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Preview Blues at Bruins: The Impression That I Get

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Tonight the Blues take on the Bruins at 6:00 CT on FSMW

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight the Blues kick off their third annual two-game Dad’s Trip when they take on the Boston Bruins. Puck drops at 6:00 CT and can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest.

Unfortunately, this year’s Dad’s Trip will be sans the great Willard Reaves, who’s presence in past seasons had virtually guaranteed a Blues win, but will welcome a new face to this heart warming tradition.

Jeff Schenn is blessed to have two sons playing in the NHL, except when both of their Dad’s trips land on the same week. Luckily, Jeff will be able to make the most of this unique dilemma.

Jeff left his home in Saskatoon on Friday and boarded a plane bound for Florida, where he spent last weekend cheering on Brayden during his first NHL All-Star appearance. On Monday night, Jeff traveled to St. Louis to join the Blues and 19 other dads for the team’s annual dad’s trip. He will travel with the Blues to Boston on Wednesday to watch Brayden battle the Bruins at TD Garden, but his trip with the Blues ends there because he’s catching a cross-country commercial flight to Los Angeles to join the Coyotes’ dad’s trip with Luke, which happens to be going on simultaneously. [NHL.com]

Not to put any pressure on the 20 Dads that will make the trip this year but the past groups are a perfect 4-0 in the history of the Blues Dad’s Trips.

Thankfully the Blues have started to turn a corner after struggling to get through the months of December and January. The Blues are 5-1 in their last 6 games since coming off of their mandatory bye-week. And have outscored their opponents 17-9, which includes the five goals that they gave up to the Arizona Coyotes.

The Blues 2.8 Goals For Per Game still only ranks 18th in the league but their 2.5 Goals Against Average is third best, thanks in no small part to the dominating performance of Carter Hutton.

Unfortunately, lost in the drama that is yet another Blues “goalie controversy” has been the spectacular play of the Blues “backup” net minder.

Hutton currently leads the league in save percentage at 94.5% and Goals Against Average at 1.70. He has a record of 13-4-1 so far this season and is 8-1-1 in his last ten starts.

I am a Jake Allen guy but it is impossible to deny that Carter Hutton has been the best goalie in the league for at least a month, if not longer, and has definitely been the biggest reason the Blues have been able to maintain a playoff position despite going through a severe offensive slump.

As of the time of this writing it is yet unknown who Mike Yeo will put in net tonight. But with Hutton able to single handedly get his team a win and facing one of the hottest teams in the NHL it would be a hell of a risk to give the nod to Jake Allen.

As for tonight’s opponent, the Bruins have made a huge turn around in the second half of the season. After starting the season with a record of 15-13-1 the Bruins went on an 18 game point streak that started on December 16th and just ended on Tuesday night with a 1-3 loss to the Ducks. They currently sit at 2nd in the Atlantic Division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference, trailing the Lightning by only a handful of points.

Their 3.2 goals per game is 6th best in the league while their GAA of 2.4 is 2nd best. Their power play ranks 7th and their PK ranks 5th.

While some might consider their even strength PDO of 1.015 (which is 4th best in the league) to be a sign that the team is playing a bit over their heads, they are still a solid possession team. Their even strength Corsi For% of 52.84 is second only to Chicago and Carolina. Their Shots For% of 52.81 is better than 28 other teams and their Goals For% of 57.28 is second only to the league leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

Brad Marchand, who is currently in the middle of a five game suspension for elbowing Devils forward Marcus Johansson on January 23rd, leads the team in goals and assists. Right winger David Pastrnak is second on the team in goals (20) and assists (27). Center Patrice Bergeron is third on the team in goals (20) and assists (22). Those three players make up the Bruins top line and although they will be without the services of Marchand still represent one of the most dangerous lines in all of hockey. [hockey-refrence.com]

After a difficult bout with diverticulitis (see: hurts to poop) Captain Dave is having himself a nice little season as well. His 8 goals is 7th best on the team while his 19 points ranks 10th. He is currently playing right wing on the Bruins third line alongside Riley Nash and Peter Cehlarik. [dailyfaceoff.com]

Tuukka Rask is still a formidable obstacle in net and is having one of his better seasons in the last few years. He is posting a 92.2% save percentage and a 2.16 GAA and has a record of 19-8-4 in 32 games played.

The Blues are warming up, the Bruins are hot, it should be a great game if both teams decide to show up.

Thanks for reading and Go Blues.