With Bobby Plager’s passing yesterday, everything else seems so inconsequential. Bobby lived as a testament to the importance of sports, and to the love of the Blues that the city of St. Louis has, but it’s difficult to focus on much today save for the tremendous holes left in his family and his team’s hearts.
The Blues will need to have an undivided goal tonight: win this game for Bobby. Don’t just play through the motions in a rescheduled make-up contest against the team four points above the Blues in the standings - the team needs an emphatic win. Their last game Monday night was a whimpering 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights filled with capitulation to a captain that had concussed Tyler Bozak. If they’re not playing a California team in the state of California, the Blues don’t have much soul.
Unfortunately, those games are all in the rear view mirror, and the Blues have the bulk of their schedule made up of games against the three teams ahead of them in the standings.
A little heart could go a long way for the team. It’s been present in fits and starts, but it needs to re-emerge and stay emerged for the rest of the season if the Blues want to make a playoff push.
The Wild, shockingly, have the worst power play in the league at 10%. The Blues’ is nearly twice as effective but their penalty kill at 73.3% is 12% worse than the Wild’s - chances are good that may neutralize whatever advantage the Blues have.
The Wild are on an impressive 11 game home winning streak right now, and the Blues could spoil that in a heartbeat if they felt like it - but the Wild’s netminders are stingy. Tonight the Blues could see Kaapo Kahkonen between the pipes. Kahkonen is having a solid year, with a 12-5-0 record and a .921 SV%. So far he’s proving that Minnesota made the right decision to move forward with younger netminders.