TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (27-38-7, 61 pts. 5-4-1 in their last 10) vs St. Louis Blues (41-21-9, 91 pts. 6-4 in their last 10)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet Oilers – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
72 down, 10 to go.
The end is in sight for the Oilers on another disappointing season. However, that isn’t holding some players back from giving it their all.
Adam Pardy, who suffered a broken finger and has missed the last two games, is one who is trying to get back into play as soon as he can.
Adam wants to play, badly. He’s got a hand injury from blocking a shot, and he’s able to skate so he wants to keep his legs going and his conditioning up as much as he can. The minute he’s good to play we’re going to put him in, because we’d like to find out a little bit more about him. He can’t run the risk of greater injury to himself and hurting the team, and I think he understands both of those situations. He’s very noble, he wants to maintain that conditioning level and we’d welcome him back quickly. – Todd McLellan on Adam Pardy.
I recommend reading through Willis’ article linked above, as he talks about how Pardy could be a valuable defensive asset in a 6/7 role next year for the Oilers.
After serving a three game suspension, Darnell Nurse returns to action after his altercation with Roman Polak of the Sharks on Mar. 8. Nurse has shown maturity through the situation, saying he “could have definitely been smarter out there.”
That’s fair. I wrote about the incident in a post-gamer I did for Copper and Blue. To summarize my thoughts on it, I was okay with what Darnell did.
Todd McLellan feels the team should be well prepared. He noted the similar roster structure between Nashville and St. Louis. The difficulty for the Oilers all season has been injuries.
Rather than it being an excuse, it is a legitimate reason as to why the team has not been successful. Suffering the most-impactful injuries in the league and the third most injuries period as per mangameslost.com.
None the less, the Oilers had a legitimate chance this season to do well. My beginning of the year prediction had them finishing 10th in the West. As of today, they are only six points out of 10th and fourteen out of a playoff spot.
For years, the Oilers have been pushed around physically by the Blues. With the size additions the team has, it should be interesting to see how the team responds. Let’s see what the Oilers are made of tonight.
Quotes from oilers.nhl.com.
Predictions for tonight:
- Oilers win 3-1.
- Patrick Maroon fights David Backes for all the crap he has done to the Oilers in the last few years. Nobody gets hurt, but Maroon gets the W.
- Darnell Nurse returns, plays over 20 minutes and is a positive CF player in his first game back.
Last games predictions and results:
- The Oilers win the game for LB.
- The line of Patrick Maroon, Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle are all on the ice for two Oilers goals.
- Adam Clendening has another good showing, and scores his first with the Oilers.
Well, I was close. The Oilers lost but the line of Maroon-McDavid-Eberle accounted for one goal.
St. Louis Blues Preview:
Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson is questionable after missing practice Tuesday. Coach Ken Hitchcock said Gunnarsson, who blocked two shots in the Blues’ 7-4 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday that ended a six-game winning streak, is day-to-day. If Gunnarsson can’t play, Robert Bortuzzo would; he’s been a healthy scratch in seven straight games. St. Louis is seeking a ninth straight win against Edmonton; the Blues are 13-1-0 in the past 14 against the Oilers. The Blues last lost to the Oilers on March 26, 2013. “If we’re not prepared (against Edmonton), it’s going to be even worse,” said goalie Jake Allen, who will start after being pulled Monday after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Stastny has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a four-game point streak after scoring two goals Monday.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Iiro Pakarinen
Matt Hendricks – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Adam Cracknell
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Nikita Nikitin – Adam Clendening
Jordan Oesterle – Griffin Reinhart
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (leg infection), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand), Eric Gryba (knee), Benoit Pouliot (shoulder), Brandon Davidson (knee).
St. Louis Blues (Jake Allen):
Jaden Schwartz – Jori Lehtera – Vladimir Tarasenko
Robby Fabbri – Paul Stastny – Troy Brouwer
Patrik Berglund – David Backes – Dmitrjj Jaskin
Scottie Upshall – Kyle Brodziak – Magnus Paajarvi
Jay Bouwmeester – Alex Pietrangelo
Robert Bortuzzo – Kevin Shattenkirk
Joel Edmundson – Colton Parayko
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