So obviously we're a little out of practice. I guess this pre-season thing is valuable after all. We missed the pre-game post. We missed the actual Game day Thread (many thanks to the Prof for leaping into the breach and making it happen). Hell, even this post-game is showing up a little later than usual.
But what the hell, right? It's pre-season and that's why we get these mistakes out of the way when it doesn't really matter. Like if we were David Perron and wanted to get a little pent up frustration out, we would start a fight in the pre-season, not the regular season.
Actually, strike that. Note to David Perron: Frenchie, if you break your hand in a fight, you will be ridiculed worse than Erik Johnson was after getting his ass kicked by a golf cart last year. Ask him how that went. see if he'd like to hear all of that again for another year. No more fighting, little one.
Based on the responses of plenty of commenters on our little poll about the pre-season, I decided to go to the game tonight, just to see if maybe I was remembering it wrong. Maybe the pre-season games weren't that bad. It had been a long time since I'd gone to one, I thought, maybe it's different than I remember. Here are a few notes for those of you who couldn't make it down to the DrinkScotch:
- Nope, didn't remember it wrong. Pre-season is just not the same. Not as full, not as fun, not as exciting of a game. I've promised one pair of seats to someone already, but my pair for either Friday or Saturday are still available. If someone out there really wants a couple of cheapos and makes a compelling argument in the comments....
- I was a little surprised to walk into the game a little late and see someone skating around wearing No. 44 on the back of their jersey. Guess they aren't saving that one for a big Chris Pronger jersey retirement night, eh?
- Darryl Sydor was wearing 44 tonight. I became a fan of his when he was with the Stars (back when I really, really hated the Stars). He blew out his knee during a game in the 2000 playoffs and because his team was getting overpowered in the defensive zone, Sydor dragged himself into the middle of the slot so that he might at least be able to block a shot. That took guts a is the type of play that inspires teams.
- Speaking of Sydor, he also took Minnesota's Kalus over to the corner to talk about what we do and don't do after Kalus took a run at Alex Pietrangelo after a whistle. I think that if some other team doesn't offer him a contract first, Darryl starts the season with the Blues. He has the leadership and experience to fit right in, plus he'd be a good guy to pair up with Pietrangelo if he makes the team.
- It was fun seeing a lot of the regular faces at the game tonight but still the place was less than half-full and a ton of the real regulars were not there. As we discussed in the concourse, it felt like regular season circa 2005. Just for the record, yes, the Red Berenson Cowboy he was there. Towel Boy? Not so much.
- During a stoppage the rink staff put up a Happy Birthday message to owner Dave Checketts. They caught him on camera and put him on the jumbotron and the whole crowd gave him a great ovation. I dare you to name more than a couple other professional sports franchises where the fans love their owner as much as Blues fans love Checketts. That's just how good of a job these guys have done since buying the team.
- As was pointed out in the GDT comments, Cam Janssen had 29 PIM and just six minutes of icetime. He also had a couple shots on (or near, at least) net. Think he feels like he's competing for a job?
- Brad Boyes is still guilty of trying to be too precise with his shots. Put it on net, 22.
- Steve Wagner looked pretty good tonight and I think avoided taking a hooking penalty for once. He is definitely pushing for one of the open spots on the blueline. In one sequence, he made a great play to use his body to gain positioning on a Wild forward, beating him to the puck, and then carried it all the way to the offensive zone where he got it down on net.
- Not to overload on the defense, but that was what I was watching. I'd like to see Pietrangelo make the team, but I can't say that I saw anything too special out of him tonight. He may just be playing it safe, but I think it's gonna take more than what I saw to make the Blues this year.
- While I'm still no fan of pre-season, I'm glad I went. because now I'm really ready for the regular season to get going. And no, unfortunately, not the Sweden games. I'm counting down days until Oct. 8 and Atlanta.