Revenge is a dish best served cold, but the Blues are hoping that the NHL Gods leave it off of the menu tonight,. The Wings were embarrassed on opening night, but don't think for a second they'll let that happen at home.
Tonight's going to be a good game. You can't deny that -- the Blues are on a roll and the Wings would like to let people know that opening night was an aberration. A mistake. That they're not falling apart, and that they're still a strong and resilient team despite the mounting injuries. They are, but their current record -- 3-2-1 -- shows that they're not the powerhouse that they once were, and that they're on par so far for what a lot expected of them this year. They're still a good team, but they're vulnerable. The Blues need to pounce.
The Blues need to pounce often and consistently to take down the Wings. They've scored a lot this year -- on average 3.86 goals a game -- but often that manifests itself as a late game push to come from behind. It seems to work more often than not. The one exception was the loss in Chicago; the reason they have needed to come from behind so much is because they take the occasional period off. The first period against the Blackhawks was terrible, and their second period against the Minnesota Wild the other night was just a mental mistake.
The Red Wings are a lot like the Blackhawks -- fall behind, and usually they won't let you get back into the game.
The Blues should have plenty of scoring to keep this from happening. Barret Jackman, of all people, has goals in back to back games. Alex Pietrangelo (eight assists) and Kevin Shattenkirk (one goal, seven assists) are tied for the league lead in defensive scoring. The fourth line was solid last night, with Jamie Langenbrunner and Ryan Reaves getting an assist each last night on Jackman/s goal, and Vladimir Sobotka's assist on Backes' power-play goal continues a three game scoring streak as well.
The Blues powerplay has cooled off a little but is still working at at an impressive 34.6% clip. If the Blues can continue firing tons of shots on net and keep on limiting opponents like they have been doing, they should be fine. Lapses in defense could hurt the Blues, so they need to keep the concentration levels up. It's the second half of a back to back, but that fact can't enter into their minds at all.