GAME FOUR VS ST. LOUIS
TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (0-3-0) @ St. Louis Blues (2-1-0)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet Oilers – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
After losing their third game to start the season, the Oilers will look to bounce back against the Blues. Three games into the season, and everyone seems to have forgot that we are three games into the season. The loss of Jordan Eberle seems to have been a bigger loss than I had anticipated. Maybe it’s due to the smokin’ hot preseason we had but none the less Jordan’s scoring touch and offensive prowess has been missed in Edmonton.
It doesn’t help that Taylor Hall has started off slow, and the slow start has subsequently caused people to want to trade him which Jonathan Willis pointed out wouldn’t be the best idea:
Hall in particular gets mentioned as a trade candidate by people who I assume are really anxious to run Benoit Pouliot/Matt Hendricks in the Nos. 1 and 2 slots on the left wing depth chart. In addition to his on-ice chance numbers, Hall has scored 2.55 points/hour over the last three seasons at even-strength. The entire list of NHL regulars who have done better is five names long: Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Jamie Benn, Corey Perry and Tyler Seguin. Every other player in the game, whether it be Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin or Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews or whoever has been less efficient at five-on-five point production than Hall has.
So yeah, trade that guy. I’m sure he can be replaced no problem internally. – Jonathan Willis, Oilers Nation
Willis is a fantastic writer, and hits it on the head here. Hall’s scoring puts him in an elite category so there should be no surprise to see him get his legs underneath him and get running soon.
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Historically, Hall has performed well through the first 20 games of a season. The loss of Eberle has pushed Matt Hendricks into the top line right wing role. It is sort of a weird one, but Hendricks will provide a definite energy boost to the top line along Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall. Hopefully Henricks’ heavy game can create space for Nugent-Hopkins and Hall.
Anton Slepyshev and Anton Lander showed very well in the preseason, but have thus been ineffective through the three games that have mattered so far. The two have posted a 48% Corsi For, and a 44% Corsi For respectively so I would hope they can pick up their game.
When the Oilers opened the season against St. Louis, the team had a really lethargic start to the game and it put us behind the eight ball early. In order to beat the Blues, the Oilers will need to come out and play effective hockey early. The team learned from Jason Spezza that shooting from anywhere can work as he scored a goal from the goalline.
Tonight marks the final season opener at Rexall Place.
Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk left a 4-3 victory at the Calgary Flames on Tuesday with a lower-body injury and probably will not play against the Oilers, according to coach Ken Hitchcock. Shattenkirk took a wrist shot with 4:45 remaining in the second period and immediately left the ice, headed for the locker room and did not return. The Blues held an optional practice in Calgary on Wednesday and Shattenkirk was not among the skaters. The Blues have four games left on a season-long six-game trip and are likely to recall a defenseman from Chicago of the American Hockey League. Robert Bortuzzo would draw in should Shattenkirk not be able to play. St. Louis is already without Fabbri, who sustained a concussion last Saturday against the Minnesota Wild. Goalie Brian Elliott, who made 15 saves against Calgary, will start Thursday. He stopped 23 shots in the season opener. – nhl.com
Line Combos c/o Daily Faceoff:
Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Matt Hendricks
Benoit Pouliot – Connor McDavid – Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski – Anton Lander – Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic – Mark Letestu -Anton Slepyshev
Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart – Eric Gryba
Alex Steen – Paul Stastny – Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin – David Backes – Troy Brouwer
Scottie Upshall – Jori Lehtera – Jaden Schwartz
Steve Ott – Kyle Brodziak – Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson – Colton Parayko
Joel Edmundson – Robert Bortuzzo