I don't know how many of you are going to be reading this, as early as this will go out... But, I haven't missed a road game yet, and I'm not going to let this one ruin the streak. There's a lot of streaks on the line today: The Blues have won 3 in a row - a 4th win would tie the season high mark. The captain, David Backes, has goals in 2 consecutive games, after going 14 straight without a tally. I'm sure he'd like that one to continue, as well. The new guy, Jay Bouwmeester, has assists in each of his first two games as a Blues player (1 against Chicago, 2 against Columbus), so there's another reason to put points up on the board.
Even bigger than those, though, is this simple fact: this is the last game between these two teams as division rivals.
Starting next year, the Wings will be in the Eastern Conference, and we'll only seem them once or twice a year. I hope the boys give the Wings something to remember as a send-off....
The Enemy: The Detroit Red Wings, blah blah blah. Once the dominant team in the Western Conference (let alone the Central Division), the Wings are now in 7th place, just one point above the Blues. A St Louis win today would allow the Blues to leapfrog the Wings and, based on ROW, take the 6th spot from the Wild (depending on what Minnesota does later tonight). The Wings have every motivation to beat the Blues, then. They are certainly aware of the stakes. The Wings are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, and needed OT to beat a last-place Colorado team Friday.
The stat leaders are the same as usual: The leader in goals and overall points is Pavel Datsyuk (13-25-38), and 2nd in overall points is Henrik Zetterberg (8-27-35). Next is Niklas Kronwall, who, when not leaving his feet to lay on a massive hit, has managed 5 goals and 21 assists. Interestingly, the Wings have just called up their prospect Riley Sheahan, who is primarily known for his Halloween arrest for DUI, where he was dressed as Tinky Winky. This will also mark the home debut of Danny DeKeyser, the defensive prospect from Michigan that St Louis was courting.
As for the net, the likely starter will be Jimmy Howard, who's gone 16-11-4 with a 2.45 GAA and .916 save percentage. Of course, in Detroit, those are considered HOF numbers. According to the AP preview, though, Howard has a 4.44 GAA in his previous games against the Blues this season. The backup is Jonas Gustavsson, 2-2-1 record with 2.92 GAA and .879 save percentage.
Fuck Detroit blogs
Final Verse: Unfortunately, this will be a national broadcast as NBC's game of the week. I say that because the Blues don't seem to have a good record on national TV. The one upside, though, is that NBC usually streams their games online, with good quality video. The puck drops at 11:30 AM St Louis time, and the GDT should drop shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on NBC, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120 (you know, if you prefer correct name pronunciation). Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Here's one of my heroes talking about the kind of Sunday mornings most GameTimers should find familiar:
Big John Cash - Sunday Morning Coming Down (via Tiodude123)