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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Oilers vs St Louis Tonight

The Edmonton Oilers will continue their road trip with a stop in St. Louis as they try to snap a 7 game losing skid at the Scottrade Center.  48-hours ago the Oilers lost to the Predators 3-1 in Nashville.  The current losing streak is beginning to draw the ire amongst the players as eluded by goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
 
"I don't think anybody in here is going to tell you it's easy. It's not. It's frustrating," said goaltender Devan Dubnyk . "It's more frustrating when we show we can go play. It doesn't matter how depleted you are, if you stick to a system, and you play it hard, which is what Tom (Renney Oilers Head Coach) and the coaches have been preaching, you have a chance. That's more than anything, what we have to do. We show we can do it then we get away from it. That's what's frustrating."
 
Injuries have obviously played a factor in the Oilers' lack of success; and to make matters worse it appears that defence-man Kurtis Foster may be the 8th player to be listed on the I.R.
Foster fell head first into the boards in Nashville and did not part take in the pre-game skate.  His absence, indicates that the Oilers medical staff have opted to keep the defence-man out of the line-up for pre-cautionary measures.

Aside from Foster, rookie, Jordan Eberle was found skating with his team this morning; after he received a slap shot from fellow Oiler, Jeff Petry in Nashville.  Tonight, Eberle will flank Cogliano and Jones on the first line.

Welcome Back Jacques.

JF Jacques is back with the club after being out for a few games with a foot injury and finds himself on the third line.

"It's getting a lot better. said Jacques.  "It's been a little bit over a week now and it kept improving every day, and I think it will keep improving over next couple of days as well. It's finally good to get back at it." 

With Jacques return Renney is expecting some up-tempo hockey from his forwards against the (32-32-9) Blues.

"Quite honestly, I think they've (including Colin Fraser) got to bring some energy. They need some physical play, obviously," Renney said. 

On top of physicality, Renney is also looking for that quick start which hasn't been present with the club in recent games.

"We do need a good start. If you look at our last couple games, we haven't started particularly well," Renney said. "We need a good start to make sure that, right away, we get the respect of our opponent for the right reasons. I think you'll see some juggling of the lines, some personnel moving around a little bit; we have to stay really close to the detail in terms of our game-plan, so that it doesn't matter who you're with, this is how you're playing."

Renney has decided to go with the line combination as seen below:

Jones Cogliano Eberle,
Paajarvi Reddox Omark,
Jacques Fraser Hartikainen
MacIntyre VandeVelde O'Marra 

38 year-old Khabibulin will get the start tonight despite having a miserable record of 10-28-3 for the season.  

Oilers, Blues 5pm Pacific Time Sporstnet West or www.atdhe.me

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