The Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers conclude a two-game series in Edmonton on Wednesday night at Rogers Place. The Oilers were in full control on Monday night in a 4-1 victory. Mike Smith put together another solid performance, as he stopped 22 shots on 23 attempts by the Canadiens for a 0.957 save percentage. The 39-year-old native of Kingston, ON was coming off a shutout against the Winnipeg Jets on the road Saturday.
Smith, who has been one of the more surprising stories of the 2021 season, has provided the Oilers with something they’ve been missing over the last several seasons. Consistency between the pipes has been a major issue for the Oilers. That included Smith, who recorded a GAA of 2.95 and 0.902 save percentage in his first season in Edmonton last year.
It’s absolutely imperative for Oilers that Smith can keep a hot hand for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. It has felt like all season that Oilers’ fans are holding their breath, and just waiting for when he’s going to regress hard. However, if the Oilers’ defence continues to give him some help, then they don’t have to worry about a collapse in net. They did a terrific job limiting shots on net against the Jets and Canadiens. That must continue into the playoffs.
The Oilers enter Wednesday night with a record of 27-15-2 and 56 points. They trail the Toronto Maple Leafs by 5 points, who were held to just 1 point against a Vancouver Canucks team who just returned from a Covid outbreak. The Canucks did the Oilers and Jets a favor with that effort over the last two games. In any case, the Oilers have been in good form recently, with wins in four of their last five outings. The same can’t be said for the Canadiens.
There is something missing from this Canadiens team, and I’m not talking about the absence of Carey Price. Price is OUT for at least a week with a concussion, but this team doesn’t really have much of a leader to set the tone in the locker room. Shea Weber should be that guy, though they’re just going through the motions and there hasn’t been any kind of killer instinct for the Canadiens. They have been back and forth this season with a record of 19-15-9. The Habs are winners in just two of their last eight contests. Head below for our free Canadiens vs. Oilers pick on April 21, 2021.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers NHL Betting Odds:
Canadiens vs. Oilers Prediction:
Jake Allen replaced Carey Price in net after he had to leave after making 7 saves on 7 shots. Price was looking sharp before exiting the contest. Then Allen enters the game, and the Canadiens any focus that they seemed to have. Allen allowed 3 shots on 28 shots for a 0.893 save percentage. Allen has been playing relatively well this season, as he’s posted a 2.52 GAA and 0.914 save percentage. Montreal can’t expect much more, but I can’t say he has been too hot for the last two weeks. Allen has conceded at least 3 goals in five of his last seven games. In his last two performances against the Oilers, Allen has allowed 3 goals for a save percentage a touch below 0.90.
The Oilers have been a well-balanced team this season. That really hasn’t been the case for the Oilers in the past, for the most part, but the defence and offence have both been contributing equally. The Oilers are ninth in the NHL with an average of 3.2 goals scored per game. They are one of the best teams in the league converting on the power play with a success rate of 26.2% for third. Conversely, the Canadiens are 22nd on the penalty kill at 77.9%. Defensively, the Oilers are 13th with 2.8 goals against per game.
Offensive production has been dreadful for the Canadiens as of late. They’ve scored just 1.8 goals per game during their last ten outings. The Habs have failed to score more than 2 goals in three straight games, and in seven of their last eight showings. With 3.5 goals against per game, that adds up to seven losses in ten attempts for Montreal. Edmonton has gone 14-6 in their last 20 meetings against the Canadiens in Edmonton. Look for Connor McDavid and company to jump on an unconfident Canadiens team to complete the two-game sweep at Rogers Place tonight.