You can’t call Monday night’s 3-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks a difficult road game. By the end of the third period, when a loud “LET’S GO BLUES” chant had broken out, it was easy to forget that the Blues were playing their most hated, and now most depleted, rivals.
Tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who the Blues just defeated Saturday night in a 5-2 tilt, shouldn’t be as much of a cakewalk as Monday night’s. It’ll be a fun national broadcast game without the national broadcast team’s favorite player, Sidney Crosby. Crosby’s still out after having surgery on his core muscles.
One more road point and they tie an 11 game point streak that’s 20 years old, and tonight is a doable night there. The Penguins have been fighting injuries all season, and have not been able to fight off adversity like the Blues have. Justin Schultz and Patrik Hornqvist are still out along with Crosby.
The Blues haven’t seen an opponent since they were in St. Louis, so they should be rested and ready to go for tonight. With the Blues, it doesn’t seem to matter if they’re rested or not - this team is cohesive and clicking, regardless of who is out or where coach Craig Berube is placing the call-ups. Nathan Walker on the top line? Sure. MacKenzie MacEachern and the fourth line putting up the points? Heck yes. Jake Allen with a 38 save shutout? Doesn’t seem out of the norm at all.
The Blues may be battered and bruised but there’s no need for reinforcements from other organizations. They’re atop the Central by seven points, are atop the Western Conference by five, and have the third best record in the league behind Washington and Boston, and they’re missing key regulars.
The only line-up change tonight is that Carl Gunnarsson slots in for Robert Bortuzzo. Gunnarsson is better after a nasty sounding virus left him dehydrated.