The Blues are 7-8-3 for the season so far and are coming off of a 4-0 shut-out by the San Jose Sharks. The Kings are a shockingly abysmal 6-12-1, fired coach John Stevens back on November 4th, and replaced him with former Canucks coach Willie Desjardins. They have not markedly improved.
Despite signing Ilya “How do I return to the KHL?” Kovalchuk this off-season, the Kings are averaging two goals a game. Two. They scored one more than that Saturday night in Nashville but still lost, 5-3. The Kings are, hands down, the worst team in the NHL.
The Blues have room for improvement, but still sit near the bottom of the league with 17 points. They’re ninth in power play (25% effectiveness) which is going to spell issues for current starting goalie Jack Campbell. Campbell’s 5-7-0 record overshadows the fact that he has a 2.33 GAA and a .923 save percentage.
The Blues’ PK is also clicking very well at 81%, and they have an above-average goals per game. But the defense. Good lord, the defense - and Carl Gunnarsson is broken again. The team has been all over the place, and having Gunnarsson, Maroon, Steen, and Schwartz out isn’t going to help.
Harrison Bader is dropping the puck tonight, so there’s a silver lining on a game that may or may not be watchable.
But enjoy Kovalchuk vs. Tarasenko regardless. With the way both teams’ defense has been this season, you could be in for a treat.