"HAH! Made ya flinch! " OR: Things You Don't Want To See When You Start Your Backup Goalie.... Take Your Pick Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE
To the surprise of only a few, the Blues decided to not make any moves at the trade deadline. While the front office is not exactly flush with cash, they probably had the ability to make some moves if they deemed it necessary. They didn't. Not only was it slim pickings across the league, but everyone that seemed available were inflated in value. On a team that is achieving already despite injuries, and by all appearances a tight-knit group, the front office was given some confidence that things were fine as is. This Blues team is good, and getting better: not just in continuing to win, but scoring power play goals, scoring in the shootout, and winning on the road... all things that the Blues weren't doing at the beginning of the season. To echo AverageJoe's thoughts, standing pat was the correct decision. We don't have to go all-in to win now: we've got plenty of time.
The Enemy: The Edmonton Oilers are full of talent, but it is still a very raw team. Once they gain some experience, they're going to be very formidable. That's what 3 straight years of top-10 overall picks can get you (including back to back first overall picks). In the meantime, though, Edmonton is plodding through another season with only the Blue Jackets keeping them out of the basement. In the last ten games, the Oilers have posted a 4-5-1 record, and they are coming off a tough come-from-behind win over the Jets. The kids are leading the way: 2008 draft pick Jordan Eberle leads with 61 points (28G/ 33A), and is followed by Taylor Hall with 23G /25A. The only player in the top 5 that is older than 22 is Captain Canada Ryan Smyth. Likely Calder nominee Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has lost time to injury earlier this year, but still has respectable numbers (14G / 23A).
The original starting goaltender is Nikolai Khabibulin, but he's been on the shelf with a groin injury. He is close to coming back, and is now considered day-to-day. His numbers are 2.60 GAA and .910 SV%. Filling in during his absence is young backup Devan Dubnyk (2.88 / .910). They've played about the same number of games and have put up pretty similar numbers. Watch the twitterverse to see who's getting the start tonight.
Final Verse: It's another late start tonight, folks - the puck drops at 9PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets, FoxSports MW for TV and the mighty KMOX 1120 AM for the radio call. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, bitch about late starts, celebrate Ben Bishop's win in his debut with the Binghamton Senators, and get a chuckle off this web find ...
TSN - Jordan Eberle, Who does he think he is? (TSN Joke Story) (via mkwanster07)