Welcome back, GameTimers, welcome back. This time last year, the Blues got off to a hot start, and our imaginations began to run wild. With a lackluster start in the home opener, but an improved performance in Game 2 on Monday, our expectations have been tempered a little. At least we're going in with a little more of a wait-and-see approach. That might be a good thing for us. Now, the Blues begin their first road trip of the season. For two of our newest players, it's a return to familiar scenery. Both Jason Arnott (01-02 through 05-06) and Jamie Langenbrunner (94-95 thru 01-02, and again for half of last season) have spent time in Big D. Although there's no signs of ill will specifically, there's usually greater motivation found in playing a former team. I hope both Jamie and Jason have big games tonight. They can announce (with a Texas twang) "I'm Back"
The Enemy: The Dallas Stars, like us, have been up for sale for a while. There is a likely buyer in place, and part of the sales procedure was placing the team in bankruptcy court. However, nothing is official yet. Lingering questions about ownership, losing franchise players to retirement & free agency, and having to compete for media attention with playoff baseball (sounds familiar!) have all hit the Stars organization hard. It's been reflected in the attendance, too.
It would be a mistake to write these guys off, though. Starting goaltender Kari Lehtonen is no pushover; in the two games he's started this year, he's won both with a 0.97 GAA and .970 save percentage. Take nothing for granted. Jamie Benn is one to watch amongst their younger players. Also expect the usual: Steve Ott will do something to remind you why you hate him, and Mike Ribeiro will dive or draw a cheap penalty. New (but at the same time, old) faces in Dallas include Vernon Fiddler, Radek Dvorak and Sheldon Souray.
Final Verse: The game begins at 7:30 St Louis time. We'll be here with a GDT shortly beforehand. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. The TV broadcast is on FSMW, and the radio coverage is on ... (sigh) KEZK "Fresh" 102.5. Bumped from the mighty KMOX for playoff baseball, the Blues will now be heard on the station typically associated with orthodontist waiting rooms. I wonder if that was Walt's idea. Anyway, the Blues website has a link. Until then, gather here, align your electronic devices to also monitor the Cards game, ready your own personal rally squirrel, and get ready to cheer "Do it for Torty!!".
In honor of a former player of the Blues and Stars joining Twitter (you may have heard)....
Brett Hull on Late Night with David Letterman 2/9/1990 (via chgojobs)