Late night + recovering from cold + lotta beer = Last minute Road Music. Forgive me.
It's hard to get really amped up over a win against Edmonton, but there were several things that did go right, and THAT is worth some excitement. The TV broadcast crew spent some time talking about the improvement we've seen in some of the call-ups and first-year players over this season. Ben Bishop's play has gotten visibly better, and so has Nikita Nikitin and Ian Cole. These guys are going to make setting the 2011-2012 roster a little tougher for GM Doug Armstrong.
I wouldn't call the EDM game a cakewalk, but the Blues are going to find tonight's opponent much more of a challenge. This home-and-home series can either put Minnesota back into the playoff picture (barely), or will be the last nail in the coffin. They will have no trouble getting motivated for these two games: to match that, the Blues will have to go past merely "Wild" ... The Blues will need to pay tribute to Minnesota's Nordic heritage and go full-on Berserker
The Enemy: The Wild is on the bottom fringe of the Western standings, 11th place and 9 points behind 8th-place Anaheim. They have lost 7 in a row, and are hoping to rebound against the Blues, a team they've beaten twice already this season. The starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom is in a nosedive. While his numbers for the year are respectable (2.52/ .920), during the 8 games before their last loss, he had a .897 save percentage and then allowed 3 goals to Toronto on 17 shots. Not an improvement. Here's hoping that lasts one more game. Offensively, the Wild have been quiet - shutout in their last game, and scoring only one goal the game before that against Montreal. If the scoring returns, it will likely be at the hands of team-leader Martin Havlat (21G 39A) and captain Mikko Koivu (17G 37A).
The puck drops at 7:00 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets: FSMW for TV, and the mighty KMOX 1120 AM for radio. The GDT thread should be along shortly beforehand. Until then, this is your pregame warm-up and skate around. Meet here, share your favorite karaoke tune (to watch or sing), and take in the context for tonight's musical selection:
BERZERKER!!!! (From original clerks I) (via tristed)