Canadiens playing with heavy hearts
From the joy of starting a road trip with a win in Colorado Monday, the Montreal Canadiens (17-7-2) were rocked by the news of the passing of star player and hockey ambassador Jean Béliveau, perhaps the greatest Canadiens' player ever. No doubt the Habs will dig a little deeper Wednesday as they meet the Wild (13-9-1) for the second time this season.
Back on Nov. 8, goals by Jiri Serac and Max Pacioretty closed off the Wild in a 4-1 Montreal victory.
Pacioretty, who scored his team-high 12th goal Monday in the 4-3 triumph over the Avalanche, has been particularly effective against the Wild with five goals in the last three meetings, including a hat trick on his November birthday a year ago.
The Wild just came off a three-games-in-four nights stretch, losing a shootout Saturday 3-2 to the St. Louis Blues.
Zach Parise managed a power play goal for the Wild, a rarity for the team that's at the bottom of the Western Conference in power play efficiency.
More good news is that the Wild have managed a 7-2-1 record at home.
Have the Oilers hit rock bottom?
This could be called 10 things that have gone for the Edmonton Oilers (6-15-4), one for each of their last 10 games that have yielded the team's worst stretch since March of 2011.
Monday at home against the Arizona Coyotes they may have hit rock bottom in their 5-2 loss.
Not only are the Oilers winless in their last 10 games against all opposition, but they've yet to defeat any Western Conference opponents this season, now dragging along to a 0-12-3 mark.
Well-rested Jets primed to take off
The Winnipeg Jets (12-9-4) flew back from Boston after a 2-1 overtime defeat Friday and have been gearing up to improve their record on home ice, which is a less-than-scintillating 4-5-1. No sooner did Mark Scheifele return to bolster the Jets attack did Bryan Little, tied for the team lead in goals with 8, get hurt stopping a shot against the Bruins. After skating Tuesday for the first time after getting hit on the knee, he's likely to play Wednesday.
One bright spot for the Jets was four power play goals in 12 opportunities on their four-game road swing. They've been 0-13 with a manpower advantage in their last four starts at the MTS Centre.