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The Long Road: Blues At Edmonton Oilers Preview

The Blues can redeem themselves with a solid game in Edmonton

C'mon Vladdi ... 99 is no longer a thing in Edmonton
C'mon Vladdi ... 99 is no longer a thing in Edmonton
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

So, then THAT happened.

The Calgary game fulfilled a lot of the fears that Blues fans had about taking the streak into this road trip. While it's easy to get motivated for games against Dallas and Chicago, it's a little harder to get up for the Flames. While the first period was more Voodoo than Wizardry or Bullshit, the remainder was certainly the Blues shooting themselves in the foot, reloading, and doing it again. Seeing the hats fly is no fun for the visitors, and it wasn't smart for Backes to take two minors at the end of the second. Never again should the Blues take another team too lightly. It gives more credence to the thought that the Blues' biggest enemy is themselves. It could be that people think that for all the right reasons.

That could also be said about Edmonton, at least in recent years. A once-proud franchise that seemed to wallow too much into nostalgia, they never seemed to be able to focus solely on the future. Despite a constant stream of high-end draft picks, they never put together an actual team. Finally, after years of the old-boy network producing only more old boys, they have a front office that wants to build something fresh. New GM Pete Chiarelli has started working on getting the perpetual rebuild back on track. Most recently, he had the luck of drafting Connor McDavid (you may have heard of him) in his first draft, and spent most of the trade deadline picking up more picks. In the week before the deadline, the Oilers made 5 transactions. In those, they shed 5 players and acquired 4 picks and only 2 players. One was the obvious trade with St Louis that brought us backup Anders Nilsson and the other was a trade with Anaheim that brought St Louis native Patrick Maroon to Edmonton.

Of course, rebuilds are slow processes, and the Oilers are still far away the worst. They were tied with Calgary at the bottom of the Pacific Division, but the Flames pulled ahead just recently. Not shocking, but the Oilers are now in prime position for the draft lottery - yet again. They have gone 5-4-1 in their last ten games, and have lost two in a row leading into tonight. They get Darnell Nurse back tonight, after serving his 3-game suspension for sucker-punching and jumping Roman Polak on March 8th. Also center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be in his third game tonight since being injured in January. Also, we'll be seeing some former Blues in Nikita Nikitin and Adam Cracknel. He was claimed off of waivers by the Oilers around the deadline, and has yet to register a point with his new team. That's too bad, but I hope he holds off at least one more game.

Despite getting the hook against the Flames, it will of course be Jake Allen in goal for the Blues. The Oilers will have the option of starting their number one goalie Cam Talbot (17-24-4 record, .918 Sv%) or their new backup Laurent Brossoit (0-2-1, .882). That's another position that they will have to shore up someday. There's gotta be somebody that they can turn to for netminding once the rest of the team gels.

Further reading:

The Copper & Blue

Oilers Nation

Blues vs Oilers coverage

GameDay Twitter Feed:

Final Verse: Another late one, with the puck dropping at 8:30 St Louis Time. Plenty of time for a nap first, just make sure you wake up in time for the GDT, which should drop shortly before the puck does. The TV broadcast will be on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. Drop by and watch the game with us. Maybe Tarasenko pops #100 tonight! It'd be nice to seem him reach that mark and get a little more rockstar treatment.

There's been a lot of bad officiating lately. It makes you wonder where they learned their trade ...