If there was one thing to take away from Thursday night’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche, it’s that Vladimir Tarasenko really, really can’t buy a goal. It’s not like he isn’t in the market for one - he had 8 shots on goal Thursday night, and those don’t count his overall shot attempts.
Hell, the Blues had 45 SOG in their last game and 82 attempts - 22 of which missed the net. It’s not like they didn’t try. When you allow Varlamov an opportunity to see every shot that you take, chances are good that he’ll block them. When you don’t actually hit the net, they can’t have a chance to go into it. The Blues could double up Thursday’s shot total tonight and Henrik would post a shutout if they continue to practically announce their shots and refuse for whatever reason to get the puck on net.
The Blues won the last matchup 3-1 back on October 10th, in happier times, when the team could consistently score and the chemistry wasn’t completely screwed up by just one key player being injured. Overall, the Blues have fared well against the Eastern Conference, going 18-9-1 on the season so far. It’s nice for them to be playing in a game tonight that isn’t essentially a four point matchup (which is, coincidentally, the number of points behind the Dallas Stars that they are for the last wild card spot).
With tomorrow night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks, and Carter Hutton still out with a neck issue, Ville Husso could get the start tonight for the Blues. For the Rampage this season, Husso is 14-12-5 with a 2.31 GAA and a .927 save percentage.
Fun fact: the Blues currently have the worst power play in the league. It’s been sliding in that direction for a while, but right now they’re at 15%. The last time the Blues were that bad on the PP was a decade ago.
Luckily last night Ottawa beat Dallas in OT and the Sharks took care of the Flames, so somehow the Blues’ playoff odds (barely) went up. It goes without saying that tonight is yet another must-win game.