Please, Osh, Don't Hurt 'Em (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The Blues keep racking up wins at home, then hit the road again tonight in Columbus, OH. They were already there last night, and apparently up to shenanigans. Good to see that the mood's light. In recent years, games in C-Bus have had a grudge-match type quality to them, seeds perhaps of a burgeoning rivalry. This year... not so much. A big part of that is, for a change, the Blues are not competing with the BJs for a playoff spot. St Louis is well on their way, and the BJs don't have a snowball's chance in hell of making the postseason. Right now, the BJs have 38 points on a record of 16-34-6. For comparison, the Blues got their 39th point in the 12/15 win over the Rangers. Suffice it to say, it is a tough year to be a Blue Jackets fan. Our Blues just need to keep their focus and not overlook these guys. The BJs can beat you if you take them too lightly. Stick to the gameplan, and don't let the BJs slow you down.
The Enemy: The Blue Jackets, as bad a season as they are having, are not without some firepower. As usual, they are led in goals and overall points by Rick Nash (18G/ 21A), with Vinny Prospal not far behind (10G/ 25A). As a team, they have scored 8 fewer goals than the Blues - but have allowed 74 more goals. Their top 5 in points are a collective -76 in +/-. The goaltending burdens have been shared by Steve Mason (3.49 GAA / .880 SV%) and Curtis Sanford (2.52 / .910). Sanford has been gimpy lately (officially DTD), so there is also a callup from the ECHL Allen York. Interesting that they skipped over Manny Legace, who is playing for their AHL affiliate. The Blue Jackets are dead last in PK, killing only 25.1% of their penalties.
Final Verse: Another Eastern Time start, so the puck drops 6:00 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets - FoxSportsMW for TV, and KMOX 1120 AM for radio. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, share stories about driving in the snow, exchange valentines, and enjoy a bonus tune for today:
J. Geils Band - Love Stinks (via emimusic)