Holy crap am I glad this isn't the actual end of the season. I mean, think about how depressing last night would have been if it was the last home game before the off season. Granted, if this team doesn't figure out what the hell is going on, there won't be that many more home games anyway.
So this is it, game 82 of the 82-game marathon. I bet you will see some relieved players on that bench tonight. Relieved the marathon is over and the second season has arrived. Riding home from the disappointing 4-1 loss to Phoenix Friday night, I shared a few theories about what's going on with an uncle and cousin who went to the game with me. Pregame bullets, we has them.
- Blues are worn down from the road games earlier this month. That's somewhat believable even though the average age of this team is like 25.
- After they caught and handily passed Nashville, Detroit and Chicago, there was a natural let down. Clinching the division was a formality. Maybe they didn't have the Western Conference No. 1 seed as a goal. That's kind of scary. What if they don't think making the Cup Finals is a realistic goal?
- Working the now healthy guys back into the lineup takes time. They do seem to be relying a lot on Andy McDonald.
- They're getting recharged for the playoffs. Damn, I hope so.
We will see Jaroslav Halak in net. If he wins tonight, does he start Round 1, Game 1? If he falters, is it Brian Elliott? Also back from the press box are Scott Nichol (who never deserved time off in the first place) and B.J. Crombeen (don't take dumb penalties, son). If only tinkering with the fourth line was the absolute answer to get the Blues back up to speed.
Oh yeah, the Blues are playing a team out of the playoffs, the Dallas Stars. A Blues win and a Canucks loss to Edmonton still gives the Blues No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. In other words, no shame in finishing second.
This is your game day thread. Comment like the playoffs start next week.