Did we not just go to Nashville? Did Blues fans not have to listen to country music, deal with forgetting to play a period, and cope with being beaten by a team that’s hot despite the fact that no one really thinks about them much? Yep. A painful 4-3 loss on the 15th was the last time these two teams met, and it’s the only regulation loss on the Blues’ schedule. The second and third period play of the team was solid, but first period left a lot to be desired.
No matter – the Blues just got done beating the last two Stanley Cup champions in back to back games this weekend. They only have one regulation loss on the season, and are climbing the media’s power rankings. And, of course, they have he of the 9.29 SV% and 1.81 GAA – Jaroslav Halak. They *won’t* have Roman Polak, though, who will be out until his wrist heals from tendon repair surgery. Tyson Strachan will be in for Polak tonight, and no word if Cam Janssen will return.
Nashville’s got Pekka Rinne, who is having a great season – and who needs to keep his eyes peeled. The Predators have a nasty habit of having the backup supplant the starter (Ellis to Mason, Rinne to Ellis…), and they have an outstanding rookie backup in Anders Lindback. While his stats aren’t as high as Rinne’s (2.55 GAA to Rinne’s 1.58, and .925 SV% to Rinne’s .955), they are higher than a good bit of the league’s starters, and this is his first year in the NHL.
Saturday night was a goaltender’s duel – probably the best goalie game we’ll see all year. The Blues score more goals a game than Nashville, and keep more goals out of the net, but tonight should be another goalie duel for sure. One thing that Blues fans can count on, though – not much’ll rattle Halak, even the between period bands.
I also must direct your attention to this article from Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding Barret Jackman and Eric Brewer, who keep playing great hockey and are pissing off their detractors (read: 75% of the fans) on a daily basis. Jackman has perfected bringing old-school defensive methods to the new “touch him and you’re FINED” NHL. And Brewer, even after making a few flubs, is still playing good hockey and sticking up for his teammates. Honestly, the main reason I mentioned this article is for the accompanying photo of Scott Hartnell getting a stick in the noggin courtsey of Brewer. Get in front of our goalie again, Poodle. Brewerbot is gonna get you. Hurrah for Brewer!