Bradley Fucking Winchester vs The Stache ... who ya got?
After a brief return home to St Louis, the Blues now take off to the Left Coast for the next leg of their road trip. The first stop is Anaheim and the
Mighty Ducks. Like a few other teams in the league, the Ducks changed coaches midseason, Randy Carlyle being relieved of this duties and Bruce Boudreau (newly available from the Caps organization) assuming the head coach's position. They did not find the same success that the Blues had with Ken Hitchcock; despite the new coach, the Ducks are unlikely to make the playoffs. The Blues are well on their way, of course, but they cannot allow themselves the luxury of spending much time thinking on that. There is too much more hockey to be played in the regular season, yet, and still points to earn. The Blues are saying the right things, but it needs to be proven on the ice. Historically, the Blues have been a blue-collar team - they've relied on hard work, steady determination and a team effort to win. If they can keep that focus, that work ethic, then everything should work out fine.
The Enemy: Coach Boudreau has juggled his lines somewhat, but the usual scorers are at the top: Teemu Selanne is leading the team with 62 points (23G / 39A), and next is the team goals leader Corey Perry (35G / 21A). They also have firepower with Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. This has led the team to a 31-32-11 record, and the resulting 73 points put them in 12th place and 10 points behind 8th place. While not a mathematical certainty, they are essentially out of the running for the postseason. This is not to say they've given up on the season, though: they are coming off of a 5-3 win against San Jose on Monday. The game featured the Ducks backup goaltender Jeff Deslauriers in place of starter Jonas Hiller. Until then, Hiller had started 32 consecutive games, a franchise record. I'd assume that Hiller would be back to play the Blues. If so, the Blues will be facing a .910 SV% and 2.53 GAA.
Final Verse: These late night west-coast games are killers; the puck drops tonight at 9:00 PM St Louis time. The broadcasts are on the usual outlets: FoxSports MW for TV, and KMOX 1120 for the radio call. The GDT should be along shortly beforehand. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, make sure everyone's up from the pregame nap, revel in the Blues' ascension to the #1 spot a little more, and trade St Patty's Day drinking stories. Also , take a look at this "Know Your Teammate" segment with Happy Meal and legendary Finn Teemu Selanne.
Know your teammate: Selanne, McDonald (via streakypro)