The Blues lack of offense got a...a bit better over their most recent home stretch. Sure they only notched 3 goals combined from two overtime games against the Blue Jackets and Those Fuckers Up North, but those two matchups flanked a 5 goal outing against the Avalanche. And they racked up 5 points out of 6. That's certainly not nothing.
Last night was a fierce, emotional battle that ultimately ended in a loss to the Blackhawks, but the Note will have to get back up again for tonight's performance in Nashville.
Before the season, may prognosticators - myself included - were picking the Predators to become one of the dominant teams in the league this year. The very talented young core only got better with the PK Subban coup, and players like Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg were expected to make the jump to elite status. It's still before Thanksgiving, but that doesn't look like those expectations will be met this year. The Perds have only accrued 11 points from 12 games, and are languishing in 5th in the Central. They've only scored 31 times so far, good for 24th in the league (not that we can talk too much - the Blues have only scored a single goal more in two more games played), and the usually dynamic Forsberg has yet to contribute any, despite his 8 assists. And the underlying numbers don't look too much better for Smashville. Their PDO is at 99.7, indicating a slight bounce back is due, but likely not a significant one. And the production they have gotten has come mostly on a power play running at 26.67%, making it certainly dangerous tonight but not quite sustainable in the long term.
All of that said, this team has far too much exciting, young talent to not become a force to be reckoned with the next several years. In the Central Division, Tomorrow Belongs to Them.
......what? This is a hockey post. It's about hockey. I don't know what real world parallels you could possibly be drawing for yourself.
TONIGHT'S PERFORMANCE: @ the Nashville Predators
CURTAIN TIME: 7:00pm central
BROADCAST OPTIONS: Fox Sports Midwest (TV); 1120am KMOX (radio)
CAST LIST: Unknown at the moment, but as of this writing, A) Carter Hutton appears to be starting in goal, B) Chris Butler has been recalled from the Chicago Wolves, and C) I guess Ken Hitchcock hate Nail Yakupov just as much as Edmonton did. Hey, Hitch is from Edmonton himself, maybe Yak said something bad about their...local cuisine?
CENTRAL CHARACTER: C Paul Statsny - At some point last night, Hitch decided to finally listen to reason and switched Statsny and Jori Lehtera, having Paulie finally center the Tarasenko line. To my eye it seemed to work better, and that line ended up producing the tying goal late in the third. Hopefully that trend continues tonight, and if it does here's hoping the goals start a'pouring in.
MAIN ANTAGONIST: RW Craig Smith - Smith, a 20+ goal scorer for the last 3 years, is off to a hot start. He already has 5 tallies, leading the Preds. His shooting percentage is hovering around 18%, so don't expect a 40 goal season, but he has 3 in the past 3 games. Keep an eye on him.
So...what's in the news this week? I haven't heard anything big happening. Have you grabbed your Winter Classic sweater yet? Who do you most want to see on the Blues Alumni Game roster? I'm hoping for at least one Cavallini brother. Hang out here & discuss until the game thread proper goes up.