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Red Wings At Blues Preview: Uh Oh, It's Mrazek

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The Red Wings' backup cum temporary starter has had the Blues' number during his brief career.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Petr "I would like to buy a vowel" Mrazek has played very, very well against the Blues in his brief NHL career. He began it with a win against St. Louis, and shut the team out in the season finale last year, 3-0.

As SlapshotGoal over at Winging It In Motown mentions in their morning skate thread:

Petr Mrazek is 2-0-0 with a .80 GAA, .969 SV% and 1 shutout against the Blues. His first NHL game was a win against the Blues back on February 7, 2013

So, yeah. Tonight would be a great night to see that new and improved Blues offense continue their scoring streak. The Blues haven't scored fewer than four goals in a game since January 2nd's 4-3 loss to the Ducks, and they haven't scored fewer than three goals in a game since December 30th's 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators. Hell, even Barret Jackman has been getting in on the act, getting a couple assists and the first star of the game Tuesday night against the Oilers. Here's Sir Jax, scoring machine, discussing tonight's game:

Look! Even the guys know that we hate Detroit! Is it really that obvious? It's It's ok if you feel bad about hating another team. The feeling is mutual, I'm sure.

The Blues are going into tonight's game with a five game winning streak under their belt, but they are still firmly ensconced in third place in the Central Division, because while their schedule has been fairly manageable, so have the schedules of the Blackhawks and Predators. Between the start of the winning streak and today, their position has remained unchanged: five points out of first place in the Central. As Ken Hitchcock tells Jeremy Rutherford about playing in the Central Division:

"There’s no easy game. There’s no games where you can even expect to take a period off and expect to win a hockey game. Every game you play in the division is not only a four-pointer, you need a 60-minute effort. You need 60 to beat these teams. It’s going to be even tougher once we get past this (All-Star) break because it’s going to feel like the playoffs just to get in the playoffs."

Tonight the Blues are going to have to deal with a team who used to fit right into that situation, and is causing issues for the other teams in the Atlantic Division today. The Red Wings are also in third place in their division, behind the Lightning and Canadiens. They won't be juuust squeaking into the playoffs this season due to injury; they've been playing the kind of hockey against the East that everyone has always expected them to.

Detroit is wrapping up a six game road trip, on which they're 3-2 so far. Their power play is right up there with the Blues, with only the Blue Jackets in between. Their penalty kill is also excellent. The only break the Blues are getting tonight is that the team won't have to deal with Johan Franzen, who is still out with an upper-body injury.

This won't be an easy game for either team. Despite the move to the East for the Wings, they don't get along. Why this isn't a game NBCSN chooses to televise is beyond me; everyone must be SUPER excited for Monday's game against the Colorado Avalanche, eh?