The Blues' first Western Canada road trip of the season concludes tonight with a stop in Edmonton, Alberta and the surprising Oilers. After finishing with two years of terrible records, resulting in back-to-back first-overall draft picks, Edmonton currently find themselves in first place in the Northwest Division. It's still early, for sure, but a 6-2-2 record is surely a good start. They have recently decided to keep their 2011 pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, up with the team instead of returning him to the juniors. This only made sense, considering he leads the team in goals (5) and is tied with his line mate Jordan Eberle in points (9). The other part of this line, 2010 first-overall pick Taylor Hall, is right behind with 8 points (3G/5A). This is an exciting line to keep an eye on, for sure. There have been a few names tossed around for this line: The Baby Oil Line, the Kids and the Hall, but whatever you call them, you gotta admit: it's fun to watch all of these young dudes.
The Enemy: This kid line has been the biggest story coming out of Edmonton. Also, there's the return of Captain Canada Ryan Smyth, also with 8 points (3G/5A). He was loved before, and that has resumed since he came back to Edmonton. Something else that is new in EDM is the solid goaltending. In 6 starts, Nikolai Khabibulin has posted a 0.97 GAA and a .960 SV%. The backup, Devan Dubnyk, has started 4 games and has 1.98 GAA and .940 SV%. Regardless which one starts, they'll have faith that the netminder will make the necessary saves. It looks like it will be the 'Bulin Wall tonight. The Oilers have won 4 in a row, BUT in the last three they've allowed at least 35 shots on goal. If they allow that many pucks on net, they'll eventually find a way in. Furthermore, the Edmonton D will be missing Andy Sutton tonight, as he will be serving a suspension for a hit on Avalanche rookie Gabriel Landeskog.
Final Verse: The puck drops at 7:00 PM St Louis time, and the GDT should be along shortly before hand. The broadcasts are on your usual outlets: Fox Sports MW for TV, and KMOX 1120 AM for the radio. Until then, this is your pregame preparty. Gather here, trade stories about the victory parade, marvel at the Rams game (the first half, anyway), and dream a little dream of when the Blues get their chance to march down Market.
Lastly, it was mentioned on a TV broadcast that the Blues are following the Foo Fighters around Western Canada. So, have a look at one of the better videos of the 90s (when Nugent-Hopkins was a toddler):
Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench (via foofightersVEVO)