The Blues don't hit the ice until Thursday. It's Tuesday. I'm getting antsy. Let's roll with some stream of conscious bullet points.
- I think it's funny that Ken Hitchcock is waiting until Thursday morning to announced his starting goaltender. Would the Sharks really prepare differently. "Ok, No. 1, he gets a lot of shutouts, he played well all year and will be tough to beat. Now No. 41 on the other hand, he gets a lot of shutouts, he played well most of the year and will be tough to beat." By the way, the starter is going to be Jerry Halak. Book it.
- As was mentioned in the fanposts over the weekend, the Star Spangled Banner on Friday night was tremendous. I love me some Charles Glenn, but when he asked the crowd to take over, and it did, I got a little choked up. Very cool moment. And you can tell how he handles it, Charles takes the primary anthem singing gig seriously and to heart.
- What do you fans think of the "and the home...of the BLUES?" When it first started around the time of the lockout, I was lukewarm. They do that in Kansas City with the Chiefs. And I thought that was weird. Hey, let's mention a Native American term and say "Home Of" right before it in a not ironic way! The Dallas fans yell STARS during the song, and it comes at weird times, not the end. Here at the end of the season, it seems like it's really caught on. I like original fan traditions. The Towel Boy started in Peoria, not here. This didn't start here. But I could be persuaded. I don't think it's disrespectful of the song. I just don't like stealing shit from fans of other teams. If every single person in the building said it...well that might be pretty cool.
- I must be getting older. And my kids are now influencing me. The daughter will be seven next month, the son is 3 1/2. I have brainwashed them. Hockey is their favorite sport. They will be crushed if they find out they aren't going to any playoff games and I am. They can Power Play Dance like nobody's business. I don't join in, but I don't get try to get them to stop. Live and let live. That's how I feel about the Towel Boy. You want to cheer him? Proceed. I want to yell "JUMP!" after he finishes counting, afford me the same accord. The Power Play Dance may never go away. Ever. Deal with it. Move on.
- Now, the Cotton Eyed Joe dancing fool, I still hate him. I hate the song. I hate it whenever it's played -- even games I'm watching at home. But the fans...they love it. I don't get it. Taste counts for nothing in this world. Here's the deal, Person Who Plays the Music At Blues Games (and I know you know who I am). I think there needs to be one ground rule for letting fatty dance. Only when the Blues are winning. This does not prevent me from hoping he passes out from the exertion during long stoppages.
- I should talk more hockey.
- I think the key to this series is pressure. Can the Blues put enough pressure on the San Jose goaltenders (make no mistake, both will play) to cause them to crack? If that doesn't happen, I worry if the offense will be enough to keep up with the Sharks. I don't predict many shutouts this series. I'd love to see them, but San Jose can score. Saturday night, the Kings had a 2-0 lead going into the third period. The Sharks won in overtime. You could argue the Kings are nearly as good defensively as the Blues. That's a bad sign. Get the Sharks netminders to wilt, and the Blues advance in a shorter series.
- I wish I could get behind the campaign of David Perron and T.J. Oshie to get on the cover of a video game for next year. But isn't there a curse associated with that?
- Finally, playoff hockey is nearly back. I've missed it so. I know fans will say going to games or getting attached to a specific player is how they picked up the game or maybe from a father or sibling. That's fine. But that's not how diehards, the crazed lunatics are hatched. No, it's the drug that is playoff hockey. The intensity, the nerves, the anger, the violence, the speed, the drama. It's intoxicating. And it's almost here.
You got any bullets, Barney Fife? Show 'em down below.