Weren't we just here, doing this not 24 hours ago, watching the Blues play a divisional opponent we don't have strong feelings about in a matchup that isn't exactly providing a lot of dramatic buildup. Oh yeah, they played Nashville last night and tonight it's Columbus. At least the Blue Jackets won't be wearing mustard-colored uniforms tonight.
Let's start with the obvious: Jaroslav Halak does not enjoy the shootout. He's winless in four tries this season. Only Carey Price has more shootout losses at five, but at least he's won one. But it's not like the forwards are helping much. They didn't get a goal again last night. Brad Boyes, come home.
So the Jackets were the first team to be looking to fire their coach, according to NHL rumour (Canadian spelling!) circles. Yet Scott Arniel is still behind the Columbus bench and there are new faces here in St. Louis and in Washington, Anaheim, Los Angeles and now Montreal. If Jeff Carter doesn't play better and Rick Nash's plus/minus hovers around a minus-20, Davis Payne could have a new Euchre partner (Darren Pang reference!).
I'm writing this late Saturday night. Therefore I have no idea who is starting in net. I do know both teams traveled last night about the same distance (Columbus lost at home against Vancouver). The Blues won the last time they played, the first time Hitchcock faced his most recent employer. And T.J. Oshie and Alex Steen are tied for the team lead in scoring. This is the last home game before Christmas. Get your ugly sweaters out and get ready to do some rocking around the Christmas tree.
This is your game day thread. Comment like you're hanging your stocking by the chimney without a fucking care.