Well, would you look at that... another road power play goal, another road win, and the streak lives on. Obviously, once the Blues had the third goal last night, the temptation was to close the book on it and say "game over". That is usually an indulgence that is reserved for the fans only, but it sure seemed like the Blues let up as well. There were 0 shots on the 5-minute power play, and then the Blues allowed an even-strength goal just before the end of the second period. Fortunately, our Band of Brothers in Blue got their shit together during the intermission and came out determined in the third. You know when they say that a coach has "lost the team" ? Whatever the opposite of that is, that's what's going on right now in the Blues locker room. Something goes wrong, Coach tells them what to do to fix it, and the team actually listens, goes out there, and does it. They're loyal troops and capably led. That is a hard combination to beat. Believe that.
RIP Davy Jones.
The Enemy: The Canucks are still a damn good team, and one of the teams still ahead of the Blues, rather than in the rearview mirror. There's a much more thorough team statistical breakdown on the Nucks Misconduct preview, but what sticks out to me from that comparison is this: while the Blues are ranked 2nd in the league in 5on5 GF/GA differential at 1.43, the Canucks are ranked 2nd overall in PP% and 5th overall in PK%. In other words, we need to stay out of the box as much as possible. Special teams favor the Canuckleheads, but even-strength play is more to St Louis' strengths.
For individual stats, its the old familiar names: the twins lead in overall points (Henrik Sedin is 13G/ 53A) and in goals (Daniel Sedin is 28G/ 36A). The top 5 is rounded out with Ryan Kesler (43 pts), Alexandre Burrows (41), and Alexander Edler (41). Interestingly, number 7 on that list is Cody Hodgson, who was traded at the deadline. Other new faces include Sammy Pahlsson and Andrew Gordon. Tonight's starting goaltender is likely Roberto Luongo (2.34 GAA/ .920 %).
Final Verse: The only thing worse than late games are back-to-back late games, in my opinion. Tonight's match begins at 9:00 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets, Fox Sports MW for TV and the mighty KMOX 1120 AM for the radio call. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, wake up from your nap, practice your best Angry Bieksa face, and get revved up for tonight's challenge. Also, it's good to know that even Alain Vigneault has a sense of humor