Montreal welcomed to the organisation one Cole Caufield, who won a International Ice Hockey Federation world junior gold medal here in January and finished up his college hockey career winning the Hobey Baker MVP award with Wisconsin.
The Canadiens sent Caufield to Montreal’s American Hockey League farm team in Laval, Que., where he promptly scored a couple game-winning goals. Forced to call him up, Caufield scored his first and second NHL goals in consecutive games — both in overtime.
The one Monday moved the Canadiens into a tie for third place with Winnipeg.
The Oilers will face the third-place team in the playoffs.
“You don’t want to be on a team that loses seven in a row going into the playoffs, and it kind of looked like we were matched up against Winnipeg. It’s now anybody’s ball game for that third and fourth spot,” said Oilers’ Tyson Barrie.
“We’ll obviously be keeping an eye on it and be preparing for whoever it looks like we’re going to play but we’ve got some games to clean up here. There’s nothing we can do here. We have Montreal twice at the end of the year but we’ll see how it turns out here.”
WINNIPEG — @ Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver, Vancouver, Toronto.
MONTREAL — @ Ottawa, @ Toronto, @ Toronto, Edmonton, Edmonton.
Neither the Jets nor Habs were scheduled Tuesday. so the focus would be totally be on McDavid and the Oilers.
“We’re watching what’s going on in the league and we’ll continue to monitor that but coming into this game, I thought our players’ spirits were really good,” head coach Dave Tippett said of the Oilers keeping their focus.
“We talked about needing that one point to secure our spot, so we were very, very focused on what we had to do to make sure we got the ‘X’ beside our name.”
That might not be so easy for the rest of the week.