Ok, let me start this off by saying that there's still a chance - a small one - that the Blues didn't totally piss away the Central Division lead. A point today and an Avalanche loss to Anaheim tonight and the Blues are tops in the division and will play the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. A loss today means that they will be welcoming the Blackhawks to Scottrade this week.
I'm pretty sure I know which scenario I prefer.
Alas, the Blues are short seven of their top forwards, with David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Vladimir Sobotka, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Vladimir Tarasenko, and now Patrik Berglund injured. The Red Wings've been dealing with a similar situation all year, and have had their fans concerned about their playoff appearance streak. No worries, Wings fans. Your guys overcame adversity and injury.
Let's see how ours manage in one game.
The last game that the Wings played, they lost on home ice to a Carolina Hurricanes team that hadn't won in Detroit since they were the Whalers. It was fan appreciation night, and the Wings appreciated their home crowd by floating through a winnable game. The Blues could show their appreciation for their home crowd by doing the opposite. There's a good chance that the Wings'll just be conserving energy for the playoffs like the Blackhawks did last year - though this time around it's the Blues who are icing their AHL team. The Blues haven't lost six games in a row for four years. This is not the time to break that particular slump.
Ryan Miller has not been playing well recently (though Friday night wasn't bad - Thursday, on the other hand...) and his worst numbers against any team come against the - you guessed it - Red Wings. It'd be perhaps beneficial to give Miller a mental break this afternoon and start Brian Elliott in his place.
Four in a row over the Wings'd be a nice way to close out the season. A win by the Ducks'd be icing on the cake.
This is your morning open thread/game preview. Check back soon for a Lighting the Lamp and game day thread. Not a lot of time today - we have an early 11:30 game start. And, of course, if you're curious as to how the other side lives, head over to Winging It In Motown and check their game day stuff out.