So far today at GT we apparently have offended Hurricanes fans. This is my olive branch to you: I actually like your BBQ sauce, Rod Brind'Amour and Ron Francis are two of my favorite hockey players ever, and you guys tailgate the shit out of hockey games. Also, as a Thrashers fan, you guys were always super nice when you road tripped to Atlanta.
With that out of the way, the Blues aren't going to face a huge challenge tonight. Brian Elliott will be in net tonight against the Hurricanes, and as the season's progressed he's played better and better. Ells has a 2.05 GAA and a .925 save percentage. Sure, that's been mostly against "weaker" competition. But still, those aren't terrible numbers.
Justin Peters, with Cam Ward still broken, is tops on the Hurricanes' depth chart. He showed up the powerhouse Anaheim Ducks Friday night, stopping 32 of 34 shots. Against the Colorado Avalanche (who are still good despite the Blues kicking their asses from here to eternity) he stifled that offense as well, allowing just one goal. He's numero uno on the Hurricanes' depth chart, so would they be willing to start him back to back against another Western Conference opponent? The way that he's been playing, why the hell not?
The rest of the team, well... the offense has been disappointing. No player has more than four goals - points leader Jordan Staal has four goals, six assists... and is still a -10. It's unfair for Peters to be the single-handedly keeping their team above .500, but when you only have six positive players on your team (and three of those are at +1), there's something going on.
Still, Jeff Skinner, man. The Blues need to keep their eyes on that kid tonight. While he's in the pressbox. Because he's hurt. Bummer.
The Blues are 3-1-1 the last five times that the Canes were in St. Louis, and that was before Alex Steen was scoring at some bizonkers pace. He has 16 goals already and is is one point behind Sidney Crosby for the league in points as well. They also have the league's best power play (Carolina's is 23rd), so if Carolina would like to win, they might not want to take many penalties.
The Blues are 29-8-5 against the East since 2011. They've only lost twice to the Carolina franchise at home since Mar. 26, 1992 - and that was when the Canes were the Whalers.
Tonight won't be as awesome as Thursday night, but it should still be a good one. Hold on to your BBQ.