The Nashville Predators wrap up their road trip tonight after two games in Ontario. One of them was a 6-2 curbstomping by the Toronto Maple Leafs; the other ended in a 5-1 defeat of the Ottawa Senators.
So, what’s going to happen tonight? Which Predators team will the Blues see? Beats me. James Neal is on a seven game scoring streak - he’ll be an issue. But if the Blues can maintain some level of defensive pressure - and get the puck to Jaden Schwartz, who potted two goals against the San Jose Sharks - things will go well for the home team. Factor in that Jake Allen is undefeated in regulation at home and has a 1.27 GAA and a .951 save percentage, and this game could easily be a Blues win.
But you can’t bank on the past, you can only build on it.
And that building apparently finally includes Ty Rattie, at least for tonight. The Blues forward will be in the lineup in the place of Alexander Steen, who still isn’t fully recovered from an injury sustained Saturday night. Rattie has played just over eight minutes for the Blues all season; the rest of the time has been spent in the press box or in Chicago just to get him a little playing time so he doesn’t get rusty. In an interview with Tom Timmermann, Rattie had this to say about his lack of playing:
“It’s definitely a mental battle. Every morning I wake up (thinking) ‘I want to play today.’ ... You don’t come to the rink and hope not to play. It does (stink), but you lace on those skates and you can’t go out and be a baby about it. You have to go out, work your hardest and hopefully they notice you and maybe next time you’ll be in the lineup.”
Well, tonight he gets a chance to prove himself while Nail Yakupov returns to the press box. From the Blues’ site, here are tonight’s projected starting lines:
Jaden Schwartz - Paul Stastny - David Perron
Robby Fabbri - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Dmitrij Jaskin - Patrik Berglund - Ty Rattie
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Reaves
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk
Robert Bortuzzo - Colton Parayko