IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want a free pdf of our Game Time paper publication tonight, e-mail me: gtbradlee at gmail.com.
The lesson from Thursday night wasn't that the Blues could almost pull the big comeback on the Maple Leafs or that Ty Conklin sucks in the shootout or that the Blues have spent three games trying to put together a complete game and have failed. No, the lesson is that the Blues need to focus on getting at least a point every single night.
By not playing Friday night, the Blues fell from seventh to ninth in the Western Conference. Tonight if things could fall perfectly (and I haven't looked at the match-ups to see if it's even possible) the Blues could win and be in fourth place. If they lose, they could be in 12th. And it's January, mid-way through the season. The final playoffs spots in this super competitive conference will be decided on the final day of the season, guaranteed.
What that means is that every game counts (someone should make that a theme for the season or something). Every game, you need something out of it. If you have a lead late, hold it. If you can tie it up and send it to overtime late, do it. The consequence of failing is falling just short of the playoffs and having the franchise once again re-evaluate the players on this team and the direction of the organization. No pressure.
The Rangers are in town. They should be dead tired. They won 3-2 in a shootout last night in Dallas. This is their second set of back-to-back games in a week and fifth game in eight days. The Blues need to start fast, make things uncomfortable for guys like Marian Gaborik and Chris Drury and then put this game away by the 10 minute mark in the second. Or hang on late. Whatever. A full 60 minutes would be nice.
This is your game day thread. Treat it like a double steakburger with cheese from Steak 'n Shake and fucking devour it.