I am a long time SBN user in the Gang Green Nation blog covering the New York Jets. I have only recently in the last 2 years stepped over to the Game Time blog. As an avid sports fan, I love reading up on everything I can find prior to the games. I want stats, trends, backgrounds, shoe sizes, anything. To my disappointment, hockey simply isn't covered in the same all access style as football. In football your team plays 1 game a week but the articles covering every angle and storyline run all week long. I noticed when coming to the fanpost section of Game Time that the number of posts are low comparatively. I scour the internet trying to read up on stories for the upcoming Blues games, but find little. I am hoping there are other Blues fans out there like me; who want to be immersed in hockey not just during the game, but before and after. I am beginning an article I hope to write for most of the future Blues games. The thought process behind it is a who's hot, who's not style breakdown of our players vs their upcoming opponents. I will use career stats of each player on our team to focus on who does well against a particular team and who historically has played poorly.
Alexander Steen - Alexander Steen has played a total of 586 NHL games in his career. Of those games, 18 have come against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Steen represents the the hottest player on the St. Louis Blues against Tampa. In those 18 games, Steen is +6 when on the ice. He has racked up 3 goals, and 6 assists during those games. Out of his 3 career goals against Tampa Bay, 2 have been game winning goals. Only time will tell if Steen will again provide late game heroics. When playing against Tampa Bay, Steen is shooting at 23.1%. That is his second highest shooting percent against any team. Anyone care to guess who he shoots better against? If you guess his home town Blues, you're right. The only team he shoots more accurately against is the team he is skating for.
Brenden Morrow - Morrow also posts a +6 rating when skating against the Lightning. He has played a total of 11 games against Tampa, scoring 4 goals and 3 assists. Morrow also shoots extremely well against the Lightning. His total tops even Steen's percentage at 25%. The only team he shoots better against is the Buffalo Sabres. Of his 4 goals 2 have come via the power play. Could Morrow be the man to kick start the Blues recently sputtering special teams unit?
Derek Roy - Roy Holds a +5 rating all time against Tampa. Roy averages 1 point per game in his career when facing the Lightning. He has taken the ice 27 times against them, and has tallied 13 goals and 14 assists. Of his 13 goals, 8 have come even strength, showing Roy has a penchant for being able to beat his men even without the assistance of a power play.
TJ Oshie - Oshie's stats read much like Roy's. He is also +5 all time against Tampa. He is also scoring at the rate of 1 point per game. In 6 career games Oshie has 2 goals and 4 assists. Oshie made evident to the world what Blues fans have known for quite some time, that our very own Osh has a flair for the dramatic. In his career Oshie has scored 5 short handed goals, each coming against a different team. One of those teams just so happens to be the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Steve Ott - Of the entire Blues roster, only Steve Ott is a minus when playing Tampa Bay. If history repeats itself, Ott might want to skip his new home debut, He is -5 all time when facing Tampa Bay. In 10 career games, Ott has 0 goals and 2 assists. It might be hard to believe, but Tampa isn't his least favorite team team to skate against, that award goes to Detroit, where he is -14.
Wondering how Ryan Miller plays against Tampa? Miller is 19-9-0 all time when facing the Lightning. His save percent is .909 with a 2.67 GAA. Historically he hasn't played his best games against Tampa. Of the 29 teams he has faced, only 8 have seen him give up a lower career save percent against them.
When the active players on the Blues roster have their +/- combined, we are +24 against Tampa Bay. The Lightning are no push overs, though, as they beat us 4-2 earlier this season on their home ice in Florida behind the stellar play of Bishop between the pipes. Tampa Bay is also ranked 3rd in the Atlantic Division at 34-25-5. Will Miller and Ott have their St. Louis debuts ruined by subpar play? Will Oshie and Roy continue their trend of scoring a point per game? Only time will tell, but heading into tomorrow's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, these are your players to watch. They are who's hot, and who's not.