The Blues need to change some things tonight. They need to make the simple play more often. They need to crash the net hard. They need to win puck battles. They need to score a damn goal. They need a win at home.
If they don't accomplish these things, they've got a hard path ahead of them. Their next game is in Philadelphia against a tough Flyers squad on Saturday. They play again the next day in Atlanta and while the Thrashers are a bit more banged up than when they beat the Note last month, that's still a better team than most of us thought.
The Blues do have a few things going for them, though. T.J. Oshie will return to the ice after recovering from his emergency appendectomy and will likely have very vocal support from the home crowd. And we all know that a fired-up Oshie aint, as Old Dirt Dog would say, nothin' to fuck wit. Additionally it looks like Carlo Colaiacovo has recovered from the Steve Ott flu and will retrurn to the lineup. And finally, we get a glimpse of yet another jewel in the Blues' prospect crown, rookie Lars Eller should suit up for the first time tonight, reportedly wearing No. 61.
Hopefully the team has had a come-to-jeebus meeting and are ready to go out, kick ass and take some names tonight.
And those names really come down to two when we talk about the Flames: Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff. The pair are so good at their individual jobs that they give their team a chance to win almost every night. When the Flames role players all kick in, their odds improve dramatically (Rene Bourque and your team-leading 11 assists and 16 points, we're looking at you).
To put to bed any thoughts of exaggeration on our part, consider this: Iginla already owns the Calgary career records for games (955), goals (415) and points (863). And that's for a franchise that employed the likes of Theo Fleury, Joe Niewendyk and Al MacInnis for significant stretches. Kiprusoff, for his part, is the franchise leader in shutouts (27), goals against average (2.44) and save percentage (91.4%). He beat out Dan Bouchard (who played 398 games for the Flames and is third on the team in wins) and Mike Vernon in each of those categories.
Beat those two guys and you probably beat the Flames.
On an unrelated note, the stickers are in, the stickers are in! That's right, we just got a new shipment of the circle GT stickers similar to the ones that have appeared on signs in Dallas and subsequently on Blues TV commercials. Want one? There are two easy ways:
- If you're going to the game, ask your GT vendor for one. If they have one left, it's yours.
- If you're not going to the game, email me (gallagher[AT]stlouisgametime.com) and I'll give you the mailing address. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to that address and I'll send one back to you. Feel free to drop a buck in the envelop if you're so inclined, I'd be happy if I could find a way to break even on these things.
Then, once you have your sticker affixed, bask in the glow of wearing your GT colors, just like in a real gang! If you've got a particularly interesting use for yours, feel free to post a picture on the site or email the shot to us.
The game is a 7:30 central start because the game was originally to be broadcast nationally in Canada. Since that time the network has decided to pass on this particulat contest. And yes, that's a slap in the face. FSN-Midwest will buck the Canadian convention and go forward with the broadcast. KMOX will also cater to you radio folks and the internet will likely provide for you piracy types.
This is your game day thread.