Blues @ Oilers Game 38 Preview

Magnus Paajarvi - Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Powerhouse Blues rank second in league scoring

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@

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23-7-4, 1.47 p/g Ranks 11-23-3, .676 p/g
Western Conf: 4th Western Conf: 14th
3rd P/G 29th
17th ST 24th
3rd ES 29th
8th Goal 30th
8 PM MDT - CBC
Rexall Place
The opposing view: St. Louis Game Time

Tickets - TiqIQ

Top Stories

  • The Oilers completed a four game road trip in Colorado by dropping a 4-2 decision to the Avalanche. Oilers go 0-4 on the trip, and have now dropped five in a row. Tonight, they face a Blues team that's scored almost as many goals as the Oilers have allowed this year. Think about that for a second.
  • Linus Omark was traded to the Sabres for a sixth round pick. I'm sure you're well aware of that by now.

The Oilers are saying:

"Good things don't come to people who wait, good things come to people who take charge, and take control, and we didn't do that."

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after the team's latest loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Eakins would then go on to discuss the team yielding their eighth shorthanded goal this year, which is kind of a lot.

The Oilers have allowed eight shorthanded goals this year. That's an incredible amount of shorthanded goals to allow in just 37 games played. (This seems awfully familiar, I think I mentioned something about this after the Oilers allowed their seventh shorthanded goal recently). The Jets, Rangers and Flyers have allowed five, which is also a lot. Eight goals in 37 games is an ungodly number of shorthanded goals. The Oilers allowed one shorthanded goal in 48 games last year, and eight in the entire 82 game season of 2011-12.

In other words, things are really starting to look up.

The Opponent is saying:

"We were checking. Four of our five goals were because we were checking people off the puck. I think this had a resemblance of a team that we envisioned and the way we needed to play. It's a good sendoff on the road trip here."

That's Blues coach Ken Hitchcock after St. Louis' 5-1 victory over the Canadiens in Montréal on Thursday.

I hate the Blues, and not for any other reason than they're having a good time winning hockey games. Case in point: the Blues defeated a pretty good hockey club in Montréal on Thursday, and they did it soundly. Alexander Steen is the proud recipient of a brand new contract with a 5.8 AAV for three years, and he celebrated by scoring twice in the third period. Steen is sitting pretty with 38 points (24-14-38) in 34 games this year.

Of note:

  • Corey Potter has finished serving his suspension for drilling Ducks forward Nick Bonino in the numbers. He'll be eligible to play tonight should his number get called. I'm thinking someone gets moved around so Potter finds a way in.
  • Mark Arcobello (ribs) was out for Thursday's game against Colorado. He's a fair bet to be in for tonight's game. If he's unable to go again, Anton Lander will go in his place.
  • This is David Perron's first game against his former club. Perron has been lights out for the Oilers (14-13-27 in 34 GP) so far.
  • Gazdic - Gagner - Yakupov.  Here's some space for you to write in your own joke.  ________________________________________________________________
  • It'll also be Magnus Paarjarvi's first game against the Oilers since he was swapped for Perron. Paajarvi has been limited to just 15 games played, and has two goals on the year.
  • Ladies? Gentlemen? Take a look at the Blues roster. You'll notice Derek Roy as 3C, and a fourth line that doesn't look like a busted rotary phone. That's depth. Someday, we might have that.
  • I've got Ilya Bryzgalov penciled in goal for the Oilers tonight. Jaroslav Halak gets the night off, as Brian Elliott (6-1-2, .913 SV%) is confirmed to start for the Blues in net.
  • I mentioned earlier that the Blues are scoring almost as many goals as the Oilers have allowed. The Blues are second in the league in scoring (averaging 3.41 goals per game). Only the Blackhawks (3.58) are scoring more than St. Louis. Comparatively, the Oilers are 19th in goals scored per game (2.51).

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Nail Yakupov

Luke Gazdic - Sam Gagner - Nail Yakupov

Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - David Perron

Jesse Joensuu - Anton Lander - Ales Hemsky

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Anton Belov - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Corey Potter

Ilya Bryzgalov

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The St. Louis Blues

Jaden Schwartz - T.J. Oshie - Alexander Steen

Magnus Paajarvi - Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Tarasenko

Chris Porter - Derek Roy - Chris Stewart

Brenden Morrow - Maxim Lapierre - Adam Cracknell

Alex Pietrangelo - Jay Bouwmeester

Kevin Shattenkirk - Barret Jackman

Roman Polak - Ian Cole

Brian Elliott

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