The newest member of the St. Louis Blues, defenseman Nick Leddy, will be making his debut tonight. He joined the team yesterday in Washington, D.C. and will be part of the pairings taking the ice - but which pairing?
That’s one of the joys of trade deadline day: you get a new guy, and now you have to figure out where to put him. Does he skate with Colton Parayko (probably)? Who will get bumped to being the 7th man to make room? And honestly, regardless of where he slots in, how much help will he be giving a team who has completely lost their defensive identity?
Unfortunately for the Blues, they get to figure all of this out without two of their best forwards. Robert Thomas did not make the trip to D.C. due to an upper body injury; Vladimir Tarasenko is still a victim of the same virus that had recently felled Thomas, among others.
At least St. Louis still has David Perron. Perron’s riding a six-game goal streak that is one game off from the highest goal streak by a Blue in the last quarter-century. Careful, everyone. He’s got his eyes on Hull’s ten game streak, clearly. Despite a hat trick on Sunday, the Blues fell 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Right now, they’re in fourth place in the Central Division with 77 points and a record in their last ten games of a disappointing 3-4-3. To say that they need to snap out of a spring funk is an understatement.
The Caps, also a current wild card team, are 7-2-1 in their last ten games and winning seven of their last nine. They did lose to the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Sunday, squandering Alex Ovechkin’s 40th goal of the season. The last time these two teams met, the Blues held off the Capitals’ high powered offense for a 5-1 win at home. Will they be able to pull that off again?