After a strong showing agains the Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets the Blues fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday morning/afternoon/too-damn-early. And while the Blues started the game well, scoring the first goal, too many big mistakes by key players led to their demise.
Jake Allen failed to seal the post and let in an untimely goal less than a minute after the Blues took their first and only lead of the game.
A terrible play by captain Alex Pietrangelo in his own end led to another Pittsburgh goal and essential sealed the fate of his team.
Once again the offense, who was stymied by Matt Murray, failed to score more than one goal and slowly wore down as the game moved into the third period.
The Penguins on the other hand only gained momentum as the game progressed and showed why they are the two-time defending champions.
While the Blues did in fact play a decent game, it just goes to show how close the line is between success and failure. And how a few bad mistakes can turn a win into a defeat.
Look for the lineup to be the same as it was on Sunday. Apparently Tage Thompson is banged up and will not play again tonight.
Yeo said the little amount of work that Thompson did yesterday, "I'd find it hard to believe that he's a player for us tomorrow." Yeo said Sunday AM that Thompson is a little dinged up. #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) February 12, 2018
However, there may be some good news on the horizon. Forward Zach Sanford, who sustained a shoulder injury during training camp and has yet to dress this season, may be getting close to making his return to the lineup.
Yeo on Sanford: "He's coming along. He's not in lineup tomorrow, but we're going to have to put a plan here together for what the best way to get him back as quick as possible is. His strength is there, his skating is there, conditioning-wise, we're very pleased where he's at."— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) February 12, 2018
Granted, even if Sanford were to return it would only be in a bottom six position and is not a player who is going to go out and score bunches of goals but he does give Mike Yeo one more option. And when a team like the Blues is struggling to score goals more options are always a good thing.
As for tonight’s opponent, if there is one team in the Western conference that scares me, it would be the Nashville Predators. Not the Chicago Blackhawks or the Winnipeg Jets or even the Vegas Golden Knights. It seems like as the season gets harder the Predators just keep getting better.
Nashville currently sits at first in the Central division with 75 points. Two points ahead of the Jets and four points ahead of the Blues.
They are 6-1-3 in their last ten games, have a home record of 18-5-3 and are coming off a 3-2 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Pekka Rinne stopped 47 of 49 shots including 10 in overtime alone and is 9-0-1 in his last ten starts.
Not that any of you who watched last season’s Stanley Cup playoffs need a reminder but the Predators are still rostering one of the best defensive corps in the NHL.
Nashville’s defensemen have accounted for 40 of the team’s 169 goals, which leads the NHL.
P.K. Subban leads the way with 15 goals and also leads the team in assists (28) and points (43) and is a plus/minus +10 while averaging over 24 minutes of ice time per game.
Roman Josi has 9 goals this season and has the second most assists (22).
The Blues have not fared well against the Predators so far this season, losing both of their previous matchups including a 1-2 loss at home on December 27th.
Gonna be a tough one tonight. Gotta believe that Carter Hutton gets the nod against his old club in order to give the Blues every advantage.
Getting two points against the division leaders would be great but it is going to take everything the Blues have got. However, I also said that when the Blues played the Jets last week and we all know how that turned out, so what the hell do I know?
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.