Like the old sports cliche says, "They never ask how, just how many." As ugly as it was, the Blues scraped by with a win last night. The Blues played poor defence, took too many penalties, and looked like they were chasing the puck at times. Nonetheless, the tying goal from Alex Pietrangelo (assisted by Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko) and the shootout goals from T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen snatched victory from the Predator-fanged jaws of defeat. With that, the Preds have started their season 0-0-2. Safe to say, the Blues stole that one.
The Enemy: The Hawks have had a helluva start this year themselves. They opened the season by spoiling the Los Angeles Kings banner-raising, beating them 5-2. They followed that up with a 6-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes. I'm sure they expect to continue that hot start with a similarly big home opener tonight.
We'll see about that.
They have not made many changes in the offseason, but the lockout definitely has helped them in one regard: Marian Hossa was last seen leaving the playoffs on a stretcher after an ugly hit by Raffi Torres. He had a chance to recover from concussion symptoms during the extended downtime, and has certainly played a big role in their fast start (4G, 1A in 2 games played). Obviously, you're going to want to keep your eye on him tonight. The consensus weak spot on the Chicago roster is their goaltending. Playing on back to back nights, Corey Crawford started the first game, allowing 2 goals on 21 SOG. Backup Ray Emery started against the Yotes, and allowed 4 goals on 29 SOG. Obviously, its too early for projections, but the early results seem to indicate that if you can get shots on net, you have a decent chance of getting one in. I'd expect to see Crawford back in net tonight. Like Chicago voting, Shoot Early, Shoot Often.
Final Verse: Tonight the puck drops at a more typical 7:30 St Louis time. As usual, the TV broadcast is on FoxSports MW, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120 AM. Also, don't forget the ongoing free preview of Center Ice. As always, the GDT should drop shortly ahead of the puck, so come on back here, won't you? Until then, consider this your pregame warmup. Enjoy this video - I've had the "move on to the next town" lyric bouncing through my head every time I look at the Blues schedule. Come for the Donovan sampling, stay for the dancing biker gang.
Imani Coppola - Legend Of A Cowgirl (via bluemood69)