The Blues continue to impress everyone with their success at home. Now, the boy(e)s get a chance to take the show on the road, and ply their trade with one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. The only thing keeping Boston from the top of the standings is that they've only played 9 games, headed into this weekend. To our benefit, the Bruins played in DC Friday night, and have traveled home to face St Louis tonight. This match-up between arguably the two hottest teams in the league will draw plenty of national attention. One of the top stories will be the performance of the Blues' depleted defensive corps. With Barret Jackman joining Carlo Colaiacovo and Roman Polak on IR, we'll likely see the NHL debut of Ian Cole. Coach Payne has been quoted that there is a "strong possibility" that Nikita Nikitin plays this weekend as well. Their ability to step up and adapt to the NHL will have a huge impact on the team's chances tonight. The play of Alex Pietrangelo, Tyson Strachan, and Nathan Oystrick indicates that we prepare our youngsters pretty well, so I don't see this as a grim prospect. I believe the appropriate phrase is "cautiously optimistic".
What happens when the House of
Pain Payne meets Boston? Funny you should ask, there's a musical answer for that. I apologize for drawing from the well again (I used this last year), but this is too perfect to pass up. Also, it's a kick-ass tune that is guaranteed to get your head bobbin'. It's time for Cole and Nikitin to announce their presence in the NHL, eh?
The Enemy: Like the Blues, a lot of the credit for Boston's fast start goes to their goaltending, namely Tim Thomas. He has pitched 3 shutouts this year already, and is leading all goaltenders with a minuscule 0.72 GAA and .980 SV%. No surprise, then, that the Bruins record with Thomas in goal is 7-0-0. Also, Timmy has been getting plenty of goal-support. They have scored 29 goals and have only allowed 13. According to the Bruins SBN site, that +16 differential leads the league (Note that these stats do NOT include the Friday BOS/WAS game). Since Thomas started on Friday, we'll probably see last year's phenom, Tuukka Rask, in Boston's net. Last year he took over the starters' job with huge numbers (1.97 /.931). He's no slouch, either. Hopefully, his slow start this season (3.54 / .890) will last at least one more game.
The puck drops at 6:00 PM St Louis time, with the GDT starting shortly beforehand. The game will be broadcasted on the usual outlets: FoxSportsMW and KMOX 1120AM radio. Until then, this is the spot to pregame: Meet, trade web feeds, and share warm memories of a previous visit to Beantown:
Blues/Bruins- Final 30 Seconds- Jackman Block, Backes Goal (via outlawfan)