Oilers At Blues Game Preview: Blues Need Two Points, And The Oil Can Give 'Em

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues' closest competition in the Western Conference seems to keep winning, and the Blues need to do the same.

I swear, we just saw these guys... and the Blues just shut them out. Whoever did the scheduling this year for the NHL really had some interesting ideas. But hey, at least we don't see the Red Wings until next month, so thanks for that break.

Do the Blues want a break from playing the Oilers? No way. They've shut them out four of the last eight times that they've met, and have won 11 of their last 13 against Edmonton. The pressure that the Blues keep up on the young team seems to crack their defense more often than not, since the Oilers lack one. The bad thing is that when the Blues' have a brain fart and take their foot off of the gas, the Oilers can pounce. They have some of the best young talent on the league, and if you're not paying attention, they'll make you pay.

The Blues were paying attention to most of the game Sunday night in Calgary, but a few lapses, like T.J. Oshie's failed clear, led to goals from the Flames. That danger's a lot higher tonight. For three games in a row the Blues have limited their opponents to fewer than 20 shots on goal, and they've won one of those three -- against an Edmonton team who looked like they'd rather have a root canal than play a hockey game.

The Blues need to concentrate, need to be aware, and need to keep eyes on the Oilers' snipers. Their own snipers need to keep up the pressure. Thirty-height shots on Mikka Kipprusoff is helpful, though it is frustrating when only two go in. Tonight's Edmonton goalie is Nikolai Khabibulin again, and I'm sure he's beyond thrilled. Shoot often, and more than three will go in.

Jake Allen is back in net tonight looking for his 10th win of the season. It shouldn't take much work for the Blues to help him get it. Play a full 60, guys. Play a full 60.

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