This game could be a major indicator of how the Blues are developing. The Kings game was lost by LA as much as it was won by St Louis. One thing that I noticed was that our boys in Blue were sticking to their game plan. If the Kings disrupted zone entrance or another play, the Blues simply reformed and went at it again, usually keeping possession and making it happen the second time around. If a Blues team full of youngsters can taste success while sticking to the plan, it will help the team trust the system. They will (hopefully) stick to it then, and by virtue of that, become more consistent. If the Blues learn THAT trick, they will certainly be a force to be reckoned with. Tonight, they can take that lesson and apply it in San Jose. If they play to that level, the Sharks won't be the only danger in the water.
The Enemy: The Sharks have won 2 in a row, and have points in 8 of their last 10 games. They're certainly trying to stay hot through the end of the season, and have Phoenix hot on their tails in the standings. The Blues are the beneficiary of the Wheel of Justice, as Dany Heatley will be suspended for tonight's game. The remaining Sharks are still plenty to worry about, though. Jumbo Joe Thornton leads the team with 59 points (19G /40A), and after him and Heatley, there are 3 MORE Sharks with 50+ points (Patrick Marleau, Ryan Clowe, and Joe Pavelski). Right behind them is red-hot "rookie" Logan Couture with 48 points (27G /21A). Their goaltending is led by Antti Niemi (2.46 /.920) and capable backup Antero Nittymaki (2.57 /.900). I'm not sure which we'll see tonight, but Niemi was in goal for the previous two games, both wins, so I'd imagine he'd stick with the hot hand.
Yet another late one, as the puck drops at 9:30 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual places, FSMW for TV and the mighty KMOX 1120AM for radio. The GDT will come shortly before the game starts, but until then consider this your pregame warm-up. Meet here, pool your resources to buy the team, reminisce about the Golden Seals, and enjoy an (apropos of nothing) excellent tribute to all things John McClane
Die Hard - Music Video - NEW 4th Verse! (via GuyzNite)