Friday, March 1, 2013

Post Game: Game #20 Blues 4 Oilers 2

EDM Hall 4 (Eberle, J.Schultz) 17:30
EDM Whitney 1 (Smyth, Yakupov) 17:53

STL Schwartz 2 (Oshie, Backes) 3:38
STL Shattenkirk 2 (Sobotka, Stewart) 10:30 PP

STL Sobotka 2 (Cracknell, Porter) 4:28
STL Backes 3 (Oshie, Schwartz) 14:37

Devan Dubnyk 26/30

St. Louis
Jaroslav Halak 15/17

Game Notes:
- Oilers started out like gangbusters in this one. It was 2-0 after one, but slowly got pushed out of this game, Taylor Hall got injured and did not come back. That was all she wrote from there. 17 shots is not anywhere near good enough to win on most nights and it was not good enough this night. It's a carbon copy of a lot of nights the Oilers have had in the past, so really nothing new to see here and its onto the next game for the Oilers. The Oilers compete level was solid through most of the night. Mental fatigue caught up to them as a couple of ugly plays in the third period did them in and the Blues coasted to a 4-2 win. It's a game where some more bigger bodies who can make an offensive play would have helped this club. The Oilers could get the puck into the Blues zone but then could not make a play when they got to the shooting areas because of being pushed around when they got there. So, the Oilers are now a modest 1-1-1 on this nine game road trip with six games left to go. If Taylor Hall is forced to misss significant time, that could be a big time blow to the club. I'm really trying to take a wait and see approach with this club, but I'm still seeing the same things that plagued this team in the past.

Player Of The Game:
Ryan Whitney D - I might be in the minority but I liked the way Whitney played tonight. Jumped in the rush and scored a goal, played a pretty clean game in the defensive zone, moved the puck well, all in 18+ minutes of action. To expect much more than this from Whitney would be absurd. It was a nice bounce back game from Whitney after having a long stint in pressbox but injuries to Potter and Fistric forced him back into the lineup. Solid game from Whitney and he might have bought himself more games with this effort tonight.

Goat Of The Game:
Devan Dubnyk G - Didn't like the way the 3rd goal went in. It smelled of pure fromage and it was goal that was born from mental fatigue. It ultimately was the game winning goal. Dubnyk has played well for the most part this season, every goaltender will let goals in like, every goaltender has bouts of mental fatigue. The key for a goaltender is to shake it off and concentrate on making the next save. Dubnyk will get a chance at redemption on Sunday against Minnesota. The Oilers need him to have a solid bounce game, because they need him to play at a high level.

Next Game - Sunday March 3, 2013 vs. Wild @ Minnesota on Sportsnet West 8 PM MT.

Pre-Game: Game #20 Oilers vs. Blues

The game will be coming at us fast and furious now. Before we know it, it will be the half way point of this shortened season. The Oilers coming off a convincing 5-1 win against the Stars last night. That statement game they were looking for that eluded them in Chicago on Monday night, showed up last night. This is game 3 of the nine game road trip. A road trip filled with potential playoff clubs jockeying for position. The Oilers can't afford to take many nights off on this road trip. Anything less than .500 on this road trip and they are likely cooked for the season. They are off to a good start by getting three of four points so far. The Blues will pose a different challenge for the Oilers than the Stars did. The Blues still have the big bodies but have the younger legs and more rounded defense group. The Blues are smarting from a 3-0 loss to the Black Hawks last night, so the Oilers should get an angry Blues club tonight.

Forwards Blues
-  Blues are deeper and a better blend at this stage of the game. Oilers are starting to get a little production from the bottom end of the order which is a good sign.
Defense Blues
- Pietrangelo and Shattenkirk are two of the best young Dmen in the NHL. The Oilers defense is playing well in its own rights.
Goaltending Oilers
- Halak and Elliot have been inconistent for the Blues. Devan Dubnyk played well last night but has to deal with a back to back situation.
Special Teams Oilers
- Edmonton's PK and PP are 4th and 6th respectively. Blues PK and PP are 21st and 2nd. Oilers special teams have been keeping them in games.
Coaching Blues
- Ken Hitchcock is a tough matchup for any coach but he is still trying to find the pulse of his own club. Ralph Krueger is doing the most he can with his club.
Intangibles Blues
- Both teams are playing in the 2nd half of a back to back. Difference is Blues play both games at home while the Oilers fly in from Dallas.







Game Time - 8 PM MT @ St. Louis on Sportsnet West.