Gameday: Blues at Oilers

Blues forward Alex Steen (20) attempts to strip the puck away from Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29). (Photo courtesy: Perry Nelson, USA TODAY Sports)

11/6: Blues/Oilers, 7pm CT, Rogers Place – FSMW, ESPN 101.1

The St. Louis Blues (10-3-3) look to extend their win streak to six games tonight and maintain the best record in the Western Conference against the Edmonton Oilers (10-4-2). The Blues grabbed another wild overtime winner late last night in Vancouver, their 4th overtime win in their last five games.

Jaden Schwartz netted his second of the season in an unreal overtime: After miscommunication by the Canucks forwards, all three St. Louis Blues found themselves on a 3-on-0 breakaway, and easily finished the game off in a 2-1 win. “I’m not even sure what happened,” Jaden Schwartz told the media. “You don’t see that too often”. In addition to Jay Bouwmeester’s 1200th NHL contest, that win catapulted the Blues ahead of the Oilers for the best record in the Western Conference. The Blues are 4 for 4 in overtime after dropping their first three overtime/shootout games.

The Edmonton Oilers got off to one of the hottest starts in the league under new head coach Dave Tippett, going 5-0-0 to start the season. After dropping an overtime loss on Monday against Arizona, the Oilers will look up to the challenge of facing the Cup champions. “There’s always an aura that goes with the champion,” Tippett said. “When they win the Cup with the players they have, they have a confidence that they’ve done it and they bring that confidence to their game… If you don’t play well against that, you’re going to be behind.”

St. Louis and Edmonton faced each other three times last season, with the Blues taking 5 out of 6 possible points in those contests. The Blues and Oilers face off tonight in Edmonton at 7pm. The Blues will be broadcasted on Fox Sports Midwest and ESPN 101.1.

The Real Deal?

After four years of having the greatest player in hockey on ice, the Oilers haven’t had a lot to show for it – making the playoffs only one year with Connor McDavid on the roster. He and Leon Draisaitl have ripped the scoring in the NHL to shreds despite this; the duo has combined for 271 goals and 726 points since 2015.

New head coach Dave Tippett, however, seems to be finally getting the team in the right direction. That and the surprising resurgence of former Flames James Neal (11-2-13) and Mike Smith (2.12 GAA, .931 SV%) have the Oilers sitting comfortably atop the Pacific division for the first time in ages. While it’s still early in the season, the Oilers are looking to prove they’re not fooling around this year.

Sammy the Sparkplug

Probably more than any other forward, Blues fans have been taking a huge notice to the play of Sammy Blais. Blais has been on a breakout year playing with the second line of Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron, already setting new career highs in every stat. He’s proven it’s no consequence of his linemates, however: Blais earned an assist last night on a line with Bozak and Steen after a nifty pass crossed two Vancouver defenders.

While his play isn’t as noteworthy in his own zone, Sammy’s offensive presence has been the most impactful to start the season. He leads the team in hits and his offensive possession numbers rub elbows with the top skaters for St. Louis. He not only plays well, but he skates and plays the way St. Louis hockey does, which is something Blues fans will love to have in Tarasenko’s extended absence.

Blue Notes

David Perron’s three OT winners leads the NHL in OT GWGs this season.

The Blues have won more overtime contests than anyone in the NHL with four.

Jordan Binnington is tied for second in the league in wins with 8.

The Blues and Oilers face off in a big Wednesday night tilt tonight at 8pm ET in Rogers Place, with 1st place in the Western Conference on the line. To tune into tonight’s game:

STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, Fox Sports GO,

EDM: SN, CFAS 630,

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