Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #67 Oilers vs. Canadiens

15 games left to go. This game should have the appeal of a neutral site game as the Canadiens come to town which leads to flocks of Canadiens fans invading Rexall Place. The Oilers are coming off a hard fought 3-2 shootout win in San Jose, a game where the Oilers finally dedicated enough hustle and brain power needed to win a hockey game. The fight in the body hasn't left the Oilers, which is a good sign, but sometimes the fight in the mind disappears from them. The Oilers will need to find a way to battle the mental demons down the stretch, to allow the games to mean something. The Oilers need to finish strong, draft pick be damned. If anything, to allow themselves to feel good about heading into next year. The Oilers need to establish a higher will to win, and that can start right now. But that isn't solely on the players. Its also incumbant on the coaches and management to feel this as well, after all it starts with them. If they don't feel the urge to win, how can the players? The Oilers still need to adjust some pieces on the team but they also need to adjust their mindset. The Canadiens come into this game losers of their last 2 games, dropping a 5-4 game to Calgary on Tuesday night. This is a battle for the 2nd overall draft pick, so its a very winnable game for the Oilers if they choose to seize it.

Forwards Oilers
- Would love to see the kid line reunited. (Hall,RNH,Eberle)
Defense Oilers
- Smid and Petry have been a solid pairing as of late.
Goaltending Canadiens
- Carey Price is a fantastic goaltender on an otherwise pretty weak Canadiens team.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers have the NHLs best powerplay while Montreal has the NHLs best penalty kill. Montreal's powerplay is 28th.
Coaching Oilers
- I have to give Tom Renney the nod here as I'm not even sure how long Randy Cunneyworth will be around in Montreal.
Intangibles Oilers
- Oilers get slight advantage if only because of last change. Crowd should be neutral.

Oilers: (my version)






Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.

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