It seems like months have passed, but it's been only a little over two weeks since the Blues last played. Nothing has changed: The Blues are five points behind the 8th place Red Wings. These next few games are going to determine which direction we are heading in as a team. Last year, if you had told me that the playoff stretch run began with games against PHX , DAL, and COL, I would have started looking for first round tickets. Those were 3 of the worst 4 teams in the conference last year. My, how things have changed. COL sits in 6th place in the conference, and DAL remains in the playoff hunt in 9th place. And PHX? Oh, they've just managed to go from 13th to 4th place in the conference .... not too shabby. They've already matched their standings points total from last year, and still have 19 games to play yet. I'm not sure how much this means, after the long Olympic break, but they are 7-3-0 in their last ten games. They are not just coasting, but have remained hot all year. Very hot. Almost... atomic?
I really have no issues with Phoenix success.... as long as it's not at St Louis' expense. I hope the 'Yotes do well this year, but not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! ...Man, is that hard to get out of your system.
The Desert Dogs won't have much Olympic hangover to worry about. The biggest factor, Bryzgalov, only played a game and a half, roughly, and had good numbers there. This season he's been lights-out for the Coyotes. Russia's early exit will mean that he is well-rested, and there's not even much of a time-zone adjustment to make. They had a young defenseman, Sami Lepisto, win a bronze with team Finland.
The Blues will need to pick up the pace early. There will be no time to build up to something. Between Cam Janssen's suspension, Keith Tkachuk's surgery, and the recuperation of David Backes and Erik Johnson from their Olympic adventures, it'll be interesting to see which Blues team takes the ice. I have faith that Coach Payne has a handle on things. It'll be nice just to see the Blue Note in action again.
This is also your pregame pre-party. It's time to bust out the of Silver Medal funk, enjoy the man behind Funkadelic, and gear up for the playoff stretch run. It's gonna be epic.
As the trade deadline approaches, this seems apropos: "We made a couple of key trades .... and we got the Funk"
I heart Bootsy Collins.
Puck Drops at 8:00 St Louis time. The GDT drops shortly beforehand. Until then,