The albeit brief Christmas break is fast approaching but the Edmonton Oilers will want to snag another win before the festivities get underway. Welcoming the Montreal Canadiens, still with two games to play before Christmas at the time of writing, the hosts will be full of confidence ahead of the contest and this one could be Edmonton’s to lose. Montreal may be ready to call it a day and enjoy some well-deserved rest.
Both sides will head into this one in relatively good form; the Oilers have won six of their last 10 games whilst the Canadiens have also won six whilst taking the Nashville Predators to a shootout early in that run. Based on their recent records, it is quite difficult to split the two Canadian organisations and punters may have a difficult job picking a winner.
Inconsistency Continues To Haunt Oilers
As previously mentioned, Edmonton, 35/1 shots with Bet365 for the Stanley Cup, have put a solid run of form together in recent weeks but it hasn’t been enough. The Oilers are currently seventh in the Pacific Division and only the Arizona Coyotes boast a worse record. Edmonton have shown glimpses but glimpses are not enough to keep pace in what is arguably the most competitive division in the National Hockey League.
Having won three on the spin, it would be a positive sign for Oilers fans if their side can snag a fourth successive victory going into the Christmas break. Momentum is key to success in any sport but it is imperative in the pursuit of Stanley Cup glory.
DANGER MAN: Connor McDavid. When McDavid is good, he is very good. With 41 points in 35 NHL appearances this year, the Oilers main man has been in blistering form – he notched four points in Edmonton’s clash with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this month.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, he is NOT Edmonton’s top goal scorer this season. Fellow center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has scored 14 to McDavid’s 12. Montreal will need to keep tabs on both men in this contest…
Canadiens Looking To Keep Pace In Division Race
Montreal snapped a three-game losing run with a huge win against the Vancouver Canucks last time out and the Canadiens will be looking to build over the next few days. With a trip to the Calgary Flames still to come before their visit to Edmonton, Montreal have a decision to make on whether to prioritise the first game or the second.
With a goals differential of -14, the visitors have been thrashed at times this year but they are made of stern stuff and Montreal have always bounced back stronger. The Canadiens are right in the mix to reach the postseason this season and plenty of fans will be hoping for another victory here.
DANGER MAN: Phillip Danault. Montreal’s top points scorer with 21, Danault has been in fantastic form this campaign. Alongside Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty, he will be quietly confident of making another positive impact on the big stage.
Can the Canadiens go all the way to the Stanley Cup finals? Well, they are certainly in with a decent chance. Montreal are built to succeed in the playoffs and Claude Julien’s men will be tough to stop if they manage to maintain their form throughout the regular season.
A tight contest is expected here and this one could go either way. Montreal are closer to the finished article but Edmonton have McDavid and he can make the difference. This one may be one of the games of the season if both teams play at their brilliant best.
OILERS 3-2 CANADIENS