Have I ever mentioned how much I despise the National Hockey League’s inclusion of a shootout to the end of hockey games that are tied after 65 minutes? Well, if I haven’t, just rest assured that I absolutely despise the practice. And it’s not just because the St. Louis Blues are horrible at it, which they proved again last night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Nashville Predators, who seem to be just about as bad at the practice but have a pretty good goaltender on their side of things. There were no fights in the game, so the Blues stick and stay at 14 fighting majors collected 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.
Remember these guys? Remember this building? It’s like the Blues played THIS very team . . . at THIS very building . . . not more than four days ago! Yes, it’s the rare bit where a team is scheduled to play the same opponent in the same building twice in a week. So here we are, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, for a second time in a handful of days to play the hated Detroit Red Wings. We’ve covered this team three times this season now (November 15th, December 6th and December 27th). And as you already know, they do not like to shed the gloves. They are still all by themselves in DEAD LAST in the NHL with five fighting majors collected on the season, earning a not-horrible record of 2-2-1 in those fights.
I could leave the fighters section alone, being that I went over this a few days back, but I won’t, especially considering there is one man to add to the list. Of those five fights, Justin Abdelkader (6’1”, 219lbs, 1-1-0) has taken part in two of them. The other three have been split among Todd Bertuzzi (6’3”, 229lbs, Draw last night with Daniel Carcillo), Jonathan Ericsson (6’4”, 221lbs, Win) and youngster Jakub Kindl (6’3”, 216lbs, Loss).
While it would be awesome if we DID see a fight in this one, the possibility is pretty much non-existent. Which is unfortunate . . . I think the Red Wings have a few guys that COULD drop the gloves and do well at it. But it’s not my choice.
A win over the Red Wings would be a great cap to the year 2011. Call me crazy, but I like the team’s chances of doing so tonight.
LET’S GO BLUES!!!!!
Information obtained via the incomparable Fried Chicken’s Hockey Fights