Hey, have you heard David Perron is back tonight? Oh, all over the Web? And Twitter? Okay. Well here is some more.
Perron has had a bit of a star-crossed career getting to this point. First, he went undrafted in his first year of eligibility. So his second year in juniors, he scored 39 goals and 44 assists for 83 points in 70 games for the Lewiston Maineiacs. That pushed him not only into the draft but the first round where the Blues took him with the 26th pick in the 2007 draft. He was too young at the time to go to the AHL, 19, so it was either go back to juniors...or play in the NHL. The Blues kept him in St. Louis.
That first season Andy Murray had a thing for resting him and Erik Johnson. That limited Perron to 62 games with 13 goals and 14 assists on the season. His second and third seasons he proved to be very durable playing 81 and 82 games respectively. He was more of a passer his second season with 37 assists while in his third season he scored 20 goals. His points totaled 50 his second season and 47 his third. His fourth season, it looked like he had started to put it together. He had some good chemistry with T.J. Oshie and had five goals and two assists in 10 games. He looked dangerous with the puck every time he touched it in the offensive zone. He was aggressive cutting to the net and driving hard. And then Thornton happened.
If you don't remember the play, Thornton had been in the penalty box and Perron was skating the puck through the neutral zone. Getting a head of steam, he had his head down to some degree as he passed the boards near the visiting penalty box. Thornton's minor expired, the door swung into the box, Thornton stepped out as if dropped from the rafters on a rappelling line or like he popped out of the ice through a trap door. Either way, Perron wasn't expecting him to materialize and was caught off guard when Thornton hit him in the head, dropping him like a sack of Idaho potatoes to the ice. Back in those days, the NHL Wheel of Justice wasn't as harsh on hits and he only got a two game suspension.
What possibly helped minimize his penalty was the fact that Perron actually returned to the game and later scored. And then the after concussion symptoms kicked in. The headaches, the light sensitivity, just not feeling right can be debilitating. And then when the major symptoms subsided, they would kick back in when he exercised or got his heartbeat elevated. Perron didn't return to training until camp and only recently was cleared for contact during practice.
So what should we expect? All reports from good dude Jeremy Rutherford at the Post-Dispatch and others who frequent North County (you know, where the Blues practice) say the French Canadian looks strong. He's aiming for the corners of the net, he looks fast and smooth. But nothing can replicate game action. Nothing. So while Ken Hitchcock says Perron will get second line minutes and power play time, I hope Perron doesn't get gassed by the second intermission.
Spinning the wheel of starting goaltenders....Brian Elliott! That sounds about right. Last game here, Jaroslav Halak shut out the Hawks. Only fair to give Elliott his shot, especially when word around the Internet is that Ray Emery is the starter for the Hawks. Yes, that Emery who likes to fight and got run out of Ottawa and played overseas because no one wanted to take a chance on a troubled goalie (more troubled than most).
This is your game day thread. Comment like you haven't played for 97 games.