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Ill Communication: Blues At Wild Game 6 Preview

Backs against the wall, it's time to see what this team is made of

Any time now, Osh....
Any time now, Osh....
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Most staples of "preview" articles are pretty unnecessary here. You already know both teams that are playing today, and what's at stake. So, there's not much to write about there. The Minnesota Wild are a better team than I gave them credit for, but this is still a team that the Blues should be able to beat. Unfortunately, the Blues never seem to take the easier path - they always do things the hard way. Which brings us to Game 6, and the Blues are on the brink of elimination. They need to root down and pull out a win today.

At the beginning of the playoffs, I mentioned the 4 Hs - Home Ice, Humble, Healthy, and Hungry. Well, Home Ice was achieved, but also squandered with losses at home. Now the Blues need to win two in a row, starting with tonight in Minnesota. The Blues have NOT played in a Humble manner this series - too many times, it seemed like they were expecting the game to fall their way without paying the price. Healthy seems to have been met; the lone big question mark is Jori Lehtera, who missed Game 5 with a hand injury, and is still questionable for today's game. It'd be sure nice to have him back in the lineup. Overall, though, we're good to go there. One absence on such a deep team shouldn't sabotage things.

Hungry, however, is where the Blues seem to be lacking the most. As has been famously said in various forms in sports movies, "Winners want the ball". How is it, then, that Vladimir Tarasenko has 6 goals, and the entire rest of the team has  7 combined? When the Blues do have sustained possession in the offensive zone, it's pretty obvious that the puck is going to Vladdy. I know it, you know it, and for damned sure the Minnesota D knows it. He has the sure shot, so that makes a little sense. However, the last thing a team can afford to be is predictable. Vladdy is happy to put the puck on his stick, and he'll score as much as he can.... but it shouldn't be up to just him. Where's the hunger from the rest of the team? Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz, David Backes, Paul Stastny ... you're currently tied with tough guy Ryan Reaves in goals. Which is still ahead of the 0 put up by T.J. Oshie,  Dmitrij Jaskin and Jori Lehtera. The offense needs to get it together.

Neither team was won 2 games in a row in this series, so let's hope that continues today. Let us be the ones that break that chain, in game 7, on home ice. Today though, let's make that game 7 necessary.  We're a couple of weeks shy of the anniversary of the Monday Night Miracle,  It'd be nice to be still playing hockey when it comes around. A big win here today would help make that a possibility.

Further Reading:

Hockey Wilderness

Russo's Rants (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Blues vs Wild coverage

GameDay Twitter Feed (media and bloggers)

<a class="twitter-timeline" href="" data-widget-id="516033528023105536">Tweets from</a>

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Final Verse: An afternoon game today, after so many late nights. The puck drops at 2:00 PM, and the GDT should drop shortly before that. Come hang with us and watch our Blues do what they do. The TV broadcast is on NBC, and the radio call will be on Y98.1 FM.  Hopefully the Blues show up on time. Also, #ShotsForGoals.