Not only did the lords of scheduling start St. Louis off with fewer games than the rest of the Western Conference, but here we are at the 4th game against Nashville already. Both teams have had to deal with injuries, and it looks like St Louis has a chance to get one of their defensive stalwarts back: Barret Jackman. He's been out of the lineup since injuring his knee 11/04 against San Jose. While that isn't an incredibly long time, I'm sure it seemed like forever to him. T.J. Oshie, David Perron, and Roman Polak has a while to go yet. For a picture of what that's like, check out this excellent piece by Justin Bourne. Assuming all is well this morning, Jackman will resume his role. Finally, those long nights of just watching the game has paid off: he can get back to work.
The Enemy: This will be the third and last stop in Nashville for the regular season. The first trip, the Blues got off to their first bad start, and took their first regulation loss of the season. The next trip, Halak shut out for the Preds for their first regulation loss. They went on to lose their next 4 games as well, leading them to where they are now, bottom of the Central Division.
The Predators come into tonight's game with just 4 wins in their last 10, and an overall home record of 3-1-3. They have been missing David Legwand and Ryan Suter, but either could be back for tonight's game. Matthew Lombardi is out for a while longer yet. Lineup news should be coming forth throughout the day. Here are some encouraging stats: Nashville is 2nd-worst in the league for the Power Play at 10%. According to the Preds' SBN site, they are 2-for-31 so far in November. Additionally, Nashville has not allowed a third period goal in their last 5 games. If the Blues are going to win, they had better jump out ahead early. Also, they need to continue to score on the power play.
The puck drops 7:00 PM St Louis time. Tonight's game is aired on Versus, with their announcers. If history is any guide, you may want to catch the radio broadcast on KMOX 1120AM. The GDT should come shortly before the opening faceoff. Until then, this is your pregame pre-party. Chill out, catch up on the late-breaking lineup news, and enjoy an Office-themed video for another Styx classic:
The Office: Domo Arigato, Mr. Scott-o (via genrocks)