David Backes lost an edge in the first period of Saturday night's win over the Sharks, and sat on the bench as a "cheerleader" (Hitch's words) for the remainder of the game. Robby Fabbri got popped on a late hit by Tommy Wingels and only played 9:21. The Blues, who are developing a reputation for playing their best hockey when behind the eight ball, still won the game 6-3.
Ken Hitchcock said that the team will ice the same group during pre-game warmups as he did on Saturday night, so there's a strong chance both players will be in tonight. There will be some post-warmup evaluations, of course, but both guys returning tonight will go a long way to a game five win.
The Blues aren't entirely behind the eight ball tonight in game five, but with the series tied 2-2 it'd still be a good idea for them to win it. Unfortunately, it's been a battle for them to win game fives in the recent past; it's been a battle for them to win at home this postseason as well. They're 4-5 at Scottrade in the playoffs, which is nearly an unheard of road record for a team in the Western Conference Finals.
The Sharks, on the other hand, are 4-9 all time in game fives when the series has been tied 2-2, which may explain their playoff reputation. They've won their last two game fives, but one can argue that the Kings and the Predators, well, they're not the Blues.
Tonight's game isn't exactly do or die, but it would be nice for the Blues to return to San Jose with a 3-2 series lead. #Roarbacon was fun while it lasted, but it doesn't need to happen every single game, and it would be best for it not to happen in a series, either.
Jake Allen is back in net tonight for the Blues after his 31 save performance on Saturday. He was solid through the first two periods, though in the third period he allowed three goals - or as Hitch maintains, only one real goal, one goal that should've been goalie interference, and one own goal from Joel Edmundson.
Pete "Ask Hitch" DeBoer will more than likely return to Martin Jones in net, because why in God's name do you start James Reimer in a game this round?
The Blues have won just twice in the game after a win in this year's playoffs. Tonight'd be a good time to make it three.