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Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 73.0: Reduce the Risk (6pm MT, SN1)

Some idioms are more popular than others. There are the often used “hit the hay,” or “kill two birds with one stone.”

I’ve found males like to use them more often, specifically fathers. I guarantee you can quote a saying or idiom your father used throughout your childhood and into your adult life. You likely use it now too.

Dads have some of the best. My father’s favourite idiom was, “It costs an arm and a leg.” He grew up poor and was careful with his money. In hindsight, one of the best things I’ve learned from my parents is money management, and that phrase really resonated with me. As a child my arms and legs were very valuable to me, so I kind of understood what he meant. I figured out the really meaning as a grew older.

He had other sayings, that I’m not sure are idioms per se, but still vividly stand out.

“We’re off like a herd of turtles in a rain storm,” he’d shout out enthusiastically before any road trip longer than two hours. He made me laugh. A lot.

Fathers have idioms and sports have cliches. Cliches are used a lot, mainly because they are true. You try to minimize them, but sometimes they describe things perfectly so you use them.

One not so popular idiom describes the Oilers play this season very accurately: “You have to risk it to get the biscuit.”

Too often, however, that strategy has backfired for the boys in Orange and Blue.

The Oilers lost 6-3 in Vegas on Sunday, the 10th time this season they have allowed six or more goals in a game. Only Chicago (12) and Ottawa (11) have surrendered 6+ goals more often.

The good news for the Oilers is they have bounced back quite well after getting blown out. They are 6-3 in the game after they allow six or more goals. They will need another bounce back effort tonight to get their ultra slim playoff hopes alive.

Overall, Edmonton has allowed 5+ goals 18 times this season.

Ottawa leads the league in that category having allowed five more more goals 22 times. New Jersey is next at 21, followed by Philadelphia at 20, Pittsburgh and Washington at 19 while Edmonton, Chicago, Florida and Detroit have done it 18 times.

At the opposite end, the New York Islanders have only had six games with 5+ goals against, while Carolina (7) and Winnipeg, Dallas and Columbus (9) are the only other teams in single digits.

When the Oilers lose, they like to lose big. They have taken “You have to risk it to get the biscuit” a tad too literally this season.

What makes it more painful is the Oilers only have seven games where they scored 5+ goals. Only Los Angeles (5) have had fewer games with big offensive outbursts.

At the top of the offensive explosions sits Tampa Bay with 31 games of 5+ goals, followed by Toronto (26), San Jose (23), Calgary (22) and Winnipeg, Philadelphia and Washington (21).

The Flyers and Capitals have been feast or famine both offensively and defensively this year. Same with Chicago, who has allowed 5+ goals 18 times, but they’ve also scored five or more 18 times.

At least they give their fans an equal dose of excitement and disappointment…?

As the Oilers skate out the final ten games of the season, they need to recognize that their high risk, low reward, style of play is not conducive to winning. They need to be much better at protecting the puck. They got crushed in Vegas mainly because they turned over the puck far too often.

They should want the biscuit (puck), but they need to be better at protecting, and when they want to go get it they have to make smart reads.

If not, it could be another long night in St.Louis.

**In the comments section share your favourite saying/idiom that your father, or mother, used.**

LINEUP…

Oilers

Draisaitl-McDavid-Kassian
Khaira-RNH-Gagner
Gambardella-Cave-Chiasson
Lucic-Brodziak-Rattie

Klefbom-Larsson
Nurse-Russell
Sekera-Benning

Koskinen

Fifty eight games without a goal finally cost Tobias Rieder a spot in the lineup. I think a night off might help him. It can’t make things worse for him, so a change in routine might allow him to score before the season ends. Rieder has been incredibly professional during the worst stretch of his career. He knows we have to talk about his goalless drought. I hope for his sake he scores before the season is over.

But it makes sense for the organization to play Gambardella ahead of Rieder. I highly doubt Edmonton is re-signing Rieder, so you might as well see what you have in Gambardella.

According to our friends at OddsShark, Edmonton is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games when playing St. Louis.

Blues

Schenn-O’Reilly-Tarasenko
Schwartz-Sundqvist-Perron
Maroon-Bozak-Thomas
Steen-Barbashev-Sanford

Dunn-Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester-Parayko
Del Zotto-Bortuzzo

Binnington

Vlad Tarasenko was injured on March 7th v. Los Angeles, and returns to the lineup tonight. He leads the Blues in goals with 28 and is second in points with 59. Alex Steen on the fourth line. He makes $5.75 million for the next two seasons. He had 7-13-20 points, but he averaged 55 the past five seasons. He is now 35. The Blues have loads of depth and having a fourth liner produce 20 points is good. The salary cap is the problem. He has missed 17 games due to injury, so that might be part of his point reduction, but I’ll be watching him to see if at age 35 he is starting to slow down.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Bleedin’ Blue:

The Blues are going to have to figure out how if they are going to secure a playoff spot. If you go .500 or worse, you likely fall out of a divisional spot and maybe even a playoff spot overall.

As good as the players for the Blues are, the problem is there is no leadership, and I’m not talking about the captains, etc.

Nobody on the team has really been through this sort of thing. The Blues usually had things locked up by now when they were good or were mostly out of it when they were not. Having to battle every game is something new and they don’t have those playoff generals that can lead the way.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton has won three of their past four visits to St. Louis. That trend won’t continue tonight. They lose 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Leon Draisaitl continues his goal scoring tear on the road. He had 12 goals in his past 12 road games. He’s tallied a goal in ten of those games. He pots his 44th goal of the season tonight and becomes only the 8th Oilers player to score 44 goals in a season.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gambardella scores. Rieder watches from the pressbox thinking, “Maybe I need to grow a beard like Joe to score.”

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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 3/19/2019 – 7:00 am MT