Pregame Preview: Canadiens Vs Oilers (Game #9)

montreal canadiens vs edmonton oilers nhl

Match Up:

The Canadiens (5-3-0) are home to host the Oilers (2-6-1) Tuesday night. The game starts at 7:30 and airs on RDS and TSN-Habs.

It’s already the last time these teams are set to meet, the Habs won the first meeting 4-1 less than two weeks ago. Peter Budaj earned the win and the game’s first star with 26 saves. PK Subban had three assists while Gallagher and Galchenyuk had a goal and an assist each.

What to Watch:

Michael Bournival scored his first NHL goal last Thursday and followed it up with an assist Saturday. Bournival got news that he’d be staying with the Habs for the foreseeable future, and could skate on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta against Edmonton.

With injuries piling up, the Canadiens have called up Mike Blunden and Patrick Holland. Holland, the 21-year old from Lethbridge, Alberta, came to the Habs along with Rene Bourque in the trade that sent Mike Cammalleri to the Flames.

The Oilers lineup will also look a bit different due to injury. Taylor Hall returned to Edmonton to have his knee examined and veteran Ryan Smyth is also expected to miss action with an undisclosed injury.

Rookie Mark Arcobello is off to a good start for the Oilers, he has 8 assists in 9 games this season. He is also one of just a handful of Oilers with a positive plus/minus rating. Jordan Eberle also has a positive rating to go along with 3 goals and 5 assists, Eberle also has 2 goals and 2 assists in the last three games.

What’s at Stake:

The Habs are in already in a tight divisional race, they’re in a three way tie with the Bruins and Lightning. The Canadiens are also just two points back of the Leafs, with a game in hand, and three back of the Wings with two games in hand.

Who’s Out:

The Habs had a rough night against Nashville on Saturday as Brandon Prust (upper body) and Daniel Briere (concussion) were both forced out with injuries. They join Max Pacioretty (hamstring), George Parros (concussion), Alexei Emelin (knee), Douglas Murray (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder) in the clinic.

Along with Taylor Hall (knee) the Oilers are missing their fair share of impact players as well. Ryan Smith, Sam Gagner (jaw), Steve McIntyre (knee), Corey Potter (back) and Jesse Joensuu (back).

What Else:

The season is still young, but in 7 starts, Carey Price has put up some of the best numbers of his career.  The 26-year old netminder already has 6 seasons under his belt including an impressive 2010-2011 campaign when he recorded 38 wins, 8 shutouts, a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage in 72 games. This year, Price has won 4 of 7 starts including a shutout, and he’s posted a 2.01 GAA and a .940 save percentage in the process.

The Question Mark:

With the Habs missing so many key pieces, who do you see stepping up to fill the void?

Have your say by leaving a comment below or use the #MTLHockey hashtag to let us know on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

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About Rob Elbaz

Rob Elbaz has written 150 post in this blog.

Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show Panelist and all around good guy.

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