Gameday: St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings

34-39-9: 77 Points 36-23-13: 85 Points
St. Louis’ Record Against Detroit:
4-0-1
The only team in the Central Division that the Blues can seem to beat and beat often are the Detroit Red Wings.  What started this fall in Sweden’s continued back in the states, as the team that everyone picked to finish at or near the top of the West’s standings is scrapping for 8th place.
Two points ahead of 9th place Calgary, and 8 points ahead of 11th place St. Louis, the Wings are anything but a lock for the playoffs.  Their play of late has been strongly improving, albiet they’ve relied on a couple of (literally) last second goals to get points from Edmonton and Pittsburgh.
The Blues, though, despite a 6-4-0 record in their last ten games, seem to be falling out of contention rapidly.  Gahllager over at St. Louis Game Time looked at exactly why today, statistically speaking, and the results are unsurprising to any Blues fan.  They have a poor record against the Central, poor record against the West, and an amazing inability to maintain a 3rd period lead before shifting into paranoid defense overdrive and blowing the whole thing.
And waiting until January to can Andy Murray didn’t seem to help very much either.
Can there be a late season push like last year?  Statistically, yes.  Realistically, no.  But at the very least, end the season on a high note, play up to your abilities, and savor the fact that expectations next season won’t be absurdly high.  Maybe they can actually win at home then.
Probable Starting Goalies (courtsey of dailyfaceoff.com):
Ty Conklin Jimmy Howard
2-0-0 Against Detroit 1-2-1 Against StL
1.50 GAA; .960 SV% 2.91 GAA; .913 SV%
Summary after the jump.

Oingo Boingo – Rebounds Kill the Blues’ Playoff Chances.
Conklin allowed rebounds on two of the goals that he never should have – no shame in covering it up once in a while.  Some good stuff, goals by Kariya and McClement, but the FO% was just atrocious.  Our end, their end, doesn’t matter.  Couldn’t take a face off and maintain posession to save our lives.  Yes, we’re still 4-1-1 against the Evil Empire (haven’t swept them in regulation in 30 years), but that’s not the point.  Only once since the lockout have the Blues made the playoffs.  Three of those seasons the teams weren’t playoff material, clearly.  This season they were touted as favorites to get in there, even if it was towards the bottom of the bunch.  There’s just no excuse for this level of play – blown leads, messy rebounds… total desperation.  Oh, and you know who I would have liked to have seen out there?  For oomph?  Cam.
There.  I figured out the slogan for next season: St. Louis Blues: No Excuses.  No, really, we can’t think of one.
There was this, though – your Oshie-Zen for the night -  four hits, (the one on Holmstrom was killer – video below) and 3 SOG.  Kid’s a pinball.  A wonderful, permed pinball.

About Laura Astorian

Laura Astorian is the head editor for the SB Nation blog St. Louis Game Time and has been a Blues fan from childhood. She promises that any anti-Blackhawks bias will be left at the door. Maybe.