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The Old Man Down The Road: Blues At Nashville Predators Preview

#RoarBacon heads to #Smashville

"You got to hidey-hide"
"You got to hidey-hide"
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Who else here is still amazed about Wednesday's game? What a mind-boggling ending. That was one of those milestone moments for this team that could have ripple effects down through the rest of the season. Every game is a learning experience, and there were a few lessons to take away from this one. I just hope the Blues picked up the right ones.

On a podcast for another team, I heard a particularly apt analogy. They were celebrating a GM making a trade to get out from a bad contract that he had signed a few years prior. "That's like your dog taking a shit on your kitchen floor, then coming back later and eating it. It's great that he cleaned up the mess... but he still shouldn't be shitting on your floor."

That's something to chew on, if you'll pardon the expression.

Tonight is looking to be an emotional game for another reason. We get a chance to play Barret Jackman for the first time this year. It's nice to hear that the Nashville fans have made him feel welcome, and he seems to be quite appreciated there. It can't hurt that he's paired up with Seth Jones most games. There aren't enough words to describe how weird it will be to see him in a different jersey. But, hockey being the business that it is, here we are.

He take the thunder from the mountain,

How about that Colton Parayko kid, eh? Someone who has gotten his chance in part due to Jackman's departure, that move has certainly paid off so far. Two more assists against the Hawks, and now he is currently 7th in rookie scoring, and the top rookie defenseman. He's breaking glass, goalies, and dreams as he goes through his first season in the NHL. No doubt Coach Hitch believes in him as well, as he's averaging over 20 minutes a night. With McDavid missing time for injury, there's a spreading belief that Parayko could get some Calder love at the end of the season. I'm sure Misters Eichel, Larkin, and Domi will have something to say about that. But, then again ... a defenseman winning the Calder instead of a phenomenal scoring forward is about the Bluesiest thing ever, right? (coughcoughNashZetterbergcoughcough)

he take the lightning from the sky,

It looks like Jake Allen is back in net again. Understandable, considering Brian Elliott showed some rust at the beginning of the Chicago game. Jake has had several really tough assignments, but has mostly done well with them. From shutting out Tampa Bay to coming in relief to beat the Hawks, Jake is starting to define himself as the starter. The best thing about this, is that the better Jake does, the better the team does. Keep at it, kid. Elliott will need to get some reps in, and soon, but that would be better kept until the Eastern Conference games coming up. In this divisional match up, stick with the hot hand.

He got a suitcase covered with rattlesnake hide,

After some time off to heal and practice at home, the Blues are back on the road again. The Predators are just one point behind the Blues in the standings, and are off to a pretty good start this year. Road games against the Preds are rarely easy, and this will likely be a one-goal game like most of the previous ones. The Preds seem to specialize in those. With a 1.98 GAA and .926 Sv%, our old friend Pekka Rinne continues to make it tough to score on Nashville.

he make the barking of the hound,

One person we'll be looking to for scoring is David Backes . Two goals against Minnesota and another to tie up the game in Chicago are a good start. If he wants to continue leading this team though this spell of injuries to key players, he needs to keep that up. That's the example you need to set for the team. Do it for Piggy Smalls, Cap'n Dave!

Put a shadow 'cross the window,

And of course there's the return of Kevin Shattenkirk to the team. The guys miss him a lot, particularly on the Power Play. We've now had an 0-for-21 stretch bookended by goals from defensemen (Carl Gunnarsson and Jay Bouwmeester). There's been only 5 power-play goals so far this year; only 1 forward in tonight's lineup has one of those, and you can guess who that is. Hopefully, the return of Shatty can help the power play find its footing, and get out from the long shadow that the drought cast on the start to this season.

Further Reading:

On the Forecheck

Blues vs Predators coverage

GameDay Twitter Feed:

Final Verse: The puck drops at 7 PM St Louis time, with the GameDay Thread dropping shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is back on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM.  Welcome back, properly pronounced names! Please join us for the GDT; the Chicago game was an experience in gif-gasms that you must see for yourself to truly understand. Until that time, celebrate our Old Man down the road: