There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth over the lack of trade activity from the St Louis front office yesterday. It was a real bitter pill to swallow, and drew a primal scream from the collective throats of Blues Twitter. Fans were demanding that Army and Co do something to fix this team, and the reaction online was that his inaction could cost him his job. There were many statements about the GM's incompetence and the obvious holes that needed to be patched in this roster. People were done with excuses for the same old situation. Some folks were ready to give up on this team - why bother if the front office couldn't make the effort to show up on Trade Deadline Day? Can't they see how bad things are?
By the way, a win tonight would put us in a 3-way tie (momentarily) with Chicago and Dallas with 83 points.
Ottawa was not very active on Deadline Day either, having already made their big move earlier in the month. On February 9th, the Sens made a deal with the Maple Leafs that involved 9 players. The centerpiece of that trade was defenseman and (former) Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf . The change of scenery must have done him good - in the nine games that he's played with Ottawa, he has put up 6 points (1g, 5a). The Sens themselves are a real live wire, too. They are coming off a 6-4 win against Calgary on Saturday, and have won 6 of their last ten games.
Leading the way for the Sens this season is, as always, Erik Karlsson . The captain and Norris favorite leads in overall points with 67 (11g, 56a). They say he doesn't really play defense, but that shows how much he's misunderstood. He also leads the team in blocked shots with 131, so he must be doing something right. The goals leader for the team is Mike Hoffman with 25 on the year (plus 21 assists). Also beware of Bobby Ryan and his 47 points on the year (21g, 26a). He had the game-winner amongst his two goals here in St Louis, and in his career he has 30 points in 23 games against the Blues. He might not be able to spell intense, but he's a beauty against the Blues.
Kyle Turris will most likely miss the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain. He and Clarke MacArthur (concussion) are the two big absences on the Ottawa lineup. The Blues will have Ryan Reaves back, having served his suspension. The hooligan's holiday is over, you could say. There hasn't been an update on Jori Lehtera yet, so keep your eyes peeled. He's considered day-to-day. Ottawa forward Chris Wideman is a St Louis native and playing his hometown team for the second time this year. He had an assist when the Sens were in St Louis earlier this season.
Expect Jake Allen in net for St Louis, with Anders Nilsson backing him up again. For the Sens, it will likely be Craig Anderson between the pipes. In 51 games this year he has a 27-20-4 record and a .917 save percentage.
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Final Verse: Our boys are out East, but thankfully the game is just a half hour ahead of normal. The puck drops at 6:30 St Louis time, and the GDT should drop shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call will be on KMOX 1120 AM. Please drop by and watch the game with us. Tell us if you know Wideman or his family.