For all of the complaining about the Blues being penalty prone -- especially the too many men on the ice penalty -- the Dallas Stars can be just as bad. Witness Thursday night. They allowed the Edmonton Oilers to go on the nine times, though the Oilers only scored once. The Blues, however, actually can score on the power play. Sure, they haven't been doing well the past few games, dropping off to second overall before regaining the lead at a 29.4% conversion rate. The Dallas Stars' penalty kill's better than the Blues by a few percentage points, but as long as the Blues learn to count and stay off of the PK that doesn't matter.
What are the lines for this afternoon? Why, the same as they were for Friday night, of course. You can't mix up lines that actually showed offense, and you really can't mess with what impresses the captain, David Backes.
"If 5-foot-10 ‘Schwartzy’ is going into hard areas, there’s no reason that the 6-2, 6-3 guys shouldn’t be in there too," Backes said. "For a 21-year-old kid that is just getting his feet wet in the league, it’s a lot of character shown and some great leadership too."
"He doesn’t fit as a fourth-line player," Hitchcock acknowledged. "The way you want your fourth line to play doesn’t fit. It was finding a spot for him."
Well, no Schwartz was wasted on the fourth line. So nice of everyone and their mother to get injured at the same time, and for David Perron's performance to be better with Patrik Berglund as of late. When those bitten by the injury bug return, Schwartz isn't moving.
The Stars are looking for win number 100 over the Blues, but that might be hard in coming if St. Louis plays a full 60. They took their perfunctory shift or two off on Friday, and Edmonton batted in two quick goals. They can't afford to let that happen today.
Head over to Defending Big D for their gameday preview and coverage, and don't forget to check back in a little while for the game day thread. Puck drop is at 2:00.