GDB 38.0: Perron Sees His Old Team

The Edmonton Oilers return to Rexall tonight to face David Perron’s old squad, the St. Louis Blues, in what will be the first of three meetings between the teams.

The Trade

Craig MacTavish hasn’t had a perfect start to his tenure as general manager, but he’s done some nice things and been willing to make improvements when opportunity has come along. One of those opportunities was Perron, who became available as the Blues needed to cut salary to re-sign players like Alex Pietrangelo.

Thus far, the deal’s been awfully lopsided:

  • David Perron (Edmonton): 33GP, 14G-13A-27PTS.
  • Magnus Paajarvi (St. Louis): 15GP, 2G-0A-2PTS.
  • Second round pick in 2014 (St. Louis): Shaping up to be in the 30-35 range.

Once Paajarvi finds his legs and if that second round pick pans out this should get a little better for St. Louis, but it’s a move that made Edmonton a better team right now, and that’s important. If MacTavish can find three or four more of these the Oilers will be in great shape.

The Opposition

Edmonton hasn’t played the Blues so far this year, but the Blues are a good team and Edmonton has trouble with good teams. Many will focus on them being big and strong and tough but the fact that they’re in playoff position right now is what makes them scary. Take a look at the Oilers’ record this season against teams currently sitting in the top-eight in either conference:

  • Team inside the top eight: 2-17-2
  • Team outside the top eight: 9-6-1

Edmonton’s been pretty good against bad teams, but has been getting hammered by the good ones (an 8-2 win over Colorado notwithstanding).

The Lineup

Some interesting items there. With all of 12 healthy forwards, Dalls Eakins hasn’t got much in the way of choices, so he’s put together a power-vs.-power line, a tough minutes line and done what he can with the rest. With Luke Gazdic on the wing it’s a good bet that Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov are the “fourth” line and will be spotted against the weakest available opposition; maybe it will help. The other line is super interesting, because Lander has struggled so far and finally gets a skilled guy (and a guy a lot like his AHL sidekick Linus Omark) on his wing. Jesse Joensuu isn’t exactly a prize as the other winger, but he’s comparable to one guy Lander’s been playing with and better than the other.

On defence it’s just nice to see Philip Larsen, the team’s seventh-best defenceman, taking a seat.

Predictions

Game day prediction: A 1-0 St. Louis Blues victory 

Obvious game day prediction: Dallas Eakins gets many opportunities to work on his facial expressions. They range from incredulous (really, that’s a penalty now?) to disgusted (the power play bobbles the puck at the blueline because of course it does) to resigned (well, they were going to score eventually) to a clear desire that he had stayed in the AHL.

Not-so-obvious gameday prediction: While this will be a one-sided and boring game, it won’t be the most boring game of the season. That’s coming in March when Edmonton next plays the Los Angeles Kings.

Recently by Jonathan Willis

  • reaperfunkss

    “Craig MacTavish hasn’t had a perfect start to his tenure as general manager, but he’s done some nice things and been willing to make improvements when opportunity has come along.”

    Like dumping smid for nothing in a panic move cause he was worried about his cap space/contract limit/BOLD trade, take your pick.

    Signing an old, career backup to make Dubnyk better.

    Signing Grebs and telling us he was here early to get in shape then told us he needed to be sent to OKC to get in shape.

    Signing the best available D-Man, that he personally scouted, from the KHL who, certainly not awful, has not lived up to the hype of working towards a Russian Olympic spot.

    Full credit for picking up Perron (not a steal because it was a Blues salary dump and he was first in line)

    Did dump the Horc contract

    Fired a coach he helped hire to bring in Eakins who right now looks like he conned the BS’er. In the name of halting turnover in the coaching position. Perhaps too early to tell with Eakins but certainly does not look like an NHL coach.

    MacT cannot recognize talent nor can he develop it. He has no idea what substance is but he certainly knows how to talk like he does.

    Looking forward to his contract extension

    Six Rings and counting….

    • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

      Very funny…….it seems that all the Oilers fans have to look forward to. A bunch of clowns running a sad circus is all we have left!

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Well I must admit we fleeced St. Louis………of that there is no doubt.

    I must admit that having Larsen sit means we will have no defensemen able or willing to create offence. Since Eakins has dialed back offence for the sake of defence, it seems no one is willing to take a chance. Our scores reflect this attitude as do our stats on the PP, PK, ES, …….in every area we have moved backwards.

    I’m expecting a zero offence game against St. Louis…….maybe Eakins can learn from a coach like Hitchcock how to work a bench. Eakins has turned all of our offence type players into shadows of their former selves…….considering we have a natural wealth of offence type players I’m totally confused why we are trying to turn these guys into Hitchcock type of players…….Gretzky never played defence nor did any of those great Oilers……..they played to their strengths, not to their weakness.

    Well at least we are fit, losers!

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    Oilers better pray they don’t get a powerplay this game. Also better hope they aren’t a goal behind or tied with two minutes left to play either. Eakins is determined to make them lose with his man advantage and goalie management skills; they’re going to have to foil his evil plots by making sure they score goals just to spite him!

  • Rick Stroppel

    SOMEBODY HAS TO TELL THE TRUTH!

    Puzzle me this. That stunt the referees pulled on Eakins in the last game, do you think they would do the same thing with Ken Hitchcock?

    In the eighties the Ghermezian family built three huge mansions in the west end, connected underground by tunnels. Those mansions are now occupied by the Three Unwise Men: Katz, Lowe and McTavish. They do not mix with the outside world. They are ensconced in their urban compound.

    A small lake which does not have an inlet of fresh water will soon become a stinky swamp.

    Why hasn’t the braintrust brought in a coach like Hitchcock, Crawford, or somebody else with HC experience at the NHL level? Why do they hire rookies like Krueger and Eakins? Because they do want anyone to challenge their notions about how to build a competitive NHL team. They have it all figured out already.

    The suffering has to end. Civil unrest is imminent. You have to give Eakins the balance of the season, but if there is no major improvement between now and then, I think you need to replace him with a PROVEN NHL coach.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Should be able to make up atleast one of those second rounders with Hemsky and Schultz leaving town soon.

        Paajarvi, he was a MacGregor selection, right? Starting to look like that 2nd (32nd overall) is the gem in that deal. Paajarvi ends up just being filler/throw in.