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Oilers vs Blues - Final 10

April 1, 2024, 7:45 PM ET [8 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Edmonton Oilers look like they are prepared for the first round of the playoffs. Since two underwhelming matchups vs the Leafs and Senators, Edmonton has rattled off three straight wins. It is how they have won those games that matters the most. Edmonton played a strong game against the Jets, heavily outshooting their opponent before clinching in OT. They dominated a Kings team in a physical affair where the Oilers were the more physical team, and they absolutely ragdolled a weak Anaheim team.

These are all signs of a team that is gearing up for the first round of the playoffs. The team is looking dialed in (for the most part) and the roster is looking nearly set. Here is the likely lineup for tonight:

RNH-McDavid-Hyman
Henrique-Draisaitl-Perry
Kane-McLeod-Foegele
Janmark-Ryan-Brown

Ekholm-Bouchard
Nurse-Ceci
Kulak-Dessharnais

Skinner

Perry was skating with a top six jersey today while Foegele had a bottom six jersey so those two players likely switch spots.

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We have ten games remaining in the regular season. Ten games to finetune and test and also try and ensure the best possible standings position. Edmonton is six points back of the Canucks for first in the division but the Oilers have two games in hand and there is still one more head to head matchup between both teams.

Edmonton should absolutely get Broberg, Holloway, and even Rapahel Lavoie in for a few of these games. These players are going to be some of the first callups should an injury occur. Broberg has only played 10 NHL games this season and not since 2023. Holloway has been playing well in the AHL since recovering from his last injury and Lavoie played 7 games this season but in a very sheltered 4th line role.

If and when an injury occurs, the Oilers need these guys not only ready to be called up but to have played in some meaningful games in April to get a better sense of what playoff hockey is like.

The other reason these players should be getting some time is the Oilers are playing a pretty condensed schedule coming down the stretch. Edmonton has played the fewest games of any team in the NHL with 72. They are going to be making up for that over these next 18 days. McDavid, Draisaitl, and the other core pieces are going to need a break over this time to be at their best come the start of the playoffs.

We saw that in the game against the Ducks. With a dominant lead, Foegele, Janmark and Kane led the way for Oilers forwards at 5 on 5. Look for more instances like this coming down the stretch.

Look for an aggressive Blues team tonight. The Blues sit 5 points out of the last Wild Card spot, currently held by the LA Kings. It isn't looking likely that St Louis is going to make the playoffs but good luck telling anyone in that room that. St Louis will be treating this like a playoff game and a last ditch effort to make the post-season...because they know it is.

Thanks for reading!
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