ENS Gameday Preview: Oilers @ Blues
It’s finally here. The new era has arrived. Connor McDavid is set to make his NHL debut tonight in St. Louis. Absolutely preposterous that the NHL decided to have McDavid start his career in the hockey hotbed of goddamn Missouri but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that tonight will be our first real look into what the new Oilers are all about. Todd McLellan has been whipping these scrubs into shape for the last few weeks and I for one could not be more excited to finally get things going.
The 2015/2016 Oilers will feature a number of new players as compared to what Dallas Eakins rolled out for opening night this time last year. Pistol Pete has done what he can to bring in more actual NHL players, and let’s pray this is the year that we’ve finally found a goalie who can mix in the odd routine save. This is the year things start to turn around. I can feel it deep down in my plums.
Hall – McDavid – Slepyshev
Pouliot – RNH – Purcell
Korpikoski – Lander – Yakupov
Hendricks – Letestu – Gazdic
Klefbom – Schultz
Sekera – Fayne
Reinhart – Gryba
Anton Slepyshev also makes his NHL debut tonight, playing on the right side of Hall and McDavid. Not the worst spot to be in I suppose. Meanwhile, Nail Yakupov will have to score his hat-trick while getting third line minutes. Ain’t no biggie.
The blueline is where the major concerns are to state the obvious. If Justin Schultz can continue like he did in preseason, that would be a GREAT sign for the Oilers. I’m not holding my breath though. Sekera and Fayne will be the tough minute veteran pairing which is definitely the right move. And on the third pairing we have two new Oilers. Reinhart and Gryba. All they need to do is keep the puck out of their own net and I’ll be happy.
Cam Talbot gets the nod in the pipes. Got a damn good feeling this guy is the real deal.
What Needs to Happen
Well, the schedule makers weren’t exactly kind to the Oilers. Making them start off the year with a nasty three game roadie through the Central division is a ruthless move. St. Louis is a big, heavy hockey team, which is exactly the kind of club that have been putting Edmonton in a body bag for the last five years.
But that was before we won our fourth lottery. Fourth time is a charm. You can count on Connor McDavid bringing the heat tonight. Guy will haunt Dave Backes’ dreams. Along with McJesus, the rest of the Oilers need to come out tonight and make statement that they won’t be the biggest pushovers on the planet this year. The Blues usually take it to the Oil like I took it to Teeps’ wife this morning. Edmonton needs to be prepared to whether the storm early, preferably with a little help from Cam Talbot.
What Can’t Happen
What is Going to Happen
We all know where this is going. Hometown boy Colton Parayko scores for the Blues in his well deserved NHL debut but it’s not enough. Oilers roll out of St. Louis with a 5-2 win. McDavid with five points. Yak with a hatty.