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Rangers at Blues preview: Fabbri returns as Blues look to get back on track

Let’s see if the Blues can keep up the “moral victory win after blowout loss” pattern.

NHL: New York Rangers at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This team is nothing if not predictable. Win, win, horrible loss. Let’s see, what comes next - a scrape by with the skin of your teeth win that’s a “moral victory,” I suppose.

Robby Fabbri is actually back in tonight (I think, maybe) so there’s some extra firepower. That should help, because with a come from behind 4-3 win against the Predators, the middling Rangers are coming into St. Louis a little high on temporary success. They’re 3-2-5 in their last ten and are nine points out of the last wild card spot in the East (the Blues, in contrast, are 6-4-0 in their last ten and are also nine points out, which demonstrates that this year the East may be the conference where the playoff teams are almost set by mid-January).

The Rangers don’t shoot much - they average 28.4 shots on goal a game - and by consequence they don’t score much either. They have a -13 goal differential though their 109 goals for is still eight better than the Blues (and their goal differential is better by 7), because when the Blues lose, they lose big.

Saturday night saw the return of Alex Pietrangelo, and the team bombed out 6-1. Their penalty kill has been atrocious recently, which isn’t a good look considering that they take more penalties under Craig Berube than they have in quite a while. Not being able to focus on-ice isn’t helping their record, which isn’t helping their ability to focus. The Blues have turned into a mobius strip of meh.

Evan Fitzpatrick has been called up, though he probably won’t see any action tonight unless the scoring gets out of hand again. Kevin Shattenkirk is finally healthy enough to make his return to St. Louis tonight. Hopefully the Blues will make his homecoming a hard one.