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In My Mind: Blues At Philadelphia Flyers Preview

Blues catch a phlight to Philly phor the phinal leg of the road trip

What this team needs is more guys from Finland ...
What this team needs is more guys from Finland ...
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

One of my pet peeves is the guy that only knows of one way of being a "fan" ... by constantly going negative and snarking on every facet of the team. There could be 99 things going right, but they'll isolate and spout off about the 1 thing that isn't working out at the moment. If and when the team hits a bad stretch, they take that as some sort of vindication, and almost seem to celebrate the losses.

Fuck That Noise.

Sure, there are some problems and kinks to be worked out with the team. Nobody here is going to blow smoke up your ass and tell you everything is perfect.... but you know what? It's a damn good time to be a Blues fan right now. Our boys are in second place in arguably the toughest division in the league, and are narrowing the gap with number one. There are 25 other teams and fanbases in the league that would love to be in our place right now. There's nothing "broke" about this team that can't be fixed, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with being happy with where the team is right now. If you step back and look at the big picture.... it ain't too shabby. Don't be frontin' with your negativity.

Where the team is right now, geographically speaking, is Philadelphia. The Flyers are 5 points and 2 teams behind the final wild card slot in the Eastern Conference. While not officially eliminated, there is no real expectation that they can make it to the postseason. This is despite having Jakub Voracek in the midst of a career year. This season, he is second in the league in assists (46), and tied for third in the league in total points (65). His linemate, Claude Giroux, is no schlub either. He is second on the team with 60 points on 18 goals and 42 assists. Wayne Simmonds leads the team in goals with 25, and adds 18 assists for 43 points (third on the team). That drop off tells part of the story for Philly's year. They've allowed 16 more goals than they've scored this year.

Part of that is due to the scoring being concentrated so much on that first line, but they are also allowing too many against as well. Steve Mason has decent numbers alone: .925 Save Percentage and 2.27 Goals Against Average. However, that has led to only a 12-13-8 record. He has started just 34 games this season, having gone down with a knee injury that required surgery. He's just now coming back from that injury, and is expected (though not confirmed) to be starting tonight. Backup goalie Ray Emery was pressed into service and put up a .893 SV% and 3.15 GAA during his absence.

The Flyers made 2 moves at the deadline:

Sending  Kimmo Timonen to Chicago for 2 draft picks: 2015 2nd, 2016 conditional

Sending  Braydon Coburn to Tampa Bay for Radko Gudas and 2 draft picks: 2015 1st, 2015 3rd.

As for the Blues, expect to see Brian Elliott in goal. Of our new players, the only one expected to see action is Robert Bortuzzo . Once you have new toys, it's necessary to take them out and play with them some. Bortuzzo should be well-familiar with the Flyers, let's see what he can show us. It's a beautiful chance to establish some first impressions.

Further Reading:

Broad Street Hockey

Blues vs Flyers coverage

GameDay Twitter Feed

Final Verse: It's an early start now, with the puck dropping at 6:00 St Louis time. The TV broadcast will be on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call will be KMOX 1120AM.  The GDT should drop shortly beforehand. Come join us, won't you? If you have some spare time, feel free to check out today's release of Beyond Checkerdome (shameless plug).

Until then,