If the season ended today, the two Central Division "rivals" would be paired in the first round of the playoffs. I say rivals because the series always seems to be weighted one way or the other between these two teams. So far Nashville has won all four games, two in the shootout.
One big reason for Nashville's strong play against St. Louis has been goaltender Pekka Rinne (sounds like a venereal disease). In 19 career games, the 6-foot, 5-inch goaltender is 12-5-2 with a goals-against average of 1.85 while stopping almost 94 percent of the shots he's faced. Egads, that's pretty dominating. In fact, you could argue he's played better against the Blues than any other team in the league. He's got two more wins against Columbus (not impressive), but his peripheral numbers aren't as good. Of all the Western Conference teams, his best save percentage and GAA are against St. Louis.
Of course Rinne has some help. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter are world class defensemen. And they just got help from the big, slow and experienced Hal Gill. I bet Barry Trotz is walking around aroused at the prospect of a 1-0 game almost every night.
Brian Elliott deserves a rest after two tough games at Chicago and home against Boston. Jaroslav Halak gets the start tonight, and I have a feeling is auditioning for more work in the next five games of the road trip after this.
It would be nice if the Blues could get a regulation win in Nashville, but most folks around here would settle for a point or two in overtime or shootout. Either way, this is the longest streak of games under Ken Hitchcock where the Blues haven't earned a point, and it's just two games. It would be nice to see that be the longest streak the entire season under the rotund coach.
That's all you need to know before you jump in with both feet and comment your ass off. I'm not sure what that means, but try to do it anyway. This is your game day thread. Comment like you're paying $10 for a beer at a Blues home game.