St. Louis Blues
7:00 pm CDT
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St. Louis, MO- Where, oh where has Mr. Bo Dangles been this season? Yes, I would be referring to the none other then the Blues talented left winger David Perron. After sitting out more then an entire season with post concussion issues Perron returned to the Blues last season and got his mojo back looking like the David Perron of old. Last night in Dallas Texas, Mr. Perron found his way back to the rink. From the time the puck dropped at American Airlines Center@DP_57 (Perron’s Twitter Handle) was on it. I sat watching the game wonder just what the heck Ken Hitchcock might have said to the lad to get his legs working again and his head up and on a swivel. With two goals and an appetite for the puck like we have not seen yet this season from the 24 year old native of Shearbrooke, Quebec, David once again refueled the ” I am David Perrohnaa” for goals mentality and it was Holy Jumperific. The Blues played a game in which they gave up a few silly goals where coverages or turn overs lead to chances that Dallas did not falter to capitalize on. The Note hung on strong in the waning seconds of the third period to secure the 4-3 win over Dallas. The Blues improved to 4-1-0 on this shortened season, and you guessed it, that Vladimir Tarasenko fella added another point (now 4G 3A in 5GP) with an Assist on Perron’s Second goal. Time will tell if this Blues team can continue to find ways to win games that in seasons passed they wouldn’t have. Last nights game in Dallas was a good measuring stick to show how the Blues respond in tight pressure situations late in games.
Turning our attention to tonight’s match up between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues we find a Wild team coming in off a tough loss in Detroit Friday night 5-3. With high priced scoring phenom Zach Parise patrolling the ice and the space near the circles it will be another test for a mostly young Blues team to contain good players. With Ryan Suter added in the off season the Wild have improved their team (all be it at one hell of a price tag) and are looking to forge a place for themselves in the NHL Playoffs come this May. The Blues would do well not to overlook the Wild as I have picked them to be one of the surprise teams coming out of the west this season. With a waning Detroit team, there is more room at the top and the Wild are on their way to getting back to being a good hockey team. The game plan for St. Louis tonight should be a fairly simple one. Keep the pressure up on the Wild’s offensively skilled players like Parise, Heatly, and Koivu. The Blues need to limit the amount of odd man rushes tonight. The last thing the Blues want to do is get into an end to end sprint with the likes of Zach Parise. Look for the David Backes line to match up against the Parise line tonight and work hard to keep them off the score sheet. Another line for the Blues that has thoroughly impressed me this season has been the combination of Sobotka-Nichol- Reaves. The fourth line of the Note have worked very hard this season and it is showing up in the results column. I would press any of you to search the games played and find a shift where Hitch’s fourth line took a time out. You will not find one in my opinion. When the fourth line gets in your face and makes you take hit after hit it is easy to then make a quick line change and let the more offensively skilled guys make the goaltenders/defenders look silly. More and more folks are turning their attention to just how good this St. Louis Blues team is. Doug Armstrong and all of the scouting staff ( present and recently passed) should be very proud of the product that they have put on the ice. The Blues this season rank dead currently in salary in the league ( roughly 49.6 million dollars according to capgeek.) In a season where teams are allowed to spend nearly 71 million the Blues have found the way to grow their talent and get it to the big leagues in a conservative yet appropriate way. Look out come May NHL, The Blues train is coming down the tracks and this bad ass does not have any breaks!
Tonight’s lines may be altered a bit as this is a back to back hockey night for St. Louis. According to Lou Korac who covers the Blues for NHL.com, Jaden Schwartz will play and so will Jamie Langenbrunner. Who sits out? Spin the Kia Wheel on the concourse to make a guess.
I leave you with these little videos to get your blue blood pumping courtesy of the Blues’ Website