Ladies and gentleman, Paul Stastny, owner of five points in his last five games and pretty hot shit according to a certain King of Donuts on this site, is playing on the third line with Robby Fabbri and The Power of Brouwer Skull. While I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Stas needing to do more to make up for that hefty salary, I never wanted to see him demoted(relocated) to the third line.
I know what you are thinking. "Quiet Buffa, the Blues are winning so whatever Hitchcock wants". That works until the offense goes quiet(like they do often) and Brian Elliott can't save the world anymore. Hitch talked about putting Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Stastny together once Schwartz got his timing back. Well, the kid has a pair of goals, looks solid and is ready to break off from Jori "I've done little noteworthy since December 2014" Lehtera.
#stlblues lines: Berglund-Steen-Backes, Schwartz-Lehtera-Tarasenko, Fabbri-Stastny-Brouwer, Upshall-Brodziak-Reaves. Paajarvi extra forward.— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) February 18, 2016
I understand Schwartz needs time before he can really be counted on to do the things he was doing in October, but still, Stastny on the third line doesn't make a ton of sense. The guy is trying to be the Man Armie traded for and like last year, sees himself put on the third line because the STL line MAY do well. So what though? The Blues are winning and aim for 77 points tonight, which would put them just three behind Dallas and four behind Chicago. Cinnamon biscuits baby!
Anyway, the Kings are in town and they aren't playing that well. One could label it as "Elliott versus Quick". The rematch of the fateful playoff clash where Elliott had subbed in for Jaro Halak years ago and ran into the buzz saw that was
his own team's inability to score, I mean Quick's greatness and the Kings relentless combo of toughness, offense and tenacity. Maybe it's the January 9th duel where Elliott outdueled Quick, and the Blues won in a shootout and made Quick slam his goalie stick on the post like an upset child on Halloween who got payday instead of a snickers in his candy basket. Let's do that again.
The Kings are struggling to score and the Blues always struggle to score more than 2-3 goals, so let's make this one an old fashioned goalie duel. I won't sit here and ask for a midice fist fight between Moose and Quick, but some aggression and an early hip check of Drew "Not the Rock Singer" Doughty into the boards would be welcome.
The Blues are trying to tie their longest winning streak of the season with their fourth win in a row. They are 5-1-1 in February but have scored two goals or less in five of those games. Expect a nail biter tonight that may result in overtime or a shootout(hey Hitch, let Fabbri play in both).
The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest with John Kelly, Darren Panger and Bernie Federko or you can listen in on KMOX with Chris Kerber and Kelly Chase. I'll be streaming the game from my NHL Live account, which is a great deal for an Arkansas local(24 dollars a month and every NHL game).
Go Blues! Make Quick go berserk and break his stick!