All in all, the Blues’ four game road trip has been a success thus far, with wins over Philadelphia and Vancouver. Friday’s loss to the Calgary Flames can be seen as just a hiccup on the path of improved goaltending. It was, however, another paving stone on the path of power-play terribleness. The Blues PP is still dead last in the league, and Jeremy Rutherford ties that – along with the Blues’ loss – to the fact that the top two lines haven’t been able to score. Obviously, those guys make up the powerplay unit, and considering the fact that they’ve only combined for 22 points so far this season it’s pretty easy to draw the correlation between the two. David Backes has but four points, and Chris Stewart has two.
The Oilers are 12th in the league on the power play, and the fourth overall penalty kill unit. This’ll pose more problems for the Blues, who will have to go after one of the best tandems in the league with Nikolai Khabibulin (4-0-2, 0.97 goals-against average) and Devan Dubnyk (2-2-0, 1.98 GAA). While the Blues’ recent main goaltender Brian Elliott lost his first game on Friday, chances are good that Jaroslav Halak might find himself back in the crease lest he get rusty. Or, as some might see it, rustier. Halak hasn’t played since October 18th, and has a 3.47 GAA and a .835 SV% while losing four out of five starts.
Honestly, if the forwards don’t step up and Halak isn’t back to form tonight, the Oilers stand a great chance of stringing together five wins in a row for the first time in two years. Edmonton fans are getting a heck of a treat this Halloween. It’s a shame the Blues haven’t gotten the mem that they can lay off of the tricking. They need to become the team that the have the ability to be, or else this is going to be a long season.