Sunday, October 30, 2011

Game Day : Blues vs Oilers

St.Louis (5-5-0) vs Edmonton (6-2-2)

Time:      6:00pm
Where:    Rexall Place
Watch:    Sportsnet West
Listen:    630 Ched

Projected Line Combinations

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Eberle
Smyth - Horcoff - Jones
Paajarvi - Belanger - Gagner
Petrell - Lander - Eager

With the club winning four straight I can't see them making any changes upfront. Linus Omark did take the pre-game warm up in Colorado but did not play. If the young Swede does not play tonight, it will be five games in  a row that he has sat out and you would have to think that Edmonton would make some sort of decision on him shortly. I have no doubt that he'll make the teams upcoming six game road trip but if he continues being a health scratch, I would expect the club to send him down to Oklahoma City.

Defence Pairings

Gilbert - Smid
Potter - Barker 

Peckham - Petry


With Andy Sutton out of the lineup pending his hearing with the NHL, for his hit on the Avs rookie forward Gabriel Landeskog, defenceman Jeff Petry will find himself back in the Oilers top six. While Sutton was paired with Corey Potter, I wouldn't be surprised to see Cam Barker move into that spot leaving Theo Peckham and Petry as the third pairing. This way the top two pairings will see the majority of the minutes. The third pairing will see significantly fewer minutes 5-on-5 but Peckham will see some PK time and Petry will, no doubt, get time on the power play.


Nikolai Khabibulin will get the call for the Oilers and will have to follow up Devan Dubnyk's 40 save performance with another good effort. Both goalies will see time on the upcoming road trip and look for the Russian netminder to continue his fine play against the Blues.

St.Louis Notes 

  • St.Louis had been riding the hot play of goaltender Brian Elliott, you heard me right, but I fully expect to see Jaroslav Halak in the Blues net against he Oilers. The former Montreal Canadiens standout has struggled out of the gate for the Blues but make no mistake, he is their guy. In order for the Blues to make a run at the playoffs, they need Halak at the top of his game.

  • The Blues have been led upfront by the clubs "supposed third line" that includes former Oiler Jason Arnott and Alex Steen. Arnott was brought in to help in a leadership role but the bigger centre leads the club with five helpers and already has eight points on the season. As for Steen, he is coming off back to back strong seasons for St.Louis and he leads the team with six goals and nine points this season. 
  • While the Blues did claim former Oiler Taylor Chorney off waivers early this month, the blueliner has yet to make his St.Louis debut. Not surprising, considering Chorney is really nothing more then a depth guy and that is exactly waht he has done to this point with the Blues. Do they play him against his former mates? I wouldn't put money on it.
  • Power forward Chris Stewart is off to a slow start this season with only two goals thru the first ten games of the season. Stewart was a scoring machine after being acquired form the AVs last season but he hasn't been able to find his game so far.
  • On the injury front, forward David Perron has been out with concussion symptoms since last Novemeber and remains on the sideline. He is practicing and made the trip out West with the club but there is no timetable for his return. Centre Andy McDonald is out once again with a concussion. McDonald has had numerous concussions over his career, the latest coming Oc.13th in game against the Dallas Stars on a hit from Vernon Fiddler. The talented centre had been concussion free for nearly 10 months, after being injured against the Oilers last December.

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