Ed Szczepanski-US PRESSWIRE
The Anaheim Ducks are one of the best teams in the NHL right now. Can the Blues finally play a complete 60 minutes against them and outlast them in tonight's final meeting?
The Ducks are probably one of the more overlooked teams in the NHL right now. The Blackhawks had the point streak and the pizzaz to catch the eye of even the hardest of hard line sports journalists who ignore hockey, let alone the Western Conference. The Eastern Conference teams, well, let's just say that they share a time zone with most sports media, so they have a leg up. The Ducks are stuck in the Pacific Time Zone in the Western Conference -- they could literally win every game for the rest of the season and no one would notice. I almost feel bad for them.
Almost. The thing that got them some attention was, of course, Corey Perry's hit on the Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker. It was high, it was late, and there needed to be a suspension to go with it. Rob Blake (!) explains:
Well, then, at least the Blues don't have to worry about that. They also don't have to worry about the former Rocket Richard Trophy winner scoring any goals against them. It's the rest of the Ducks that they have to worry about. This isn't a one-person team; coach Bruce Boudreau has everyone firing on all cylinders, just like he did with the Caps.
The Blues have to be on their A-game for a full 60 minutes with them; no shifts off, not even for a second. They exploit that and will make you pay. This is evidenced by the fact that the Ducks have beaten the Blues six of the last seven times they've met. Talk about a team that I do not want to bump into in the playoffs... yeesh. If the Blues can figure them out tonight, that'd be swell as heck.