Sunday, October 30, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #11 Oilers vs. Blues
The Oilers take their 6-2-2 record up agsinst a St. Louis Blues team that has started the year 5-5-0. The Oilers are coming off of a 3-1 victory against the Avalanche in Colorado. They were badly outshot 41-19, but gutted out another victory, making them the winners of 4 in a row. This game represents the last home game for awhile as they go on their annual November "rodeo" 6 game roadtrip. Their next home game won't be until November 17th. October has been the month of stingy defense for the Oilers. The Oilers have given up 16 goals in 10 games, the best in the NHL, I repeat, the best in the NHL. This is something that shouldn't overlooked by anyone. I know a lot of Oiler fans and observers are seemingly waiting for the other shoe to drop on the team, but this year isn't about fluke or luck, its about structure and everyone understanding it. It's also about depth, the injuries are still there this year, but they haven't anywhere hurt near as badly as it did last year. The defense has surprisingly held up well without Ryan Whitney. I'm not sure how long it can, as he was the best outlet Dman the Oilers have, but the finding of Corey Potter has really been a godsend for the Oilers and helped alleviate that pressure. Speaking of Dmen, the Oilers will be without Andy Sutton tonight as he will have a hearing with head of discipline, Brendan Shanahan on Monday, meaning he'll be out tonight and perhaps a few more games after that after his head hit on Gabriel Landeskog in Friday's game. Jeff Petry should draw in for him tonight. I'm guessing the Oilers will go back to Nikolai Khabibulin in between the pipes. Keep an eye on Theo Peckham and Ryan Reeves. Reeves got the better of Peckham last year in a scrap, I could see a rematch and it could be something to kickstart Peckham's season.
- The kid line and vet line really anchor the Oilers. One scores and the other prevents goals.
- The Blues are anchored by Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk. Great at both ends of the ice.
- The Oilers have the hottest goaltending in the world right now. How can you not go with them.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Blues PP and PK are 30th and 26th respectively.
- The Blues have good depth but the key will be to recognize is going hot for the Blues early.
- The Oilers are finishing a 3 games in 4 nights stretch. Team structure will be key once again tonight.
Game Time - 6 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.