last Four Postseasons

2020: This NHL season stopped with 20 or so games left in it due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It eventually resumed during the summer and featured a best three out of five qualifying rounds for teams that were at least in the race for a Wild Card spot. The Edmonton Oilers were the top-seeded team […]

Read More