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Road Music: 12/27 @ Detroit Red Wings

There's no time to celebrate the win over Dallas, as the Blues immediately hit the road to Detroit to take on the Wings in another nationally-broadcast Versus game. The Blues haven't been a flashy team for quite some time, but now the hockey world is starting to take notice. The Blues are getting props from all over the media landscape, and now we have the rarity of back-to-back games on Versus. The boys in blue can't lose sight of the game in front of them, even with the added distractions. Detroit is a very opportunistic team: you can outplay them for 55 minutes, but they'll crush you in the 5 minutes that you give them. A still-worthy opponent, heightened expectations, and the notice of the hockey world can cause them to lose their way. The Blues cannot succumb to the

Pressure / Billy Joel

The Enemy: To know know know them is to hate hate hate them. The Red Wings are also playing the second game of a back-to-back set, having won in Nashville last night 4-1. The Blues are just ahead of Detroit in the standings, with Detroit coming into tonight with a record of 22-12-1. The winning goalie last night was Jimmy Howard, who made 31 saves and has a season stat line of 1.99 GAA and .925 SV%. I don't know if he'll be playing again tonight, or if they'll start the backup, old friend Ty Conklin. I'm sure there will be updates today to tell us for sure. ConkBlock has struggled this season, with a 3.23 GAA and .890 SV%. As for scoring, the Wings are led by Pavel Datsyuk (10G/ 25A) and Johan Franzen (14G/ 16A). Also, the Wings are 5th in the league in PP conversion, scoring in 20.3% of their opportunities. Like most teams the Blues will be facing, one of the keys will be to play to our 5-on-5 strengths, and try to stay out of the box.

Further Reading:

Winging It In Motown

Blues vs Red Wings coverage

Final Verse: Like on Monday, the puck drops at 6:30PM St Louis time. The GDT should be along shortly beforehand. The broadcasts are on Versus for TV, and the mighty KMOX 1120 AM for the radio. For those that complained about the national broadcasters, this might be a good time to enjoy the radio call of the game. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, bitch about early starts, get the beer in the fridge, and work on getting your Detroit hate revved up. Here, this might help:

Hockey's Universal Language (via Partstim)