Where do we go from here? What do you say after a 5th win in a row?
It's a little ironic that we come into this game riding a bit of a high from a shootout win. Tonight's opponent, the New Jersey Devils, would have probably made the playoffs last season if they could just win a shootout. Just earlier this year, October 30th, the Devils won their first shootout since March of 2013. They were 0/13 all of last season; those are a lot a points left on the board. They finished just 5 points out of a playoff spot, so even winning a handful of those would have done the trick.
This is fundamentally a good team, albeit an older one. With 6 players over 35 years old, one has to wonder if this team has the stamina to carry the load through a full season. It may be our misfortune that we play them so early in the season in this home-and-home series. It might have been easier towards the end of the season, but it's more meaningful to beat them when they present a bigger challenge. Also, we need to issue out a dose of revenge for last year's 7-1 embarrassment to these guys.
Right now, the Devils are on a bit of a streak as well, having won 2 in a row and aiming for a third. Their last game was on Saturday 11/01, a come-from-behind win over Columbus 3-2. Efforts like this has earned them 2nd place in the "meh"-tropolitan division, and a record of 6-3-2 so far this season. Key injuries include Mike Cammalleri (day to day with a jaw injury), Martin Havlat (IR for facial lacerations), and Jordin Tootoo (IR for foot, and also speculation of 3rd-Degree Douchebaggery).
We get to say hello again to old friend Bryce Salvador, who remains captain (and fan whipping-boy) of the New Jersey squad. Also, we get to marvel at the timelessness of Jaromir Jagr . While it's easy to get caught up in the nostalgia of the older players there, it'd be dangerous to overlook the youth on this team (yes, there really are some youngsters here!). Keep your eye on Adam Henrique, New Jersey's leading scorer with 4G, 5A for 9 points so far this year. Rookie Damon Severson is tied for second in points, with 8 (4G,4A).
Cory Schneider has started all 11 games so far for the Devils (2.83 GAA, .909 Sv%), so it's no surprise to see him start this one as well. With the Blues being in back-to-backs, Jake Allen is expected in net for St Louis.
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Final Verse: Another early one; hopefully it helps our European friends a little (good to see you online last night!). The puck drops at 6:30 PM St Louis time, and the GameDay thread should drop shortly beforehand. Join us here, won't you? There's always room for one more. The TV broadcast is on NBC SportsNet, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120. Come for the game, stay for the laughter as the announcers butcher players' names.
Of course, last night's efforts led me to think ... hey man, nice shot!