Tonight the Blues travel to the city of sin to take on the Vegas Golden Knights in the first of yet another back-to-back. Puck drops at 9:30 CT (yawn) and can be viewed on Fox Sports Midwest.
Not much to debate about on this one, the Blues need to finish the game tonight with two points in the bag. While they are currently in the first wild card spot, a couple of miscues and they will find themselves once again on the outside looking in. The Colorado Avalanche, who also play tonight, trail the Blues by just one point so it behoves our home town team to extend their current eight game winning streak.
It appears that tonight’s lineup will have a different look from what we have seen the last few games. Scottie Upshall, who has been practicing with the team, will play his first game since being injured back on March 3rd. Ivan Barbashev is being promoted to the third line and Tage Thompson is the odd man out.
Upshall is ready to get in and will play tomorrow. Thompson will come out but Yeo said look for him to get in Saturday against Arizona. Yeo doesn't feel playing fourth line minutes is best for him. #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) March 29, 2018
No news on tonight’s starter but I would look for Carter Hutton to take a turn in net some time this weekend.
There is not much Mike Yeo can do with his defense except switch up the pairings. Carl Gunnarsson and Jay Bouwmeester are out for the rest of the season. Robert Bortuzzo is nursing a hurt knee and has not been practicing with the team despite still playing.
As for tonight’s opponent, the Vegas Golden Knights have officially clinched a 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff birth and are just six points behind league leading Nashville.
While the Golden Knights have not been quite as dominating as they were for most of the season, going 5-3-2 in their last ten which includes losing 3-2 on Wednesday night against the Coyotes, they are still a formidable opponent.
Their 3.3 goals per game is fourth best in the NHL while their 2.7 GAA is seventh. They have the eight ranked power play and the 12th best PK.
Flower is having a career year, sporting a 93.1 save percentage and 2.15 GAA.
William Karlsson leads the team with 40 goals on the season.
Jon Marchessault’s 73 points is a team best.
Ex-Blue (twice) David Perron has the third most points (66) and the sixth most goals (16) on the team. *looks at Doug Armstrong*
It’s going to be a tough little trip through the desert in the next couple days, hopefully the Blues can handle the heat.
Thanks for reading and Go Blues.