Solid game in
Phoenix Glendale, Arizona guys, but there's no time to bask in that success. Tonight the Blues are back at it with a game against the mighty Ducks of Anaheim (but not Mighty Ducks). The Ducks lost their season opener in Pittsburgh, but have gone on to win the next 4 in a row, including their own home opener Friday night against the Wild. Winning streaks are not new to Anaheim - you may recall that last year Anaheim had several such streaks. They had two streaks that ran 8 games or more, and had a few shorter ones. In particular, against the Blues, the Ducks swept last season's series, and have gone 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings. No doubt they were (and are) a good team. Corey Perry has a 5-game point streak to open the season.
But, you see, the thing about streaks - they end.
What has changed with Anaheim since last year? The big addition this offseason was Ryan Kesler, who was picked up in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa (and also some picks on both sides). They also added Nate Thompson and Louis Leblanc via trades. Free agency brought them Clayton Stoner (giggle), Dany Heatley (All Star), and Jason Labarbera (perpetual backup). There have been promotions from the farm team, as well, to fill the vacancies of the departed players. Gone from last year include Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, and Jonas Hiller - three pillars of the team in recent years. Also, they've lost Stephane Robidas, Daniel Winnik, and Mathieu Perreault. All told, those are some big shoes to fill.
Letting Hiller walk in free agency means that the net is in the hands of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. Combined, they have 31 games of NHL experience. If either (or both) suffer injury/bad luck/sophmore slumps, Jason LaBarbera is not far behind, ready to take over.
Notable injuries for Anaheim: Ball and chain Dany Heatley is out, injured since training camp. Also, St Louis native Patrick Maroon is out with a knee injury suffered in game 3 in Buffalo. Hopefully, nobody will see him cheering for the Blues in the pressbox.
As for Blues news; Expect Brian Elliott back in net, and Paul Stastny to sit while he's day-to-day. Recently recalled Petteri Lindbohm might make an appearance in this game, stay tuned for details there.
Blues vs Ducks coverage
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Final Verse: Oddly, for a West Coast game, the puck drops at 7:00 St Louis time. The GDT thread should drop shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. Visit here throughout the afternoon to catch the latest news, and please join us for the GameDay Thread. Here are some fun moments with the Ducks dressing room: