When Brad Lee asked me to do the GDT tonight, I immediately started thinking of a punny headline. "Oh, man, what if I said 'Blues @ Flame Outs.' That would be great because Calgary has been a bottom-feeder all season. I'm so witty!" Then, I remembered that:
- Calgary has won 5 of their last 7.
- This site is about the St. Louis Blues and it's the not the first or last month of a season.
- If anybody's flaming out, it's St. Louis, who have only won 2 games in January (both against the Kings) and got blown out again by Columbus in front of a sold-out DrinkScotch Center. (Yes, that loss is that fucking depressing).
The Blues were sitting at lowly number 14 in the standings until Columbus' loss to Anaheim last night. They're now at 13th, sitting 5 points behind the 8th place Fuckhawks. WE DID IT, EVERYBODY.
Like the game against Colorado, the Blues play one of their games in hand on clubs above them in the standings tonight. It's also the last game before the break. Needless to say, they're in a must-win situation and Calgary, a team they got the better of last year (3-0-1), might be the team to help break this funk.
All eyes will be on the Blues defensive zone tonight. I don't know if you know this by now, but the Blues can't fucking score. They have to keep opponents off the board to win games. With two AHLers on the third defensive pairing tonight (Strachan, Nikitin; both -8) and a below-average save percentage in Ty Conkilin (.875) between the pipes, this game has the potential to be frustrating.
Pause on the negativity for Patrik Berglund. Mr. Mountain Grove is carrying a career-high, 6-game point-streak into Alberta (3 goals, 4 assists). In his last 7 games against Calgary, TechnoViking has four goals, so his streak may well extend into tonight. All-Star David Backes is riding a surge of momentum into the break as well. He has 2 goals in his last 3 games and leads the Blues in goals and assists. Brad Boyes, who recently remembered that he plays hockey for St. Louis, has netted a point in every game versus Calgary in his career and is on a three-game point-streak. His three assists in Colorado on Monday were hella-sick-nasty.
On the flip-side, the Flames will send out Miikka Kiprussof, who is having an average year. Jerome Iginla, once caught in the swirl of trade rumors, is leading his team in goals and assists, too. Not suiting up will be former-Blue Craig Conroy, who has reportedly cleared waivers and will more than likely retire tomorrow.
So, stay up late, drink Bud Ice and watch what will probably be an early Blues lead, followed by a flurry of Calgary goals and a Blues comeback that falls just short (attention, gallagher: add this to GT bingo). Then, you can come over to my house and play GoldenEye and Mario Party 2 until 7 AM, pass out with controller in hand and forget to do the morning links the next day.
This here is your Game Day Thread. Comment like a win will make you feel better. Post GIFs like the lives of puppies depends on it.