Central conference foes meet again tonight at the Scottrade. The Blues and their stellar home record will face a beaten down and tired Nashville Predator team. The Blues currently sit at #3 in the conference while Nashville is a surprise bottom dweller at #6.
The Blues had last night off after blowing the doors off of the Flyers. Nashville hasn’t had the same luck since coming back from Christmas. After an overtime loss Tuesday to Minnesota, they fell again last night to Chicago in regulation. For those keeping score at home that’s 2 conference losses in 3 days, with a chance to make it 3 in 4 for our friends to the south.
The Preds will have to attempt to shake their recent trend of conference losses without a couple key skaters. All world PK Subban isn’t expected to play after missing time with an upper-body injury. That’s not all, last night in the tilt against Chicago, top goal scorer James Neal went down. He is listed as day to day with an upper-body injury. That is not to say Nashville will be without weapons. Center Filip Fosberg seems to always find a way to score against the Blues.
The Blues are coming off a high scoring affair against the Flyers, and hope to keep it going. If they are going to do so, they will need to get the puck behind one of the leagues best goaltenders in Pekka Rinne. With goaltenders on the mind, Jake Allen will be back in net for the Blues after getting a game off to recover from a suspected injury. This will be Allen’s tune up for the winter classic on Monday. What the Blues cannot afford to do is to look past the Preds. This is still a central division team, capable of notching a win against anyone. The Blues are looking up the standings instead of down as they have been in recent years.
This game could easily come down to the power play. The Blues are significantly better both on the power play and on the kill this season compared to the Predators. The Blues rank 6th with the man advantage and 2nd on the kill. In the same categories the Preds rank 13th and 20th in the league. If the Blues can stay out of the box, and find some time with the man advantage fortune might favor the home team. Thus far this season, the Blues have been very fortunate at home with a record of 14-2-4. On the road this season, Nashville is 5-9-2.
What are your favorite story lines for tonight’s game? Comment below.