The Blues are at 100% - at least health wise. Will they be at 100% mentally? Will they be able to break the "go up two, go down four" curse that's plagued them the last three seasons?
The Blackhawks haven't been playing well as of late, but much of that had to do with mounting injuries down the stretch. That's no excuse - look at the Blues - but with a healthy Hawks team, will they continue their flat play? The last five appearances of Corey Crawford have been a gong show, with him allowing 17 goals during that stretch. Contrast that to Brian Elliott, who lead the league with a .930 save percentage and was tied for second with a 2.07 GAA. He was given his first loss in a month in the Blues 5-1 defeat by the Washington Capitals.
Goaltending will be key, but so will defense, and right now the Blues' defense is solid. But is their offense going to be a match for Chicago's? Will they finally be able to get the playoff monkey off of their backs?
This is your morning open thread. Check back for a playoff edition of Lighting the Lamp, your full-fledged game preview, and other various and sundry things. While you're waiting for puck drop (8:30 Central - you'll be waiting for a while), head over to Second City Hockey and wish them good luck - but not too much.