Tonight's game will likely be watched with hands over our eyes, peeking between the fingers. Tonight marks the Blues debut of some guy named Mark ... no, that's not right ... Mason..... no, not quite.... MARTIN ... yes, that's it, Martin Brodeur.
That's the ticket.
There's no easing into it, either. Martin will be thrust into the net tonight to face a Central Divsion-leading Nashville Predators team that has been one of the surprise stories of the season (thus far). We said on the podcast that they would be good this year, but I don't think even we were expecting this kind of start for Smashville. After winning 4 in a row to close out November, they dropped a game Tuesday to the Hurricanes. Nashville will be looking to rebound off of that right away.
What is NOT a surprise, however, is that the success has been built largely on the back of the goaltender Pekka Rinne - Best Goaltender In The World (tm). He's started all but 3 games so far for the Preds, and has put up a 16-4-1 record and a stat line of 1.83 GAA and .932 save percentage. They are top 5 in the league in allowing the fewest shots on goal, and the ones that do get that far, Rinne stops. Sometimes overlooked by being in Nashville, but if you were in, say, New York with those numbers, the praise you would hear would never stop.
Add to this some offensive punch, and you start to see why they lead the Central. The #Perds are led in both goals and points by young phenom Filip Forsberg (10 goals, 13 assists). Second in points is Mike Ribeiro with 7 goals and 12 assists. Captain Shea Weber is right behind with 15 points (6g, 9a), followed by their big trade acquisition this past offseason, James Neal (9g, 5a) and then Craig Smith (7g, 7a) with 14 points each. They don't much in the way of special teams, though, so are least we won't have to deal with those particular demons.
The Central Division lead is up for grabs, gents. Right here, right now. Go Take It.
Blues vs Predators coverage
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Final Verse: Ahhhh... back to the home broadcasters. The puck drops at 7:00 St Louis time, and the GDT should drop shortly before that. The TV broadcast will be on FoxSports MW, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120 AM. Do tune in, and please join us in the GDT - after all, we'll be witnessing history tonight. Until then, listen to the latest Beyond Checkerdome (shameless plug) and get ready for the big moment.