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Blues @ Oilers Game 63 Preview

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Farewell, Jeff Petry

Wiiiiiiild horses...couldn't drag me awayyyyyy
Wiiiiiiild horses...couldn't drag me awayyyyyy
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports


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39-18-4, 82 points, .1.344 p/g Ranks 18-34-10, 46 points, .742 p/g
Western Conference - 3rd Western Conference - 14th
5th P/G 29th
7th ST 27th
4th ES 28th
8th Goal 27th
8 PM MST - CBC
Rexall Place
The opposing view  St. Louis Game Time

Farewell, Jeff Petry

It's that time of year again.  Oh, you know what time I'm talking about.  It's time where we get to say goodbye to an Oiler who's typically been a good soldier throughout the year (and years previous).  It's time to say goodbye to someone who's been a player on an awfully bad club, one who's gotten injured, one who hasn't publicly made a stink about being on a perpetually terrible club for many years.  You know this player.  It's been Shawn Horcoff, or Ales Hemsky, or Lubomir Visnovsky in years previous.

This year, it's Jeff Petry.  Petry will be traded between now and the NHL's trade deadline on Monday.  I'd be shocked if the Oilers dressed Petry for tonight's game in St. Louis.  I'm not going to lionize Jeff Petry in this game preview, other than I do wish him luck wherever he turns up.  Be it Detroit, San Jose, Tampa or otherwise, he'll finally be set free from this eternal place of hell and damnation.  Good for you, Jeff Petry.  You were a good soldier.

The Oilers are saying

"He skated hard and looks like he's back to normal"

That's Oilers interim head coach Todd Nelson on Nail Yakupovwho could be back tonight after sitting out with a groin injury.

Yakupov has been one of the few tolerable things about this team over the past ten games.  Before injuring his groin last week, he was in the middle of an eight game point streak (4-4-8), and has been seeing fair success on the second line with Derek Roy and Teddy Purcell.  Yakupov is an immediate shot in the arm if he's able to return tonight against a tough St. Louis team.

The Opponent is saying

"I thought Ryan (Reaves) really, really helped that line (with Paul Stastny and Patrik Berglund, who scored).  He gave those guy some room and some space.  They scored a big goal for us.
That's Blues coach Ken Hitchcock on moving Ryan Reaves up to a line with Paul Stastny. Ryan Reaves had an assist (his ninth point in sixty games).

I love it when coaches on other teams say stuff like this, because it will result in a handful of Oiler fans suggesting that the reason the team isn't winning is because guys like Darcy Hordichuk or Ryan Jones or Ben Eager aren't in the top six.  Ryan Reaves isn't very good.  Difference between Ryan Reaves in the Blues lineup and Darcy Hordichuk, Ben Eager, Steve MacIntyre, Jesse Boulerice, or Luke Gazdic on the Oilers?  The Blues can absorb a guy like Ryan Reaves.  The Oilers can't absorb six minutes of terrible hockey from an NHL-tweener on a line with other NHL tweeners.  You wouldn't dare put one of these players on the top six, because they'd get blown off the puck faster than these leaves getting the hot air.  The Oilers will likely counter with Luke Gazdic if Reaves is in the lineup.  They'll fight, and nothing will happen.  The Oilers will get outshot by something ghastly like 41-18, and nothing will change.

Have some of this

  • FUN FACTS: The Oilers have scored one goal or less in four of their last six home games.  Put Nail Yakupov on the ice, wind him up, and let him go.
  • Benoit Pouliot scored both Oiler goals in Edmonton's victory in Minnesota on Tuesday.  Pouliot's twelfth and thirteenth goals were all the Oilers needed in their 2-1 takedown of the Wild.  The Oilers amassed just nineteen shots, while the Wild countered with 34.  Oilers could use another marker (or two) from him tonight.
  • Ben Scrivens stood tall for Edmonton on Tuesday, turning away 33 of 34 shots (including six on the power play) en route to his twelfth victory on the season.  I'd expect him to get the start tonight against St. Louis' Brian Elliott (19-9-2, .921 SV% / 2.21 GAA)
  • GOILERS