This preview was written Tuesday evening and scheduled to be published today due to family obligations. We’ll be back to more up to date writing for the game tonight. - Hildy
The Blues’ disappointing 4-0 loss Monday evening to the Winnipeg Jets wasn’t on Thomas Greiss. Without him, it easily could’ve been a 6-0 drubbing. Instead, it was the Blues’ first clunker of the year - poorly timed penalties that broke up momentum, a defense that lost its oomph as the game wore on, and an offense that just couldn’t get it done. Helping the situation out even less were the absences of Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad due to injury. Missing two offensive stalwarts is not helpful regardless of who the Blues are playing, but when you’re facing Connor Hellebuyck, it’s really not going to do the team any favors.
The game was a disappointing come down from Saturday’s 2-0 smothering win against the Edmonton Oilers. It’s not every day that a team shuts down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the Blues - on the back of a stellar Jordan Binnington - accomplished it. Tonight the Blues get a second chance this week to smother the Oilers’ offense. Hopefully Monday’s loss and subsequent readjustments help them do just that.
To their credit, the Oilers rebounded quite nicely from Saturday’s loss, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-3 Monday night. The Penguins first regulation loss of the season was helped along by a goal and two assists from Draisaitl, as well as a stellar goaltending performance from Jack Campbell. Campbell will be squaring off against Jordan Binnington again tonight more than likely, and it should be another close matchup between the two goalies and teams.
The Blues will have some offensive reinforcements and a new line mix thanks to the signing yesterday of Tyler Pitlick to a one year, $750,000 deal.
With Buchnevich out, Brayden Schenn skated with Robert Thomas and Vladimir Tarasenko, while Ivan Barbashev, who had been with that group on Monday, skated with Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou. Pitlick alternated with Jake Neighbours on a line with Logan Brown and Josh Leivo, though Berube said he was experimenting on Tuesday.
As an aside, thanks to Monday’s shutout, the bobblehead giveaway has been revamped. Please make some new predictions here and win yourself a Chopper (or Pronger, or Walt).