The Blues will try to build up some momentum against the Oilers before heading out on a two-game road trip.
Trying to get things turned in the right direction before they head out on a two-game road trip to Dallas and Tampa Bay later this week, the St. Louis Blues host the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night for a game that could be crucial as it pertains to building momentum. The Blues, who dropped to third place in the Central Division with Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, welcome an Edmonton team that started the season on fire but has tailed off a bit as of late, going just 4-3-3 over their last 10 games.
The Oilers, who sit at 16-12-5 heading into Monday night’s matchup, have largely ridden the coattails of 19-year-old Connor McDavid to success, as he’s collected 12 goals and 27 assists through 33 games. They’ve also gotten major contributions from former third overall pick Leon Draisaitl, who has broken out in a major way during 2016-17, averaging nearly a point a game with 14 goals and 14 assists through 33 games.
They’ll provide a major test for a Blues team that seemed ill-equipped to handle a fast, chaotic offensive attack against Chicago on Saturday. Edmonton has less skill on the blueline and less elite talent among their top six forwards, but they’re capable of playing the same quick, finesse game that the Blackhawks play.
After a dominant end to the month of November in which they went 6-1, the Blues have been more lackluster during the month of December, going 4-4-1. They’ve particularly struggled over their past six, going 2-4. That’s not too different from last December, during which the Blues went 8-7-1. Perhaps not coincidentally, that’s the month where goalie Jake Allen began to take a turn for the worse last season, and he’s dealt with those same struggles during the month of December this season, going 4-4 with a 3.07 GAA and .892 save percentage. For his career, Allen has posted career-worst numbers during the last month of the year, as he’s 14-12-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .900 save percentage through 28 career games in December.
The Blues will shake things up on Monday, with Carter Hutton taking over in net for Allen, who had started seven games in 12 days and 15 of the Blues’ last 17 contests. Hutton, who hasn’t won a game since November 5, will just have to hope that things go his way against Edmonton’s strong scoring attack.
Let’s take a look at what the Blues’ lineup will look like against the Oilers: