40 minutes of awesome, 20 minutes of fail. That would describe what happened Tuesday night in Detroit as the St. Louis Blues let a 2-0 (then a 2-1) lead slip through their hands in the third period. To their credit, the Detroit Red Wings played magnificently (especially that goaltender) in the third period to earn the 3-2 victory, but it was definitely aided by a bit of a collapse by the defensive corps of the Blues. Quite predictably, despite the Blues taking the fight to the Wings as they usually do, neither team shed the gloves. So The Note stays at 14 fights on the season, good for a tie for 17th in the National Hockey League with the Dallas Stars in that category. The team’s fight record still sits at 5-2-7.
A familiar foe now comes to town in the form of the Nashville Predators. I recently visited the fair city this team plays its’ home games in, and let me tell you . . . it is a fun city, especially if you like to partake in the adult libations of many types. Also of note . . . they serve 24-ounce cans of Budweiser AT the building that used to be known as the Gaylord Entertainment Center. I found this to be quite awesome. I will be making a return trip to Nashville. Anyway, as for the Preds, we’ve covered them twice here on the Throwdown Lowdown report previously (October 8th and December 17th). The Preds have fought nearly as many times as the Blues have this season, which is generally unusual for them, earning 13 fighting majors thus far this season. Their fight record is pretty decent, though, at 6-4-3.
Not much has changed since December 17th, really. Preds players who have fought this year begin with journeyman enforcer Brian McGrattan (6’4”, 235lbs, 4-1-0) with five fighting majors on the season and one of my least favorite NHL players, Jordin Tootoo (5’9”, 199lbs, 2-0-0), with two (though I will say, I’m glad to hear Tootoo has been sober for one year . . . terrific news). Solo fighters include Blake Geoffrion (6’1”, 190lbs, Draw, recently recalled from AHL Milwaukee), Matt Halischuk (6’0”, 185lbs, Draw), Mike Fisher (6’1”, 208lbs, Draw), Colin Wilson (6’1”, 210lbs, Loss), Francis Bouillon (5’8”, 198lbs, Loss) and Zack Stortini (6’4”, 215lbs, Loss to Ryan Reaves, currently with AHL Milwaukee).
Unlike any game involving the Wings, there is at least a glimmer of hope that there will be a fight in this contest, especially if McGrattan suits up. Reaves is now out with a rib injury, being placed on IR to allow BJ Crombeen to come back from his major shoulder injury. I think Crombeen WILL go with McGrattan if both suit up, though that’s a really tough matchup for Crombeen.
A great way to close out the 2011 home slate would be a victory over a fierce division rival. Whaddaya say, gang?
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights