Thursday afternoon, the NHL Public Relations Department announced that Thursday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers had been delayed. The game was supposed to start at 7PM Eastern time. The NHL now has scheduled the game to start at 8PM Eastern time.
Edmonton Oilers-Montreal Canadiens Game Delayed
The game tonight between the Oilers and Canadiens was delayed because of a player with the Oilers. According to the schedule update from the NHL PR, the game was delayed to allow for the completion and analysis of the Oilers COVID-19 test results. It is also of note that Oilers’ forward Jesse Puljujarvi was pulled from the ice at practice this morning. Puljujarvi is currently a game time decision tonight. If the game were to get postponed tonight, it would be the first game postponed in the Scotiabank North Division this season.
The Next Step for the Oilers
Puljujarvi had been playing first line minutes with Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He had five points on the year including three goals in 15 games. In the event that Puljujarvi cannot play tonight, James Neal will take his spot on the first line according to Oilers head coach Dave Tippett. Neal had been a healthy scratch in the Oilers game on Tuesday. Without Puljujarvi, the Oilers offense will be fine. McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are first and second in the NHL in points right now. Neal had two goals in the game Sunday night before being a healthy scratch on Tuesday. More points could be coming for the veteran if he plays alongside McDavid Thursday night.
The game tonight would be the last of four on the Oilers’ road trip. They’re currently scheduled to host a two game set with the Winnipeg Jets on February 15th and 17th. As for the Canadiens, tonight is the second game of back-to-back. Last night, the Canadiens lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. After the game tonight, they will get the Maple Leafs at home one more time on Saturday before getting a full week off. Both the Oilers and the Canadiens currently hold playoff spots in the Scotiabank North Division. However, the Oilers have played three more games than both teams below them in the standings. The teams are currently scheduled to play tonight at 8:00 PM Eastern to try to put themselves in better playoff position.