Watching the Blues over the course of five games is a lot like going for a jog a couple hours after you eat a hot bowl of chili. One part of you thinks it will be no sweat getting through the exercise without “an accident”. The other part knows sweating is all you will have left when that outfit goes into the trash later on. When it comes to watching the Blues, the shits come sooner or later.
Is diarrhea in store today against the Minnesota Wild? Can the Blues get some revenge on a team that embarrassed them just eight days ago? Your guess is as good as mine. Probably as good as most around St. Louis.
After looking like dead men walking a week ago, the Blues have suddenly won four of five, and played their best game Friday night against San Jose. It wasn’t just the 4-0 finish on the scoreboard that was impressive against the Sharks; The Blues outskated, outworked, and basically manhandled a team that always gives them fits. A few of their goals deflected off the Sharks goaltender named Gary, but at the end of the season, you’ll find out many wins come at the aide of the other team.
The important part was the Blues played a strong 60 minutes and gelled as a team. Did it help that Jay Bouwmeester didn’t play again? Yes. He’s not good anymore, so it’s always nice to not have a liability out there. Did it help that Pat Maroon sat out a round? Sure. All you have to do is look at the amazing game Nikita “I’m not Magnus” Soshnikov had Friday night.
The Wild are tough, coming into the game 10-4-2. They won’t make it easy for the Blues to have a happy flight to Chicago this week. Minnesota rides into The Enterprise Center today with nine wins in their last twelve games, including that 5-1 beatdown of the Blues that almost cost Mike Yeo his job. Almost. Too bad. Damn. Okay, I’m only halfway joking.
Minnesota is tied with the Vancouver Canucks for the second-most points in the Western Conference at 22, which is seven more than the Blues. Wouldn’t it be cool for that to narrow by the time it gets dark tonight?
Here’s what has to happen for the Blues to surprise the Wild today:
*Jaden Schwartz needs to be very good again. Score, assist, wreak havoc, don’t get hurt, and be a two-way bastard to these Juicy Lucy loving dudes. When he’s on, the entire team just plays better.
*Chad Johnson needs to play again. Sunday isn’t a “get Jake well” event. Not now, Mike.
*Play Maroon. The Big Rig said all the right things when Yeo benched him, but I may or may not have seen him take down three guys in the street outside Wheelhouse after Friday night’s game, John Wick style. The vet shouldn’t sit two games, and Soshi isn’t that good anyway. Save the “he hasn’t score a goal yet” chat for someone else. This isn’t American Pie.
*Let Vladimir Tarasenko finish. If he has the puck, get out of his way and let the Russian work his magic.
*Don’t be a fool out there, Alex Pietrangelo. Yeah, you threw shade at the fans after Friday’s game. Yeah you did. It’s all good. Just don’t play as bad as you did on Nov. 3 and it’s all good.
The Blues head to Chicago after today’s game. Will they be a .500 team on that flight or a team confidently better than .500?
Today should be full of answers.
Thanks for reading and please pass the Bloody Mary. I’ll take extra olives and bacon in mine.