Last night, the Predators took it to a reeling New York Rangers team. The Rangers, much like the Canadiens, are victims of not just inconsistent play like the Blues are. They're victims of bad play. Of almost mindful ignorance. The Predators, for whatever their issues are (basically, consistent offense) are the opposite. They're smart. They, pardon the pun, pounce on mistakes and make other teams pay for it.
The Blues have that ability too, when their minds are clear. They're going to have to be pretty clear tonight, after an inexcusable 3-0 loss to the Dallas Stars. It's rare that minimal signs of like can serve as a wake-up call, but one has to hope that after seeing Brian Elliott make save after save, that someone on the team went "hey, you know, that wasn't very good."
Tonight, hopefully, the team will play a full 60 minutes for Jake Allen. Allen, in today's Jeff Gordon column, had a pretty powerful quote for the highs and lows that the Blues have gone through this season:
"I know I’m not going to be super razor sharp every single night and the guys aren’t either," Allen said. "If we’re tired, just find a way. We talked about finding a way to get things done even if you’re tired or you’re hurt or your body is not feeling up to par. It happens throughout the year."
Just find a way. That's what the Blues need to do tonight against the Preds. Yes, they're in fifth place in the division with 42 points, but it's the Central. That's only six points behind the Blues' 48. They're a team that you underestimate at your own risk. A main, but expected, reason for their success is Pekka Rinne. Rinne got the win last night against the Rangers, and he'll be going for the win again tonight against the Blues. His stats line this year is a little lower than usual - .910 save percentage and a 2.38 GAA - but Rinne can steal a game when you're not looking. Or, more than likely, when you are looking, because his play's hard to take your eyes off of.
The Blues, according to Jeremy Rutherford, feel like they're finding their A game more often than not. Their losses come by slipping and by allowing the other team prime scoring chances through defensive lapses and turnovers. The Predators seized on the Rangers' mistakes last night. It would be key if the Blues didn't allow the same thing to happen tonight.