The Metropolitan Division is awful. The Penguins and the Washington Capitals are the only two teams out of eight that're over .500. The Rangers have finally worked their way up to 50/50. The rest of the division? Holy shitsnacks.
The Central, by contrast, is a bloodbath. It says something that the Blues have played two fewer games than the Pens and have the same number of points. Right now, if the Blues were in the East, they'd be part of a three way tie for the top of the standings. Here? They're fighting with the Blackhawks, Avalanche, Ducks, Sharks, and Wild(s). I think it's time that the fawning over the Eastern Conference golden children ends.
After all, the Blues have beaten the Pens in their last two meetings, and have owned the Eastern Conference over the past two or so seasons. They might be one time-zone removed from the East Coast, but that's no reason to ignore that the team that has played the fewest games in the league could be leading the media darling Eastern Conference.
How to win tonight? Keep your ass out of the penalty box. The Blues spent nearly a quarter of the game Thursday - 19 minutes! - in the box. Of course the guys know that they can't pull that tonight, as they pointed out to Jeremy Rutherford. A power play that sports Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will make you pay for silly mistakes. As a matter of fact, they'll make you pay 20% of the time. Don't temp fate. Be physical. Be intimidating. But don't be stupid.