Welcome, friends, to a fresh GDB to get us all ready for tonight’s contest between the Edmonton Oilers and the St Louis Blues.
Any time you go up against the defending Stanley Cup champs, you know you’re going to get a measuring stick game that really shows you where you’re at as a team, and our boys learned some hard lessons over the first two games of the season series. Looking back on the wrap ups from those two matchups, we were all complaining about the Oilers’ puck management and how St. Louis was able to sit back and take advantage. You see, the problem with teams like the Blues is that they’ll consistently make you pay for any mistakes, and the Oilers made a bunch of them that they’ll need to clean up if they have any hopes of winning round three. Not only will our boys have to find a way to produce some offence, something St. Louis doesn’t allow a whole lot, but they’ll also have to keep it tight in their own zone as well.
I know I sound like a broken record with these GDBs lately, but I can’t stress enough how important these two points are considering how tight the Pacific Division with just over 30 games to go. Maybe I’m just excited that the Oilers are actually playing meaningful games in January or stressed about how tight the division is, but it’s almost getting to the point where I need the boys to win every game. Is that a realistic expectation? No, but that doesn’t mean that a blogger can’t have big hopes and dreams, ya know? Either way, beating the Blues is going to take the Oilers playing at their best, which would go a long way for proving that they’re a legitimate threat in the Western Conference rather than a team that trails off in the back half.
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.
|LAST 10 GAMES||6-2-2||5-3-2|
|EXPECTED GOALS FOR%||48.82||48.99|
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)
Neal – McDavid – Kassian
RNH – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
P. Russell – Sheahan – Archibald
Gagner – Haas – Chiasson
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Bear
Jones – Benning
Schwartz – Schenn – Sundqvist
Sanford – O’Reilly – Perron
Steen – Thomas – Bozak
MacEachern – De La Rose – Barbashev
Dunn – Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester – Faulk
Gunnarsson – Bortuzzo
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
David Perron’s performance this season for the @St. Louis Blues should not be understated. Once viewed as a contributing piece to the offense, he has taken center stage after Vladimir Tarasenko’s injury left the offense in a brief flux.
In just 51 games, Perron has the third most goals scored in his career and is just six off the mark of his 28-goal season with the Edmonton Oilers in 2013-14. Additionally, he is just 14 points off the mark from his 66-point season set during the Vegas Golden Knights’ inaugural season in 19 fewer games played.
Perron holds a slight lead over Leon Draisaitl in game-winning goals this season with eight and has posted another league-leading four overtime goals.
Not only has he been clutch in close games, but he is also the reason for a much-improved Blues powerplay. He currently leads the team in powerplay goals (9) and powerplay assists (16) and is burying shots at a rate of 18 percent.
From an advanced analytics standpoint, Perron leads the team in offensive point shares with 4.7 and sits third on the team in overall point shares, just behind Alex Pietrangelo and Jordan Binnington (aka the lifeblood of the defense).
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers play a strong game but just can’t get enough offence to finish the job. Blues take it 3-2.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Ryan O’Reilly will make a mental note of every Tim Hortons in the city.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Oilers get a big power play goal in the second period and the DJ plays Gloria after they score.
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