Cap'n Needs More Reasons to Smile - Dilip Vishwanat
Road Music: A Sputtering Offense and a Stalled Defense Go to the Motor City
There's nothing like dropping 5 games in a row to get tongues a-wagging. The pundits that projected the Blues to win the Central or even the West seem to need to hedge those predictions. The haters out there are reveling in schadenfreude; "they are who we thought they were." Even neutral fans want to explain how obvious the reasons are for why the Blues are losing.
Coach Hitch has spoken his mind, as has Captain America David Backes, and the other players. Local media has pitched in their two cents. And the fans ... oh, the fans.... what can you say about them? At the end of the day, actions will speak louder than words.
Going old school:
The Enemy: Since beating the Blues on February 1st, the Wings lost 2 in a row to two of the worst teams in the conference, Calgary and Columbus. After those, they've won 3 straight (including our 02/07 game). Goody for them. In those 3 wins, the Wings gave up a total of 4 goals. In contrast, the Blues have given up 4 or more goals in EACH of the last 5 games.
As usual, the Wings are led in scoring by Henrik Zetterberg (5G 13A) and Pavel Datsyuk (5G 8A). This recent hot streak has given Jimmy Howard a 2.78 GAA and .906 save percentage. Of course, they could also start the rookie Petr Mrazek, who held St Louis to just a goal on the 7th.
After 3 games in 2 weeks, we won't see these guys until towards the end of the season on 04/07.
Final Verse: The Blues are playing in Eastern time, so the game starts at 6:30 PM St Louis time. The TV broadcast will be on NBC SportsNet, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120. Come for the hockey, stay for the NBC butchering of player's names. The GDT will drop shortly ahead of the puck - until then, consider this your pregame warmup. Gather here and share Mardi Gras stories, make last minute Valentines Day plans (White Castle is still accepting reservations, I bet), and get ready for tonight's shot at Blues Redemption.
Enjoy this Michigan tourism ad: