Blues At Flames Game Preview: So You're Saying There's A Chance?

Mike Ridewood

It's nice to have some sort of feeling of optimism back instead of dejection. Let's see if the Blues can build on that against a team with more goaltending issues than they have.

It would be understanding if you felt like the Blues had a "whew -- than monkey's off of our back!" feeling going on. After all, after the 4-3 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, all of us here certainly felt that. No one likes five game losing streaks.

But the trick here isn't breaking the streak.The trick is starting a new one -- a new winning streak. The Calgary Flames aren't a pushover team by any means -- they have the league's second best power play (the Blues' have the top), and just put up seven goals against the Dallas Stars. Unfortunately for them, they allowed four goals.

What's the trick to beating the Flames? Limiting shots on net, and boy, can the Blues be good at that when they focus. They allowed just seven shots after the first period from the Red Wings, and this clamp-down is one of the reasons that they were capable of staying with it and winning the game.

Also helpful about tonight is that the Blues seem to really have the Flames' number when it comes to face offs. Last season they won 58.1% of their face offs against them; the Blues this year have won just 48.1% of their face offs. It's awfully hard to score when you don't have the puck, and it's awfully hard to defend when you lose faceoffs in the defensive zone. If the Blues get this back on track, along with their shot blocking and defense, there's no reason that they can't regain the form that they started the season with.

The perfect quote for tonight's game comes from Alex Steen:

"I think we got scared into the right direction," Steen said. "I think that fear made us play hockey.''

Tremendous. Hopefully winning encourages the team to keep playing hockey. Tonight's the perfect chance for that encouragement.

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