Blues Bounce Back With Win Over Oilers In Low-Scoring Game

Jimmy Murphy

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 9:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 9:13 PM UTC

After being embarrassed in a 6-1 loss to Arizona in their last game, St. Louis will show some pride and bounce back to beat Edmonton on Wednesday night.

Jimmy's NHL picks record: 38-33-2

Edmonton (13-12-2, 13-14 ATS) at St. Louis (9-13-3, 9-16 ATS)Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)Free NHL Picks: Blues ML and 'Under'Best Line Offered: Bovada

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After firing Mike Yeo on November 20 and replacing him with Craig Berube as their new head coach, things didn’t really change much for the woeful St. Louis Blues. The Blues are just 2-4 since the coaching change and are coming off one of their worst losses of the season, a 6-1 drubbing at Arizona on Saturday. It can’t get any worse for the team who entered the season with high hopes after an active offseason, can it? Well, the sad truth is, yes it probably can and likely will if general manager Doug Armstrong doesn’t address the real problems, like his blue line and team chemistry. On Wednesday though, at least for a game, there will be light at the end of the tunnel, as St. Louis will take advantage of an Oilers team that’s had some similar struggles and also made a coaching change the same day, when they replaced Todd McLellan with Ken Hitchcock.

Unlike the Blues, the Oilers have had a much better response to their coaching change, going 4-2-1 under Hitchcock and had won three straight games before having that streak snapped at Dallas on Monday in a 4-1 loss. Edmonton was without captain and star forward Connor McDavid, as the team’s leader in goals (14), assists (21) and points (35) was a last-minute scratch thanks an illness and clearly they missed him as they could only muster one goal and looked a lot like the pre-Hitchcock Oilers. While McDavid’s absence clearly had an effect and will do so if he misses this game as well, the game still showed that this Edmonton team has plenty of work to do before they can be considered anything but a one-man show that relies way too heavily on McDavid.

Regardless of McDavid’s presence, this game just smells like a bounce-back and pride’ game for the demoralized Blues. They too have a long ways to go to get back to contending status and will likely soon have to consider this a lost season and sell off some expiring contracts and potentially make another impact trade to change their direction. That being said, these are professional athletes with pride and dignity and they do not want to suffer another humiliating loss. Factor in that they’re now coached by Berube, who was an enforcer and full of passion as a player, and there’s a slim to none chance they don’t show up for this one!

The Blues are 9-16 against the spread and 6-8 at home. St. Louis has scored 74 goals and allowed 85. They’re 13-12-0 on the over/under and 9-5-0 at home. The Blues are 13-12 on the puck line and 6-8 at home.

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Ryan O’Reilly’s skill level? Off the charts! 📈💯 #stlblues pic.twitter.com/kNo8Qn4WGM

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) November 28, 2018
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Ryan O’Reilly leads the team in goals (12), assists (16) and points (28). Vladimir Tarasenko has 9 goals, and needs to start lighting the lamp more if St. Louis has any chance of turning this thing around.

The Oilers are 13-14 against the spread and 6-9 on the road. Edmonton has scored 71 goals and allowed 83. They’re 11-14-2 on the over/under and 7-6-2 on the road. The Oilers are 10-17 on the puck line and 4-11 on the road.

McDavid leads them in every important stat, and Leon Draisaitl is also having a solid season with 13 goals and 17 assists.

Goaltending Matchup

For the visiting Oilers, Mikko Koskinen is 8-3-0-1 with a 2.23 GAA and .925 save percentage. Cam Talbot is 5-9-0-1 with a 3.29 GAA and .889 save percentage.

For the Blues, Jake Allen is 7-7-0-3 with a 3.24 GAA and .896 save percentage. Chad Johnson is 2-6-0 with a 3.51 GAA and .889 save percentage.

M*A*S*H Report

For the Oilers, McDavid is day-to-day with an illness. Defenseman Andrej Sekera (Achilles) has been skating but is still out. Forward Tobias Rieder is out until mid-December with a upper-body injury.

For the Blues, forward Jaden Schwartz is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Forward Alex Steen is day-to-day with a concussion. Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is day-to-day with a hand injury.

Prediction: Blues 3, Oilers 2 (OT)
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