GDB 34.0: St.Louis singing the goalie Blues

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Game Day

(photoshop: @isuckatpicking)

Holiday Cheers! Holiday Savings! Click to find your store.

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The Oilers got a much needed victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday, but it was far from a dominant performance over a tired team. A win is a win, however, and they gladly took the two points.

They will need to avoid settling for outside shots tonight when they face the St.Louis Blues. The Blues are a good team, but the Oilers are very competitive with them, or better, in many categories.

Team  GF/G
GA/G
PP%
PK%
CF%
SCF%
Edm 2.88 2.67 22.2 83.2 51.3 50.1
ST.L 2.81 2.88 21.9 88.5 52.2 52.1

The biggest surprise is how the Oilers have allowed fewer goals/game than the Blues.

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Last year the Blues allowed 2.40 goals/game, fourth best in the NHL, while the Oilers were 27th at 2.95. This season the Oilers sit 13th at 2.67 goals/game, while the Blues are 21st at 2.88. Edmonton has lowered their GA/G by 0.28, while St.Louis is allowing almost half a goal more per game, 0.48.

According to Naturalstattick.com the Oilers are still allowing more high-danger scoring chances than the Blues, 670-608, so Cam Talbot is a big reason why the Oilers GAA is better than the Blues.

He has faced 874 shots in 29 starts, allowed 73 goals and has a .916sv%.
Jake Allen has faced 681 shots in 26 starts, allowed 65 goals and a has a .905sv%.

Allen and Carter Hutton have not given the Blues adequate goaltending. Allen has allowed 12 goals in his last three starts. Chicago scored five on Saturday, while Nashville pumped five past him last Tuesday.

Hutton will get his first start since December 3rd tonight. In six starts and nine appearances Hutton has a 2.92 GAA and an ugly .889sv%. He has allowed 14 goals on his last 96 shots (.854sv%).

The Oilers must test him early and often, and not from the perimeter. They need to get to the tough areas, the dangerous scoring areas and crash the net.

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LINEUP

Oilers

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Pouliot draws back in. Pitlick gets promoted to play with Draisaitl. With every passing day it seems more obvious Jesse Puljujarvi will be heading to Bakersfield after Christmas. I wonder how much of him being a healthy scratch now is due to total games played. If he is on the roster for fewer than 40 games, like Nylander did last season in Toronto, then his free agency eligibility carries over one year. I assume they are keeping him here so he can enjoy Christmas with the family he has been living with, and then send him down.

Eric Gryba draws back in as well. He’ll play his first game since November 17th. Matt Benning gets a rest, but I expect he’ll be back in soon. He has played well.

Blues

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QUICK HITS

  • We will see the top-two scorers in the NHL tonight. Connor McDavid leads the league with 39 points and Vladimir Tarasenko has 37. Tarasenko has 14 points in his last nine games, while McDavid only has points in four of his past nine games. He has eight points in the four games he’s scored, but for McDavid going pointless in five of nine is a bit of a slump. He’s due for a breakout game soon.
  • I’m curious what the analytics guys have to say about CF% this year. In past years, most of the top teams were near the top in this category. Some staunch CF% believers said it was the best indicator of good teams. When Colorado and Calgary made the playoffs they were considered lucky or outliers due to their low CF%, and it was proved correct the next season.

    However, this season CF% is not reflective of the standings. Should we expect teams like LA (2nd), Nashville (3rd), Florida (4th) and Carolina (8th) to make strong pushes, and teams like NYR (27th), Ottawa (24th) and Anaheim (20th) to fall?

    Currently, five of the top 12 CF% teams are out of the playoffs. Is it an anomaly or has another team stat surpassed CF% as a more accurate portrayal of how a team is playing?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

St. Louis Game Time

The Edmonton Oilers have been so bad for so long that seeing them in a playoff spot takes a little getting used to. Right now they’re 16-2-5 and are 4-3-3 in their last ten. A big chunk of credit for their record goes to Connor McDavid. It’s amazing what a guy can do when he’s not injured, isn’t it? He’s netted 12 goals and 27 assists this season; Leon Draisaitl is also contributing in a big way, with 14 goals and 14 assists.

The Blues probably want to forget whatever that was Saturday night against the aBlackhawks. Defense optional games aren’t fun when you’re the team that the defense was most optional for your team. Hopefully tonight will be a different story.

The Blues lost 3-1 in Edmonton earlier this season; will their (mostly) stellar home record help St. Louis even it up against the Oilers? Here’s hoping.

MONTH OF GIVING

Thank you to Shane for his excellent bid on Friday of $6,000 for the catered dinner by Chop Steakhouse. Awesome.

Today’s items.

Package #1: Meet and Greet with Taylor Hall

Image result for taylor Hall jersey

  • You will have a meet and greet with Taylor Hall after the Devils morning skate on Thursday, January 12th at Rogers Place. You will be Hall’s guest, watch their skate then meet him after.
  • You will have a pair of club seats to the Oilers/Devils game that night.
  • A signed Hall Devils jersey.
  • A signed Hall Oilers jersey.

Package #2: Yearly TLC for your vehicle

Auto Details

  • One year detailing package for your vehicle. Once every season (spring, summer, fall, winter) you bring your vehicle in for a complete interior/exterior makeover courtesy of Auto Details.

    Exterior                                                                  Interior

    -Hand wash                                                         -Vacuum (trunk included)
    -Door jams                                                          -Complete hot wipe interior clean
    -Undercarriage                                                    -All windows polished
    -Wheel wells
    -All windows polished

You can bid by listening to my show on TSN 1260 and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6 p.m. today.

Thanks in advance. All proceeds will help out Santa’s Anonymous and M.E Lazerte Breakfast program.

TONIGHT…

GDB

(Photoshop: @TomKostiuk)

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers had a very strong game against St.Louis earlier this year. They play well again, but lose 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Tarasenko scores. He has six goals and 11 points in his last nine games versus the Oilers. He has four goals and seven points in his last four home games versus Edmonton.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Kassian picks up his first career point versus the Blues in his 12th career game.

Recently by Jason Gregor:    

  • Ferraro: Travel fatigue is real
  • Home is where the wins should be
  • Oilers Trade Talk
  • 50 Shades of what?
  • GDB 32.0: Blue Jackets are legit
  • Monday Musings: Offside

      • Dwayne Roloson 35

        The losing ways continue.

        Edit: this is a sarcastic reference to that guy the other night who said the losing ways continue after we beat Tampa in the shootout just so people know.

      • Prairiechicken

        And by Kassian, Davidson, Nuge, and every other Oiler I saw on camera right after the goal, they seem to have all cared … A lot … About the big road W.
        Definitely seem to be a tighter knit team than years past it seems.

        • FISTO Siltanen

          It has been years since Oilers was must-watch TV/attending games for me. Turned down many free tickets. Never even turned on the TV other nights.

          This season is definitely different and, win or lose, players actually caring has a lot to do with that.

      • FISTO Siltanen

        After last season there was some chatter on boards whether Sekeras would want to waive his NTC to go to Vegas in the expansion draft (not happening!).

        For all the grief Chiarelli takes for some of his misses I am really happy with the foundation of this defence for the next 5 years. Hopefully one more body will be added (draft, development, trade, signing) to really solidify this group but dollar for dollar I love this D-core.

    • 4000miaway

      Somebody said before the TBL game things are decent if they come away with four points from these four last games leading up to Christmas break (TBL, STL, ARZ, SJ).

      They’ve got four now. I don’t care if it was in OT, lucky or ugly. Whatever. Just keep winning.

    • OilersGM

      I have to say Gregor your predictions this year have been atrocious, if your predictions would’ve been correct to date this team would be in last place again.
      You of all people should know better that the team was gonna take a step forward this year.

      • CBK

        When OilersNation writers staff did their pre season prediction, I’m pretty sure Gregor was the only writer who said the Oilers were going to make the playoffs.

        If the Oilers keep battling the rest of the season, they just might.

        • OilersGM

          I’ve said it here and on Oilers now b4 the season started that the Oilers will make the playoffs, of course I’m not a writer on ON but my point is if you look at all the single game predictions he has mad its pretty bad.

      • Jason Gregor

        I was one of only two Nation writers to pick them to make the playoffs. Facts always help.

        Actually they wouldn’t be in last place, based on my picks, considering I’ve picked them to win more games than lose.

        But, never let the truth get in the way of making an on line post.

      • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        Weren’t you saying RNH should be on the 4th line?

        “The atrocious shooting % of Hopkins this season makes one wonder if he should go down to 4th line service . . . . Hopkins a major disappointment this year.”

        The alternate theory is that he’s been getting more shots than any one on the team who’s not named McDavid and sooner or later things have to break his way.

        • madjam

          One goal only gets him a temporary stay on top six . He is still in my doghouse.

          Odd how two of biggest shooting % players like Patty @ 12.3 and Leon @ 18.7 are put up with Nuge @ 5.4% to get him going . Yet Nuge is only one not to get a point with that combo , and Pitlick @ 13.7% gets a goal with the combo in short order .

          4th line center Letestu in 31 games has 6G,8A=14 points with only 44 shots taken . Hopkins in 34 games has 6G,10A=16points on 95shots taken . Seems like Letestu fairing better than Nuge .

    • Randaman

      I have watched the last three games on mute. My wife thought I was nuts until she heard him beaking about the Blues. Seriously, that is how much I hate Remenda!

      The man is beyond annoying, kinda like Gruden on Monday Night Football except waaaaaaay worse

    • Harry2

      1. What the hell does McD have to do to get some calls? Start diving like the Sedins?

      2. Absolutely horrendous tending by Talbot on the 1st STL goal.

      3. Leon Draisaitl is such a pleasure to watch.

      4. Great road win against one of the best in the league!!