It doesn’t matter when or where a team plays the defending Stanley Cup Champions, there is always a bit more motivation when you skate against them. The St.Louis Blues are still one of the best teams in the NHL.
They are first in the West with 48 points, and third overall in the NHL trailing Boston and Washington. Their powerplay is 6th (22.8%), their PK is 7th (84%), they are sixth best in GAA (2.63) and they are 14th in goals/game at 3/06.
1. Edmonton played quite well in their first meeting in Edmonton on November 6th. They outshot the Blues 34-23, up until the Blues scored two empty net goals to give them 25 shots. Edmonton scored first, but then the Blues scored three in a row. Jake Allen made many key saves. Edmonton will need a similar effort tonight.
2. Speaking of Jake Allen, his numbers the past three years are very interesting. He is much better on the road than he is at home. You wonder if there is a mental block for him. Over the past three seasons here are his home and road splits:
Home: 22-22-2 with a .891Sv%, a 3.04 GAA in 2760 minutes.
Road: 29-22-11 with a .919Sv%, a 2.52 GAA in 3715 minutes.
3. This season he has basically played on the road. He is 5-1-2 on the road with a .932Sv% and a 2.21 GAA. At home he is 0-1-0 with a .875Sv% and 2.94 GAA. Essentially the Blues use him on the road now. Very odd. But the Oilers get to see him tonight. They need to take advantage of this oddity.
4. Here are Mikko Koskinen’s splits this year:
Home: 5-3-2 with a .907Sv% and a 2.94 GAA in 611 minutes.
Road: 7-2-0 with a .928Sv% and a 2.35 GAA in 588 minutes.
Head coach Dave Tippett has talked often how the team has played tighter and more controlled on the road. Do that again tonight and they might be able to upset the Blues.
5. The Oilers top-six scorers splits are as follows:
Connor McDavid: In 17 homes games he has 10-12-33 and in 19 road games 10-16-26.
Leon Draisaitl: In 17 home games he has 9-21-30 and in 19 road games 12-15-27.
Zack Kassian: In 15 home games he has 7-4-11 and in 18 road games he has 5-7-12.
James Neal: In 17 home games he has 5-5-10 and in 19 road games he has 10-2-12.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: In 14 home games he has 4-4-8 and in 16 road, 2-8-10.
Oscar Klefbom: In 17 home games he has 1-10-11 and in 19 on the road he has 2-9-11.
Some slight variations, as the team scores more goals at home, but they also give up more.
6. The Oilers are 8-6-3 at home with 3.12 G/game and a 3.47 GAA. PP is 32.1% and PK is 76.4%.
On the road they are 11-7-1 with 2.79 G/game and a 2.63 GAA. Their PP is 30.7% and PK is 91.3%.
7. It’s interesting to note the Oilers have scored six goals once, five goals three times and four goals three times on the road this season. They’ve scored four+ goals six times at home. The Oilers have more goals overall at home, because they’ve had offensive power outages six times. They’ve been shutout twice and scored one goal four other times.
8. The Blues are 11-4-3 at home with 3.17 G/game and 2.50 GAA. Their PP is 21.4% and their PK is 82.1%.
On the road they are 10-4-3 scoring 2.94 G/game and allowing 2.76. Their PP is 24.4% and their PK is 86.3%. Their win-loss record is almost identical. They are still on the plus side in GF-GA ratio on the road, it just isn’t as big of a gap.
8. Here is the Oilers scoring last year compared to this season, as well as the Blues scoring, through 36 games.
|TEAM||TOP-5 FORWARDS||REST OF FORWARDS||DEFENCE|
|2018/19||71 (158)||17 (51)||13 (63)|
|EDMONTON||74 (179)||22 (52)||10 (63)|
|ST. Louis||53 (130)||36 (100)||18 (67)|
9. The Oilers forwards have combined for 96 goals and 231 points while the Blues forwards have 89 goals and 230 points. The Blues forwards have a combined for 18 goals and 51 powerplay points while the Oilers forwards have 32 goals and 84 points on the PP.
Overall the Blues have 107 goals and Edmonton has 106. The difference is the Blues have allowed 92 goals while Edmonton has surrendered 109.
10. Edmonton is actually 18th in GF/game and 16th in GA/game. Eliminating goals helps, no doubt, but they need some more offensive punch from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and James Neal at 5×5. They were the second line for much of the season, but were unable to produce much. I still think the Oilers biggest need is a scoring winger.
11. Reports out of Detroit suggest Andreas Athanasiou could be available. He scored 30 goals last season, but has struggled this season with only five goals through 32 games. He is an ugly -23 at 5×5, so now would be a great time to potentially buy low. Ken Holland signed him to his current two-year contract so he knows the player very well. His speed rivals Connor McDavid, at least without the puck, and he’s only 25 years old. He is an RFA at the end of the season, and unless he has a massive second half he likely won’t be commanding a raise on his $3 million cap hit. He’s someone I’d strongly consider.
MONTH OF GIVING…
A massive thank you to Dan for his great bid on the Dave Tippett coaching video room and Oilers jersey package.
Day 13: Package #1: A Sanuvox HEPA Sterilization & UV Air Purification System supplied and installed by Mondo Mechanical.
- Designed for homeowners who want the combined performance of HEPA filtration, UV air purification and odor removal in one self-contained unit. The HEPA filter is 99.97% effective, trapping particles to 0.3 microns in size. Purification is done through a germicidal process and photo-oxidation. The air is pulled into the aluminum UV reaction chamber where the air passes parallel to the UV lamp, bombarding it with UVC and UVV light, and destroying airborne biological and chemical contaminants in the air. The air continues through the pre-filter and finally the HEPA filter.
- Installation included.
You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 between 2-6 p.m. today and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260.
Package #2: A one-year membership at Blackhawk Golf Course courtesy of Al Prokop.
- As a private club member you are usually required to buy a share, which is currently $25,000, however the Black Hawk Golf Club has generously bypassed this for our auction, and the winner will be just like any other member for a year.
- The successful bidder will receive full unrestricted golf playing privileges for the 2020 season including club storage, locker room access, use of practice range and short game area as well as clubhouse account for all purchases. The bidder will also be entitled to bring guests as per the Club’s standard guest policy.
You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 between 2-6 p.m. today and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260. All the money raised will help out The Christmas Bureau and Santas Anonymous.
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