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Flames At Blues Preview: Time For Bortuzzo, Rattie

The Blues got some reinforcements and will be relying on depth to stop their end of season slide.

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues've borrowed AHL Star of the Week Ty Rattie to shore up the lineup. Rattie, who scored seven points in three games (two goals, five assists), has drug the Wolves back into playoff contention. He's pretty key to the Wolves' post season hopes, so I'm sure that John Anderson and crew are just thrilled that he's in St. Louis due to an injury to Vladimir Tarasenko.

The rest of the team, meantime, is just plugging along, trying to get back into the right side of the win column. Said Steve Ott to Lou Korac:

"I came in today and looked up onthe wall that's over there by you media guys and seen we have 99 points sitting in third place in the Western Conference," Ott said. "That's pretty impressive in itself. The biggest thing right now is we've got a heck of a team in here. We know that. We'll get squared away here. We'll finish out these last six and put it down before we head into the playoffs."

Yes, the Blues are still third in the conference. Their Presidents Trophy hopes are basically shot, their Central Division title hopes are getting dim, and as Rick pointed out in today's Memorabilia Memories, if things fall *just so* tonight, the Blues stand a real risk of winding up in a wild card slot. So yes, it is impressive that the Blues are in third in the conference. It would be more impressive if they're still there after tonight.

All a playoff spot will take is a season sweep against the Flames. The Blues are 8-1-1 against Calgary in their last ten, so maybe having Jake Allen square off against Calgary despite Brian Elliott having a 0.80 GAA against them this season) is just what the Blues need to snap this skid before flying to Dallas and playing a team that they've had problems with all season.

Also chatting with Korac, Ken Hitchcock mentioned that the defense will be different tonight, with Robert Bortuzzo coming in for Carl Gunnarsson.

"We really think we need a guy like Bortuzzo," Hitchcock said. "'Borts' for us ... he didn't deserve to come out based on his play. He deserves to come in based on his play. Bottom Line. It's a competitive cauldron in our hockey club right now; we've got good players. We took a good player who was playing really well out to take a look and we want to put him back because we think he adds to the group right now.

"When we've used him and (Petteri) Lindbohm ... when those two have been on the ice, we play a different game, a more robust game, and we think that has real value."

Lindbohm, you may remember, is currently in Chicago. Let's hope Bort is enough on his own.

Tonight will be a nail-biter against a Calgary team that would love to finish their surprising season in a playoff position. It won't be easy, but maybe gritting their teeth and gritting out a win will go a long way to righting this ship.