The Blues' 3-2 loss Tuesday night was disappointing in that the team's defense seemed non-existent. Brian Elliott, making his first start in over a month, was shelled with 47 shots on goal. For a recently rehabbed goaltender, that is an absurd amount of work. It comes as no surprise that the Blues wouldn't want to give him some extended rest between that game and his next start.
What is surprising is tonight's starter: Martin Brodeur. The Blues are carrying three goaltenders right now, and Jake Allen has had a disappointing month. Brodeur's last game was Monday night's 16 save shutout of the Colorado Avalanche. Brodeur made some solid saves, but truth be told, he wasn't exactly tested.
The Avs are last in the Central Division. The Anaheim Ducks are tops in the difficult Western Conference. Tonight's game is going to be a challenge for Brodeur, and one that the team will have to step up to face if they want two points. The defense needs to be tighter, the penalty kill needs to be better, and the scoring needs to be effective.
Yesterday's practice gave us some fun line combos:
Lines: Steen-Backes-Oshie, Lehtera-Stastny-Tarasenko, Jaskin-Berglund-Reaves, Ott-Lapierre-Lindstrom; Schwartz-Fraser-McCarthy. #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) January 1, 2015
I am intrigued with the fourth line in particular; has Lindstrom become a checking line forward? Has Ryan Reaves worked his way up to the third line?
Schwartz coming back (hopefully soon) should bring some equilibrium back to the team. As it stands, the second line has some potential for offense. Good to see Stastny with linemakes who encourage scoring.
This is your morning open thread. Check back later for some CCR Road Music, and while you're waiting for the puck to drop, head to Anaheim Calling and Battle of California to see what our friends over there think of today's matchup.