Devils At Blues Preview: Bye Bye Brodeur

Elsa

It's the future Hall of Fame goaltender's probable last stop in St. Louis tonight, but he probably won't be in the net.

Martin Brodeur allowed six goals on Sunday afternoon in the Devils' 7-3 loss to the New York Rangers. Chances are pretty good that Marty won't be starting tonight thanks to that performance.

While the Blues might be slumping, signs point to life. They went 3-1 on this last roadtrip, Alexander Steen has a four-game point streak going, and Jaroslav Halak's undefeated in his last three starts. The Blues' have a great record at home against Eastern Conference teams this year (or just Eastern Conference teams in general), and the Devils might be more than a little demoralized from Sunday's debacle.

Or maybe they'll be looking for a bounce-back game. The Devils have been playing strong hockey recently, with their loss on Saturday being an aberration. They're 10-5-5 in their last 20 games, and are very close to hopping up the ladder of mediocrity that are the Eastern Conference standings.

Probably the most notable thing about the Blues right now is that they have eight players with 30 points or more (Steen, T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jaden Schwartz, Alex Pietrangelo, Roy, and Vladimir Tarasenko). They're the only team in the NHL that has accomplished this, so not half bad. No one expected the Blues to score at the rate that they have been this season, and while the number of goals seem to have dropped off a bit in the last few games, you can almost get the feeling that the Blues are always a goal away from having another game like that.

Of course, there's always the slow start problem, or the line-swapping problem, or the slow finish problem, or... well, take your pick. The Blues are a step away from dominance, but why can't they just take that step? It is worrisome, but if they can focus enough to play the entire game, then these Devils are beatable.

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