For the first time since before the lockout, the St. Louis Blues are in a playoff spot and in control of their own destiny. Win the last four games and no one can catch them. Match the play of the Predators and Wild(s) and they're in. Falter and they open the door for someone else to knock them out. We are freaking out, man.
The battle has been all uphill to this point. It's about to get steeper as all of the pressure now comes down on them.
The first test comes tonight as the Dallas Stars, who are on the verge of being knocked out of the playoff race altogether, will surely put together a scrappy effort in front of their home crowd.
As we've learned from Defending Big D, the Stars' franchise leader in, well, almost everything Mike Modano might not return to the NHL next year, meaning that this could be his last game of his career in front of the home crowd. Clearly both he and the home crowd will be riled up.
Likewise, the Stars will start Matt Climie in goal tonight, his NHL debut. The 26-year-old Climie is an emergency call-up from Idaho due to Marty 'sometimes I pass the puck to the Blues' Turco's lower body injury that he sustained Thursday against the Flames.
When asked why Climie would get the start over back-up (Dr) Tobias (Funke) Stephan, Stars coach Dave Tippett said that he gives the Stars their best chance to win tonight. Ouch. Sorry Tobias, but it looks like it's back to becoming the world's only analyst/therapist again.
The game is on Channel 11, so get ready for Andy Griffith within seconds of the game ending, KMOX and there is some sort of online version being shown at Yahoo (thanks to reader Liut! for the tip). This is your game day thread.
Let's Go Blues!