G39 Game Notes: Oilers head to Montreal looking to break franchise record with 10th consecutive win
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
1. The Edmonton Oilers will face the Canadiens in Montreal on Saturday evening looking to set a new franchise record for consecutive wins.
Thursday’s win in overtime over the Detroit Red Wings was Edmonton’s ninth in a row, marking the fourth time in team history the Oilers have had a winning streak of that many games. Two of those instances came in the regular season and one was during the playoffs.
The 1984-85 team swept their three-game first-round playoff series with the L.A. Kings and then took down the Winnipeg Jets in the second round in four straight. They won the first two games of the Clarence Campbell Conference Finals with the Chicago Blackhawks to reach nine wins in a row. The Oilers finished off the Hawks in six games and then beat the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Final.
The 2000-01 team had a season-changing winning streak in February and March that helped vault them up the standings. The streak finally came to an end in the last game of a four-game road trip, a 2-2 tie against the Florida Panthers. They wound up finishing sixth in the Western Conference and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Stars.
The 2022-23 team had an incredible 17-2-1 run down the stretch following the trade deadline. After an overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in late March, the Oilers won nine games to finish off the regular season. The streak ended when they lost Game 1 of their first-round playoff series to the L.A. Kings.
2. Zooming out on this current winning streak, the Oilers are on a stretch similar to the one they had last year after the trade deadline. Since their 5-0 win over the Washington Capitals on American Thanksgiving, the Oilers have gone 17-3-0. They had an eight-game winning streak, a three-game lull, and then this streak started with back-to-back wins over the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers before the Christmas break.
It’ll be interesting to see how long the Oilers can keep this going. The Canadiens are standing between them and their own franchise record of 10 wins in a row, and they’d need seven more wins to match the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins for the longest winning streak in league history at 17. Up next after Montreal are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Seattle Kraken, a couple of difficult opponents.
3. The Habs have a somewhat decent 17-18-6 record for the season but they’ve been struggling lately. Since coming back from the Christmas break, they have just one regulation win in eight games. Most recently, they were the opponent that ended a 12-game losing streak for the San Jose Sharks, as the Habs were dropped by a score of 3-2 on Thursday at home.
Montreal’s roster isn’t one that was expected to finish the season in a playoff spot and the team has been bogged down by a handful of injuries to their forward group. Kirby Dach had knee surgery back in October and won’t be back, Alex Newhook suffered a lower-body injury in November, and it was announced last week that Christian Dvorak would also be out for the season.
4. The Habs are surely going to be a team that seels ahead of this year’s trade deadline and they have some players who might be of interest to the Oilers. Sean Monahan has 11 goals and 24 points in 41 games and could be the third-line centre the team needs. His cap hit is manageable on a one-year, $1.985 million contract.
Michael Matheson and David Savard are two possibilities to upgrade Edmonton’s blueline, though both players are signed beyond this season, which makes things trickier. Matheson has had a huge season for Montreal, as he’s second on the team in scoring with 29 points in 41 games and has logged 25:07 per night.
Starting in net for Montreal will be Sam Montembault, who Montreal recently inked to a three-year contract extension. The Habs goaltender that gets talked about the most as a trade possibility is veteran Jake Allen, who’s signed for this season and next at a $3.85 million cap hit. He has an even 0.900 save percentage this year across 14 games.
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