Brenden Morrow is familiar with the Dallas Stars. Very familiar. He captained them starting in 2006 until his trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins last season, when the Stars realized that a rebuild was in order and Morrow's injuries were beginning to take their toll.
He probably won't necessarily be an offensive threat against his old squad tonight, but he'll be able to neutralize their offense. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn have 23 points a pop in 21 games, and goalie Kari Lehtonen has been a virtual brick wall. But oh, their defense. If they were a bit sharper, the Stars'd be much higher than tenth in the West. You can't blow off any team in the Western Conference, and it'd be a mistake for the Blues to underestimate their new divisional rivals.
In town for the first of five meetings, the Stars will be seeing Brian Elliott in goal tonight. Ells has had a very strong season this year. He has a .921 save percentage and a 1.94 GAA, so it's not like the Blues are shortchanging themselves tonight. This move isn't a slight on Halak in the least, so calm down. Elliott needs playing time, and he needs it against some tougher opponents. This is his chance.
The Blues have beaten the Stars the last three times they've met at Scottrade, and five out of the last six meetings in general. They have the Stars' number; let's hope that tonight helps solidify a special number for Hitch: eight. A win puts Hitchcock in sole posession of eighth place overall on the all-time coaching wins list.