There's a lot of words to describe what happened in Los Angeles. Bed-shitting. Clusterfuck. Omnishambles. Whatever you want to call it, it was simply embarrassing. Fortunately, the Blues have an opportunity to reverse that tonight in Phoenix. Not that the Coyotes are much of a step down in opponents - this is the team that lost to LA in the conference finals last year, after all. These guys are just as capable of taking the game away if you give them a period to do so. So, for the umpteenth time, we wonder if the Blues have finally learned their lesson yet: you must play a full 60 minutes, every game, every opponent, every time. If they haven't, tonight is going to be a loooong night. Once more, we'll be asking ourselves "How long can this go on?"
The Enemy: This is our first game against the Coyotes, so you might look at this as a fresh-start opportunity for the Blues. The Coyotes have a similar record, and are 1 point ahead of us in the standings. They've just played the Ducks for three consecutive games, going 2-1 in that span. Much like the Blues, they've had scoring by committee. Overall scoring is lead by Mikkel Boedker (4-12-16) and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (3-13-16). In terms of goals, the overall leader is Martin Hanzal with 7, and three others right behind with 6. This would seem to be a harder team to defend.
In net, they have Mike Smith (9-6-2, 2.90 GAA, .900 SV%) and Jason LaBarbera (1-3-0, 2.23 GAA, .920 SV%). Smith had started the previous 15 games, before LaBarbera getting a start against Anaheim last night. As such, it looks like Smith would get the start tonight. The team played in Anaheim last night, so we're facing them on the second of back-to-backs for them, with travel in between. That may play a factor, should the game be close late, or go into OT.
Final Verse: They're still out West, so the puck drops at 8:00 PM St Louis time. The TV broadcast will be on Fox Sports Midwest, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120 AM. The GDT should drop shortly ahead of the puck. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, take your pot shots at the Yotes, discuss the nutty weather lately, or just fume a little more about the Kings game. Take note in your social calender for Saturday's watch party. Whenever the team doesn't perform up to their potential, I always think of this scene:
Bull Durham - Lollygaggers (via mdmasndn qsipjdjasjokd)